I'm Hannah, and I've been wanting to learn to belly dance for a while now. I have been learning on my own for over 3 years, on and off, but I feel like that's not enough; I want to learn more, I want to be considered good. And you are my answer ( I do believe so). I have joined the mailing list, etc, and I would like to learn from you, but where do I start? I have looked at your website, but to be honest, I don't know where to begin.
If you could help me, that would be great. Also, I listen to a lot of Turkish, Arabic, even some Hindu music that has helped me learn belly dancing moves, etc.
Thank you so much! Hannah
OK. So where to start from?
If you just started to take belly dance classes or it crossed your mind that it might be something you can be interested in and looked on You Tube for instructional videos, you will find that there are too many to count. Many teach the same thing, some are easier (or as we usually call them beginner) and others are a bit too complicated with a combination of moves, choreographies ... etc
First, don't get lost in the whole terminology of what's beginner, intermediate and advanced. I think that's the biggest mistake we tend to make when we learn anything new especially dance. What's beginner for someone is not necessarily beginner for someone else and we all learn differently. The focus should be rather on basic technique as a first step, then combining different basic moves to get a combination of moves. The combinations will vary in complexity based on how many moves they include but also on how often do the moves change: every 2 counts, 4 counts, 8 counts ... etc. A combination with changing moves every 8 counts is way easier than a combination that changes moves every 2 counts.
Once you have been practicing combining different moves, increase the difficulty by breaking down the count of the moves from 8 to 4 to 2... there increasing the speed and difficulty of the move and challenging your mind to think quickly in switching from one move to another.
Once this is becoming easier for you, you are ready for choreography. Choreography is simply trying to put combinations which include your basic moves to the beat of an actual song. The difficulty of a choreography will vary depending on the difficulty of the combinations again. So the song includes combos that change every 2 or 4 counts, it would most likely be called "intermediate" or "advanced". Also, the speed of the music will usually be interpreted as a level of difficulty, the faster the song the harder it feels for most learners. So start with a slower song where the combos change moves every 8 and 4 counts and progress from there to faster songs with the same pattern (8 and 4) and the next step of difficulty will of course be to do a choreography with a faster song and with combos changing pattern every 2 to 4 counts.
I think focusing on this is much more important than all the categorizing that is common out there in the dance world. Some people just learn faster than others, some are more coordinated ... etc so don't categorize yourself and instead focus on technique, combos and choreography because that is the natural progress of dancing in general.
This is why I organize this website by technique, combos and choreography. Within each category, the level of difficulty is different so try everything in each category before you decide whether it's for beginners, intermediate or advanced. If it's "advanced", look at it as a challenge. Not everything has to be easy :) If it was, everyone would be a belly dancer and challenge is a fun thing in life!
Hope this helps some, if any questions, please post them here in the comments section so we could all share thoughts!
Enjoy your day and happy dancing.
Did you enjoy this post?