Sunday, April 4, 2010

Yaa habbi bii.... yaa....

Admit it or not - Malaysians love to dance. Once in awhile at the end of a vigorous workout i will jest up the class by doing a dance session. This is a fun session and almost everybody love to wiggle and let loose after a hearty workout. A simple chinese cha cha, dangdut or a belly dance would do the trick. Until recent years there were a lot of hoo haas about belly dancing in the country.

Honestly, I know nuts about belly dancing other than what is shown in movies. Although i have arabic blood, i have never seen any belly dancing in the family or any other form of dance other than Samrah (zapin arab) during weddings. I have heard of Samia Gamal though but only after my visit to China (a chinese belly dancer!) and Egypt and watching a live performance captivated me. I was mesmerized by the movements of the abdominal muscles with its own unique dance vocabulary that is integrated with the rhythm of the music.

I also noticed the expression on the dancers faces projecting their emotions through the dance and the music especially the drums. They are practically expressing and communicating through the rhythm of the music. What amazes me most is the way they move their hips and shoulders during the solo drum.
The movements seems easy and simple but mind you, it is not as easy as it seems. It takes months and probably years to perfect the movement. I had my fair share of failures. I maybe wrong but i consider the dance as a smooth, flowing of the abdominal muscles, hips/pelvic and shaking the shoulder. A very sensual movement indeed!

Recently i was invited by MAM Studio in Batu Caves, Selangor to do a belly dance. Im no pro but just love to dance to the music. The participants were a bunch of very enthusiastic and superb ladies. I really enjoyed doing the dance with them and hope to be invited again in future.

It was fun and everyone enjoyed it

Info i got from the internet on steps and techniques :-

Most of the movements in belly dancing involve isolating different parts of the body (hips, shoulders, chest, stomach etc), which appear similar to the isolation used in jazz ballet, but are often driven differently. In most belly dance styles, the focus is on the hip and pelvic area.

Important moves:

1) Shimmy - a shimmering vibration of the hips. This vibration is created by moving the knees past each other at high speed, although some dancers use contractions of the glutes instead. Dancers also put one leg to the side and then shimmy is performed by vibration of the leg which bears the weight. Shoulder shimmy is also an important element of belly dance.

2) Swinging arms - important expressive means in belly dance and highlights the beauty and flexibility of the dancer. In many cases hands are used to frame around the the moving part of the body to stress the expressiveness of that part

3) Hip punches - basic move. Helps alternate the weight on the legs and create impression of the swinging pelvis.

4) Undulation - rotating movements of the chest forward, up, back and down create impression of riding a camel.

Belly dance as an exercise?

Belly dance is a non-impact, weight-bearing exercise and is thus suitable for all ages, and is a good exercise for the prevention of osteoporosis in older people. Many of the moves involve isolation, which improves flexibility of the torso. Dancing with the veil can help build strength in the upper-body, arm and shoulders. Playing the zills trains fingers to work independently and builds strength. The legs and long muscles of the back are strengthened by hip movements. Most importantly you enjoy yourself and that'll keep your stress away!

after a sweaty workout

MAM Studio members - Malatoppp!!

Thank you Malique, Lynn and Manje for inviting me

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