like to teach belly dance in a circle. Dances have been performed
in rings for thousands of years.
is a perfect, democratic & unending shape, the shape of
an energized community, the shape of this lovely round planet.
It is a good
shape in which to learn belly dance, an ancient dance of with
primal roots, a dance that transcends geographic boundaries and
is a satisfying and sensual expression of the universal soul.
Shimmies, snake arms, head slides, spins, turns, undulations,
body part isolations, hip articulations – no matter how you dress
it up ethnically, this dance expresses itself with common movement
themes all over the globe.
Because I grew
up witnessing my mother Rhea’s
circle teaching methods, I have a lot of practical and proven
ideas about how to teach belly dance movements in a circle without
of all, I generally stand in the center, always demonstrating
the moves and constantly revolving myself so that everyone has
a good view from the back to make sure of their foot and arm
go and stand directly in front of or next to someone who is “on
the wrong foot” and give individual attention and correction through
demonstrative example or gentle hands-on prodding. When teaching
I like to break down moves very precisely, talking specifically
about weight placement, proper body alignment and posture, which
part of the foot to stand on, where is your hip, where is your
arm, what are your fingers doing, where to place your gaze, so
the technique gets into your body and (hopefully) stays there
when you practice outside of class.
I have noticed
the following facts about dancing in a circle, like them or not:
can hide in a circle. In a circle, if one person smiles, everyone
smiles. If one person goes the wrong way in a traveling movement,
they are quickly brought into proper flow by the larger group.
are quick to help their neighbor. In a circle, we are all in the
dance together; everyone thinks positively about their bodies
because they are brought unselfconsciously into the flow and fun
of the dance. There are no mirrors to either encourage either
narcissism or nihilism. Of course mirrors are ultimately very
important in dance instruction & practice, essential in polishing
your presentation and discovering what moves look best on you,
but mirrors are not essential to dance.
can’t feel a movement on your own, if you can’t dance an emotion
fully and without a mirror, it will be more difficult to transition
to perform on a stage, be it a restaurant or your living room.
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
10-3-06 Rhea: Greek
Flavor and Flair Article by Rebecca Firestone, Photos by Carl
& Laikis Orientale and Greek Folk Dance Workshop sponsored
by Ma*Shuqa, held Saturday, August 19, 2006, at the Empire Buffet
restaurant, in San Jose, California
Rhea’s Travel to Syria,
Part 5 –Sex and the Single Girl by Rhea of Athens
Trials and Travails of a Lone Female Traveler
My Vision of the Desert Archidance
by Piper Reid Hunt, Ph.D. (Daughter of Rhea)
I had heard about trance dancing before, but had never
seen it in an authentic context.
In Tribute: Rhonda/Baseema of Troupe
Ooh La La by Shabnam
were times she could barely walk due to a flare up of Lupus, but
she always came to rehearsal and gave a 110%--despite the pain
or trouble, she was going through that day. Rhonda soon became
the troupe mascot because of her courage and commitment. "If
Rhonda can do it, you can do it!" became our
motto. She was a great source of inspiration and motivation for
all members of Ooh La La.
Morgana's Animal Magnetism, Interview
with Morgana of Madrid by Surreyya
seeing Morgana’s Serpent Dance, where she embodies the personality
of the serpent, I was hooked. Any snake lovers or snake dancers
will have a special appreciation for this piece.
by Michel Harris
wealth, along with social and political change, has threatened
Islamic culture and traditions. Therefore, many Muslim planners
and architects are reacting to this invasion of Western culture
by reasserting their Islamic heritage.
Belly Dance Workshops: Realistic
Expectations by Eleyda Negrón
difference between a Christmas gift and a workshop though, is
that in the worse case scenario, you can always return your gift
and change it for something else, but… What do you do with
a workshop that didn’t suit you? It can become a waste of
time and money for both ends.
Nakish- An inteview with "The Lady with the Eyes"
worked hardest for the dancers in San Francisco to wipe out the
discrimination factor and to make sure that all cultures were
included in the performance of this dance.