November 4, 2019 5

Tribal Belly Dance Drill – Arabic Hip Twist and Turkish Shimmy

Tribal Belly Dance Drill – Arabic Hip Twist and Turkish Shimmy


Hello, San Carlos Parks and Rec students welcome back to another tribal Belly dance drill with moi Leigh Anne, your teacher, and I would like to go over two steps that I’m seeing in class that people seem to be confusing, and while the steps might have a couple things in common, they actually are very very different, so I’m hoping by the end of this video you will have more of a sense of not only how the steps look different and behave differently but that they feel different in your body. Those two steps are the Arabic Hip Twist and the Turkish Shimmy. Now, both steps are four count movements – one two three four – one two three four – both steps have half turns that start to the left and that turn on the count of three, and both steps have the arms placed at what we call that tabletop level. Other than that, the two steps really couldn’t be more different. So let’s break down what’s going on with those steps, and for this class, I would like to use a cane to Illustrate hand position, so if you at home happen to have a yardstick or a cane or a broomstick or whatever, go get that now so that you can use that to practice along with me. Let’s first look at what’s going on with the Arabic Hip Twist. The Arabic Hip Twist, as the name suggests, is an Arabic, which means there has to be a torso undulation. That undulation has to start from the top of the spine and go all the way down to the hip. That undulation happens on a two count: one two three four – one undulation, one undulation – one two three four – one two three four This is completely a torso movement except for that right hip swinging around at the end of the twist, which is what gives its name the Arabic Hip Twist. One two three four – one two three four Notice: NO SHIMMY. We do have an Arabic Shimmy, that’s a different step. The Turkish Shimmy, on the other hand, has no torso undulation. The Turkish Shimmy has a very upright carriage and it’s all about the shimmy. So one two three four – one two three four – one two three four So in that regard, those two steps really could not be more different. Let’s take a look now at the hand position for both steps. So grab your cane, or your yardstick, or whatever you have. Place your hands on your cane and keep them at the same distance in both of these steps. Your hands are not changing distance. They are going to maintain the same distance. The difference between what happens in the Arabic Hip Twist and what happens in the Turkish Shimmy, you will see illustrated in the cane. Here is our Arabic Hip Twist. Notice that the cane is staying relatively still. In the Arabic Hip Twist, there’s an illusion that the hands are moving forward and back, or they’re changing distance, or they’re moving to the side. That really isn’t happening at all. The hands are staying relatively stationary. The only thing that you’re seeing when you see the regular hip twist is you’re seeing a floreo, and this gives the illusion that there’s all this stuff happening with the arms, but it’s not happening. The hands are staying stationary. So practice with your cane. Keep hands at that stationary distance. You can also practice the Arabic Hip Twist by facing any flat surface place your hands on the wall, and you should be able to do your Arabic Hip Twist in place. You can also do this by placing your hands against the hands of your dance partner, and you can practice your Arabic hip twist that way, okay, but it’s all about keeping the hands stationary. Now let’s look at what happens with the Turkish Shimmy. Once again, place your hands in stationary position where the distance is not going to change. However, the orientation and the placement of your hands in space DOES change. So we’re up on the toes and it’s a 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4. Notice that the cane is moving moving to the side, back to center, to the side, back to center. Depending on your perspective, either the cane is moving away from you, or you are moving away from the cane, whatever it is, that is a separation of your body and your arm movement. 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4. So here, your arms are moving out to the side, which is different from the Arabic twist. So with that in mind, go ahead and hang on to your cane or yardstick, and drill along with me. I’m going to be drilling away from you, so that you can see those cues as I give them. Keep practicing those two steps get them feeling different in the body, different in the mind, different in the soul, and we will keep working on it in class. See you next time.

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