Blog Archives

The Flutter of the Belly

This is a move that I have been working on for ages and every time I don’t feel that I am making  much progress. Here is some information to help.

The key with the belly flutter is to get relaxed and practice. It is a contraction of the muscles that control breathing and not actually the abdominal muscles. Usually these muscles are referred to as the diaphragm. Strictly speaking the diaphragm is actually a set of involuntary muscles (meaning you can not control them) and the muscles you are using are called the intercostal muscles. These muscles, just like any other group of muscles, needs to be stretched and exercised to be effectively used.

This is a simple E how article on how to do the basic belly flutter. Below that are two videos. The first is a short explanation on flutters and the second goes in a bit more depth.

E How: How to Perform a Belly Dance Flutter

If you are practicing the belly flutter I suggest you start laying down or sitting. Doing this will help you relax you abdominal muscles since you do not need to focus on posture or layering. Also laying down forces your intercostal muscles to work more effectively which can help in isolating and practicing this move. The most important thing about this step is to practice, which I plan on doing as much as possible.

Note: How to stretch you breathing muscles

I learn this one in Drum Corps years back. Stand up straight with you hands clasped over your head. Take a deep breath in and hold it. Take two to three more little sips of air. At this point you should feel full to the brim with air. Now hold the air in and slowly do a side bend stretch. You can do this to each side and if you have enough air, you will be able to stretch the muscles that are used for breathing. I find this is good to do beforehand after practicing the belly flutter. (Warning some times taking in that much air can make you dizzy. Its normal. Just resume breathing regularly and it should pass.)

Good luck.
-Nara

Performance at the H.O.P.

If you are free and in the Taoyuan, Taiwan area please stop by and check out Sensual Sultry Saturday. It is at the H.O.P. which is close to the Taoyuan train station. It will be a mixture of fusion and more traditional tribal choreography. I hope you can make it.

For more information please check out the facebook site.

-Nara

Week 4: Choreography Challenge

Almost there. Just one more week.

Beginner Track:

Week Four: 1. Work on practicing transitions between fast, slow, beginning and ending of dance. 2.Think about costume and stage presence to finish final package.

This week is about the finishing touches. Hopefully by now you have finished your piece, but it might still need some work to reach the finished product. At this point, it is good to focus on transitions between sections and steps. These are the places that can make the difference between an amateur and professional looking dance. Each move needs to flow into the next and each section needs to flow smoothly as well. Go back and adjust your transitions.

Now is also the time to start thinking about costume, hair and makeup. What would fit the piece and more importantly not hinder the movement that you have already choreographed? Also practice your dance in full costume before you perform. You may want to think about the emotion you will be showing the audience as well. Practice smiling if you should smile. Good Luck!

Advanced Track:

Inspiration Challenge (this is a fun one): You can find a piece of artwork or writing that inspires you and perform a piece about that inspiration. This challenge is about stretching the dancer’s ability to express emotion as an artist, so please do not pick a dry piece. the more meaningful the piece the better the challenge. If you are short on art inspirations, check out pinterest and search Art. They have a great variety of art pieces to choose from.

Body facing /Movement Challenge: The goal of this challenge to the add two elements that audiences find interesting, movement and different body facing. This challenge is to help get you move out of the same spot facing the audience. Choreograph a piece where you do not face the audience with your whole body at any time. You can be at an angle or facing the back. You can also be turning. Challenge yourself to try new and different body directions. Add to this challenge the idea of movement. Try not to be standing still for more the 5 sec and any time. Always be traveling. You can travel slowly or quickly, but keep moving. Good Luck!

-Nara

How is the challenge going? What have you liked or disliked?