Correct posture is thefoundation of all belly dance moves. It provides a grounded and centralised core from which each move can originate and be performed safely.
When correct posture is exercised it will allow you to develop strength, control, fluidity and grace as well as an improved silhouette and body line.
The key points to remembering correct posture are:
1. Feet parallel and placed hip width apart-beneath the hip bones
2. Weight balanced evenly between the heels and balls of the feet
3. Knees soft and slightly bent facing forwards
4. Pelvis tucked under, held by psoas and lower abdominal muscles
5. Abdomen tucked in and lifted, muscles gently engaged
6. Chest lifted & rib cage expanded
7. Shoulders rolled back and down
8. Neck lengthened and chin held level
You will benefit from regularly checking your dance posture and correcting it when necessary.
There are many different rhythms within bellydance music. However, 4/4 is the most commonly used rhythm. It is a beat pattern that allows for four beats per bar of music: 1-2-3-4.
Most dance combinations and choreography will work to a count of 8 beats or multiples thereof: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8.
A dancers job is to interpret the music, so as the beat pattern varies so will the count pattern in order to match it.
The key to following the beat in music is to listen for the 'down beat' this is the first beat in the repeated rhythm i.e the 1-.
By listening to music and clapping or tapping out the beat you will begin to train your ear to follow the rhythm with precision.
Words & Translations
The following translations are commonly used to describe bellydance.
Beledi:‘dance of the people’.
Raks Sharqi: ‘dance of the east’.
Danse Du ventre: ‘dance of the stomache’.
Danse Orientale/Oriental Dance: ‘dance from the east’.
Bellydance: a generic term that is widely recognized in the west, stemming from a translation of danse du ventre.