Exercise! - Bellydancing!!!

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10-21-2002, 12:56 PM
I am interested in chatting with ladies who take up bellydancing as a form of exercise.
I weight train for 3 days a week, and rather than doing aerobics or jogging for my cardio-I dance. I took many years of ballet and jazz as a child, and have recently fell in love with bellydancing!
In larger cities you can find classes available, but there are also some great beginner instruction videos you can use to do it at home.
Some I recommend to start:
Fat Chance Bellydance Basics Video-this video is more of an Americanized version of bellydance, with a more crazy getup, and it uses tribal drums for music. It is a very hypnotic version. This tape can be purchased at www.fcbd.com or www.renstore.com.
It teaches all of the basic moves of tribal bellydancing, and has a few short routines to follow. Great tape.
Bellydance for Fun and Fitness-Basic Moves-this is actually a workout video that uses some of the basic moves in traditional middle eastern dance with the traditional middleastern music. It is taught by identical twins who are performers. It is a great workout tape, that teaches a few starting moves while you are exercising. It is a good cardio workout that is much mor fun and sensuous
Bellydance Basic Dance-This is done by the twins that are in the preceding tape-it is also a basic tape, but it is an actual dance instruction tape, not an exercise video, so you will be learning more refined moves, but there will be breaks and more instruction than the basic moves tape above. It is also in the more traditional style of dance.
This is a very fun way to workout. It really works your shoulders, abs, calves, and hips/thighs. It is also fun when you progress in the dance, and learn to use veils and finger cymbals (zils).
It is very sexy-and you will feel sexy doing it! My husband and I recently went to a festival where they had some tribal style bellydancers, and instead of the traditional harem style outfit, they were more rough-slave bracelets, animal tails pinned to the back of their skirts (they seductively "bounced" off the dancers rear ends in certain moves :o ) and my husband was VERY enthralled. Needless to say, I came out of their with a tail and a slave bracelet in silver with gorgeous amber colored stones as a gift....I guess he wants me to wear it someday for a performance...:D
I still rate myself a beginner, but I can do the basic moves, and am learning the finger cymbals, and I must say, no matter what your size, you will feel great doing this form of exercise!
Beginner or Advanced dancers-please join in!

Suzanne 3FC
10-28-2002, 05:11 AM
A long time ago, I think I would have laughed off the idea of belly dancing. However, I've actually considered it lately! I have no ide why... I think it looks like a good way to stretch and limber the body, moving muscles you probably wouldn't move otherwise.

I do have lower back problems though. In your opinion, do you think this would be difficult without a strong lower back?

10-28-2002, 08:51 AM
I have a 4-tape set of belly-dancing routines by the Belly Dancing Twins (www.bellytwins.com) -- they are specifically exercise routines, not instructional, but they obviously give you instruction on moves, plus they do a cool dance at the end of each tape. I agree, it's a fun way to aerobicize! Once I reach my goal, I'm thinking of taking belly dancing classes locally and getting myself a cool costume!


10-28-2002, 09:02 AM
I am starting belly dance class next week. I am very excited. It seems like it will be fun, plus It really excites my hubby. I will let you all know how it goes.


10-28-2002, 10:03 AM
I am thrilled to finally be getting responses to this thread!
Suzanne-the moves of bellydance will actually STRENGTHEN your lower back! The movements actually strengthen and tone mostly your lower and upper back, shoulders (due to the arm positions) and the sides of you abs-your oblique muscles, and you thighs and calves.
What I would od for your lower back is to make sure you do abdominal exercises a few times a week, because the tronger they are, the more they work to hold your posture, and the less your back is strained. Also, I have a great exercise to strengthen your lower back-lie on your tummy, arms in front of you out straight-(think of your body as one continous line.) Lift up your right arm off the floor, while simultaniously lifting up your left leg and hold for a few seconds. Then repeat with the other side. Do this 5-10 times, every other day.
I had two very large babies (9 & 10 pounds) and they really did a number on my back and abs, and I had lower back pain a lot, until I learned this exercise-it will really help after a couple months along with ab work.
You are also so right about working muscles you don't normally use-I lift weights, and I can still feel a slight soreness after bellydancing the next morning-you work your ribcage area, and your shoulders and back in a totally different way than in everyday motion!
MzPen-the tapes you have-teh Bellydance fitness for beginners-is a great set of exercise videos that combines doing regular exercises with some great bellydance moves mixed in-teh twins are great. They also have a 3 pack set of bellydance videos that are actual dance instruction-the individual tapes are called Basic Dance, Beyond Basic Dance, and Mystic Dance. I also recommend these!
morningglory-how lucky for you to have a class starting near you! I am mostly having to use videos, and I correspond with a few teachers over the computer-Carolena of at Chance Belly Dance, and Shira from Shira.net. I hope to drive once or twice a year to have a private lesson now and then. Please let me know how your class is going-I want to hear all about it!
I have a few sites I recommend-www.shira.net-this dancer has a lot of info about basic costumes, background on the dance, video reviews, etc. She is really great.
For cheap costumes and accessories, I recommend www.aliahscloset.com they have cheap prices on basics, like coin belts, and harem pants, and zils and veils. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone wanting a professional performance costume, but if you want something just to practice in, or to dance for your spouse-this is the place!
If you don't really want a costume, but something to go around your workout lycra pants to emphasis movement-I just found a black fringed hip scarf at Fashion Bug this weekend-it is triangular shaped, black lacy, and has about 3-4 inch long fringe on it. It was $14. You can wrap this around your hips, and knot it on the side or in the front, and when you dance, the fringe really shakes!
The great thing about bellydance is-you can learn it whether you are a size 4 or 24-it is not a high impact dance that puts a lot of stress on your joints-it is a dance of control. You are learning specific movements-controlled movements.
If any of you want a costume and can sew fairly well, let me know, I have some patterns I know of that are great!

10-28-2002, 10:58 PM
I am a "baby" beginner but love bellydancing. I don't know if what I do is actually bellydancing....yet!! :lol:

I have "the twins" tapes....I haven't been doing it regularily but if I have someone to share with it would be incentive to get back to it.

Thanks for the thread.

10-29-2002, 09:15 AM
LuckyLB-what you are doing is fine! Which of the twins tapes do you have-the fitness for beginners series (basic moves, fat burning, etc. ) or the actual dance instruction tapes? (basic dance, beyond basic, mystic dance)
I would love to see everyone get better at this dance!
Something that bellydancers all agree with-is that you cannot be too thin or too fat to bellydance. It is a dance that is sensual and agreeable with all body types and weights. All women can look good doing it! To prove that theory-check out this page of PROFESSIONAL bellydancers at this page-they all look beautiful! Some of tehm wear really revealing costumes, and others do not-they wear whatever works for them-what they feel good in.
Something you will notice once you really get into it-is that the traditional middleastern type of dance has distinct movements, and when performed, it is usually one woman-with the traditional style costumes. Tribal style bellydance tends to focus more on groups, women dancing together-and it has a certain style of costume as well. In tribal style, some of the women may have solos, but hte other women are always there in the back doing "chorus" moves. I love both ways, and have tapes of both.
If any of you have the fitness twins videos, once you are comfortabel and have mastered the moves, I totally encourage you to try their dance instruction tapes, or try Fat Chance Bellydance Vol.1 Basics tape-the twins tapes are a good intor to the traditional dance, and FCBD is a great intro into tribal style-it also has a section of them getting ready so you can see tehir costuming, and a great performance footage at the end to really inspire you.
I am really glad I started this thread as well. I am glad I am not the only one who thinks this dance is so beautiful, as well as a great way to get exercise!

01-20-2003, 10:51 AM
I wanted to bump this thread back up, and let you all know how I am doing!
I am still in love with bellydancing, and have been continuing to do it 2-3 times a week. Some days I practice the more traditional style of bellydance, and others the tribal style.
Another tape I would like to recommend is called "Magical Motion" and the instructor is named Atea. It is not in an exercise format, but a real dance instruction video, and shows all of the basic moves in bellydance.
My favorite moves so far in bellydance are chest drops-where you are isolating your ribcage only in a movement that pretty much makes it look like you are moving your breast area up and down without moving the rest of your body. ;) I also like hip drops really well, and love the way my hip scarf fringe shakes when I do them. It is a really empowering, sexy feeling.
I have strengthened muscles I was unaware I even had with bellydance, and this is from someone who strength trains with weight religiously each week. You really learn such control over your muscles with this dance, moving one muscle or body part alone, and keeping everything else stationary. It truly is a dance of control.
Another positive aspect, is that my weight loss has sped up since I have started dancing-from an average of a pound a week, to 2 and sometimes 3 pounds per week! :o
I would really like to keep this thread up on these boards, and to encourage others to join in learning this wonderful dance. Hopefully soon, after I am a little closer to my fitness goals, I will share a picture of myself in my bellydance garb.

01-22-2003, 09:18 AM
Aphil, you're doing great! Thanks for the bellydance reminder ... I haven't been doing it lately myself. I'll have to pull my tapes back out.


01-22-2003, 09:38 AM
Yes! Dig out those tapes!!!!;)

01-22-2003, 02:54 PM
Hello All!!!!

I have been bellydancing for several years now.... I used to be real good at it.... took several classes and had a blast... then 3 years ago I had a c-section hysterectomy.... the 3rd c-section cut (2 kids)... since then I have no feeling from my belly button down to my bikini c-section cut.... BUMMER!!!!!

I am no longer able to do the belly rolls which were really hard for me to learn before....

As for videos that I have..... i have the basic moves videos from the twins.... but the one I like the most is "THE GODDESS WORKOUT"... maybe i just like the name :) it is one that i havent heard you mention so I thought I would throw it out there.

I have started back recently on my workout and will probably join the class again. It is a great workout... the only one the I feel sexier after I am done than before.....

It is great that people are getting more interested in it... it is a lot of fun.....

Also, you mentioned costumes.... one place to just get a cheap costume that is really kinda cute is go to the dance schools in your area and ask them if you could look through there costume catologs and purchase one through them.... I got one that is a two piece black velvet with gold sequins and a shear skirt for $40.00.... again not a professional one but it is fun to workout in it....

Happy dancing everyone!!!!

01-22-2003, 03:31 PM
Angel-yes, I know the video that you speak of! The video is called "The Goddess Workout" and the instructor's name is Dolphina. It is a nice basic workout of a few bellydancing moves, and the scenery in the background is gorgeous. She also has an advanced video-I think it is called "Warrior Goddess Workout" which has some more difficult, faster moves in it.
There are also cd's of music that can be found online that correlate with "The Goddess Workout" and the videos by the twins Neena and Veena.

01-26-2003, 02:08 PM
Hello Ladies. I came across your thread and am now totally enthralled with the idea of taking up bellydancing. I'm going to buy some videos this week. Years ago my sister worked for a company that designed costumes for the theatre and she gave me a harum style suit......I can't wait to put the whole thing together. Thanks for opening my eyes to this!

01-26-2003, 06:37 PM
Welcome Jen! I just found a bellydance instructor in a nearby city, and I am going to be taking pro lessons as well as do my videos.
Jen-for starting out, I would recommend:
Bellydance Fitness for Beginners-Basic Moves taught by Neena and Veena, which is in more of an exercise video type of format. You are exercising with a few basic dance moves added in. They also have a set of dance instruction tapes, and you would want to start with their instruction tape called "Basic Dance." It is in more of a dance lesson type format.
I finally checked out the "Goddess Workout by Dolphina-introduction to bellydance", and I really liked it except for two things:
The whole Chakra thing. I am really into dance and yoga, but learning about all my chakra energy centers I could have really cared less about. She is wonderfully nice, but a bit on the flaky side.
Some of the camera work. On a lot of moves that she was teaching, the camera man kept shooting her face, or her from the waist up, instead of showing her whole body, and in a few places it makes it hard to see what you are supposed to be doing with your feet.
Other than these two things, I liked Dolphina, she used workout wear with a hip scarf or skirt, and it was easy to see her body move. The background was beautiful, and she taught all of the basics-such as snake arms, hip circles, and ribcage lifts and drops. I haven't seen her advanced video-I think it is called Warrior Goddess Workout-I hope they used better camera angles that shot her entire body this time.
I also found that Borders bookstore has a great selection of bellydance music, if you just want to practice moves you have learned from class or a video, or want to choreograph your own dance. I bought two last night-"Bellydance Superstars" and "Bellydance Breakbeats." They were mixed in the Hawaiin type of music for some reason. I could have easily bought 10 if money would have permitted. :p

01-27-2003, 09:28 AM
I work in the local library and a friend came in the other day and requested books on belly dancing. The first time anyone had made that request, and so I asked if she was going to learn it. She informed me that she had been hearing that it is a great and fun form of excercise and is even going to take lessons. It seemed really interesting so I checked a book out myself am learning about it. Seems funny that I hear about it for the first time in two different places. Must be something to it....

01-27-2003, 10:22 AM
It is a really great form of exercise that gives nice tone to the body. As I said before, I weight train religiously, and bellydancing gives me tone and makes me sore in different areas-so I feel that I am getting a better all around workout including it. In weight training I feel soreness in my torso usually in my upper back and chest-where after bellydancing I feel it in my ribcage area and middle back. After weight training the outer cap of my shoulder feels it most, and with the bellydancing shoulder shimmies, it is more deep within.
I am attending the bellydance hafla (bellydance party) open house next weekend-the 9th-and I will be seeing local performers and they are having a lot of items for sale there. I am really excited about it, and about starting class. I already have almost everything I need for class-zils, a hip scarf, and proper class attire-choli (bellydance half top) and leotard tops, and lycra pants. The only thing I need to get is a veil-and I can buy one at the hafla. I am excited about learning veilwork. :)
For some cheap bellydance supplies, such as zils and cholis-I recommend you all visit www.aliahscloset.com-they don't have the fanciest costumes and accessories in the world, but if you just need a few items to practice with, it is the place. They have nice zils and coin hip scarves there though, and in lots of colors.
I am really psyched about class. My plan is to go up to the performance level and to join her dance troupe so I can perform. My father in law is the head of a clogging/square dancing group, and he performs all over at local street fairs and events, and I love to go watch him dance.
Does anyone here have any zils? If you do not and are thinking about buying them, when they come the elastic will not be finished on them. You have to put them on and fit the elastic to where it is pretty snug on your middle fingers and thumbs, and sew the elastic to that tightness securely. I found the easiest way is to put them on, put a straight pin where it needs sewn, and use a sewing machine going back and forth over it a few times so it will not come loose, and trim the excess. It only takes about 5 minutes to do.
For anyone else that is good at sewing, McCall's has a decent bellydance costume pattern out. It has a head scarf, a bra top, harem pants, and a hip scarf. On the cover it is decorated with fringe, but you could sew on bells or coins, or whatever you wish.

01-30-2003, 03:04 PM
My fiance's grandmother took and taught bellydancing after she turned 50! She and many of her friends got together to learn it. She had to quit teaching once her cancer got very advanced, but she didn't quit dancing until the very end. We have some old pictures of her in her costume (she made it herself). I had never seen a sexy 50-something before! she had the most defined abs! i think i may see about taking it up myself!


01-30-2003, 06:18 PM
I think it would be absolutely wonderful if you could put one of her best pics up her on this thread-so motivating for everyone! I also think that she would be proud knowing how much you thought of her dancing and looking sexy at 50 something! Bellydance looks beautiful on everyone-delicate or large boned, tall or short, older or young, and heavy or thin! There are many costume ideas that can be utilized to camoflauge figure flaws and still look sexy!
If you get well enought to perform (or even just perform a little dance for that someone special in your life) you have the choice of wearing a floaty skirt, or you can wear harem pants, you can wear a sparkly bra, or a choli (stretchy half-top for bellydance) for more coverage if you want. It is all up to you and what you feel good in. I personally like to wear a choli, because my arms are not in shape well enough to show them off with a bra style top just yet! :)
It really is such a great exercise though! I am really interested in hearing from those who are bellydancing now, or practice with tapes-I am wanting to know, what is your favorite couple of dance moves? I love ribcage lifts and drops and I am getting pretty good at shoulder shimmies. I think hip shimmies are the hardest for me, I cna do them, but I am working on getting them up to Shakira speed...not quite there yet! :lol:

01-31-2003, 11:44 AM
I'll see if my fiance minds if i bring a picture in to work to scan. I think it sounds like great fun. I'm going to be investing in some different exercise "stuff" on payday - walking shoes, an 8lb weight, and maybe (if there's enough cash) i can get a video. I'm also wanting to see about getting a yoga video, so maybe there'll be a two-pack ;) Wishful thinking!


01-31-2003, 01:22 PM
Wow! I became interested in bellydancing a while bck, but jsut recently purchased a tape. I love it! I feel like it has opened up new opportunities for self-acceptance. :) I'm so glad I heard about it here on 3FC and that there is such a great group of people here that love bellydancing too!

01-31-2003, 08:31 PM
it really is a self-accepting dance. It does a lot for the self esteem, and it celebrates a feminine shape by emphasising the female shape, rather than the recent trend of waif models like Kate Moss, where in jeans and a tank top she looked like a 12 year old boy-denying the feminine shape by ridding herself of all feminine curves. Being thin and fit is one thing, but having absolutely no hips or breasts is another.
I am glad that you are here with us! What tape do you have? I have 4 or 5 different ones, and my classes start soon.
There is a wonderful website I would like you all to look at-it is a website of full figured bellydancers, showing larger dancers in costumes. They all look really nice. It is at www.angelfire.com/art/bbwdance/index.html
I also recommend you check out www.shira.net if you want to see another great bellydancer. She is a tall bigger boned girl-not plus sized, but bigger-a size 12 or 14 I would guess. Shehas a great site that has bellydance video reviews, costume tips, information about the history of bellydance, and anything else you could think of about bellydance. She is a great person, and I have emailed with her on occasion. Check it out!

02-01-2003, 12:41 AM
Thanks so much for your reply, I'll check out those sites. And also, thank you so much for starting this thread

02-04-2003, 12:16 AM
Hello everyone:wave:

Nice to see other people who are interested in Bellydancing!

I have been taking classes for about two years now and I love it!
I have even actually performed in public at a show :o I was really nervous but it was great!

I agree with Aphil it is a great work out and you have so much fun it doesn't even feel like exercise. I have managed to lose 2-3 inches off my butt and hips area in the past year.

The music is great too-very uplifting. The veil work is my favorite part. My class also works with Zills. I also find it very empowering.

Thanks Aphil, for sharing your information on tapes and websites.

02-04-2003, 09:50 AM
I have posted with you on numerous other threads-I had no idea you bellydanced! :D
I have been practicing zils with my videos at home, and we will be using them in later dance lessons when class starts-we will be doing veilwork first. I haven't tried it yet, but I think it is beautiful. I will be making my own veils, because buying them are way too expensive since I have a serger that can do the edging on them. If anyone wants to know how to make a standard size rectangular veil-all you need to do is to buy a piece of fabric that is 45" wide on the bolt, and buy 3 yards/9 feet of it. Then you or someone who knows how to do a rolled hem on a serger can just make an edging around it to make it look nice. You can also sew on a trim around the edge if you want to-but be careful-because you should really use a sheer fabric like chiffon or a lace that flows well/not too stiff. Then you have your veil!
I have watched two of my new tapes, and will be trying them out today-Basic Dance and Beyond Basic Dance by Veena and Neena. The Basic Dance one goes through basic moves just like The fitness one-Basic Moves-but it has a few more moves like chest undulations. It is 45 minutes long instead of 30-because the last 15 minutes they actually teach you a little dance using the movements learned. The Beyond Basic Dance is the exact same format, but it incorporates another little dance to learn at the end, and you are learning and using a few more moves that are a bit more difficult, such as hip drop kicks combinations, and new arms. They are both very nice. After these two are mastered, the third in the series, Mystic Dance-teaches some basic veilwork.
I havenot yet watched Warrior Goddess Workout with Dolphina, so I will let you know how it is later on.
I like these Veena and Neena tapes-my new ones are great for dancing and learning new moves, and my Fitness Basic Moves is great for when I want to do "drills" with movements to get them better. I HAVE noticed however, that one of the twins is a better dancer than the other. One seems to have better natural rhythm, and a more advanced form than the other-she will arch her back or shimmie her shoulders a little harder than the other, etc. I am trying to compare their introductions in the tape to them moving around, trying to figure out which one it is! :lol:
My all time favorite is still Fat Chance Bellydance, and I encourage anyone who loves bellydance to get a video of theirs. Their precision and fabulous rough, tribal style just motivates me like no other dancers. My favorite is their performance at the end of their costume and makeup video...they really make Dolphina and the twins look like amateurs-no kidding. (My husband thinks they are the sexiest women on the planet.) If any of you watch them, you will see what I mean.

02-04-2003, 07:14 PM

I love dancing with the veils - makes you feel tres sexy!:s:

I have two hip scarves and a top with beading and coins. One scarf is purple with silver coins, the other is tiger print with gold coins-Rowrrrr!:lol:

I am planning on making some veils too and a skirt. I bought some sequins in gold and silver to trim the edges.

Don't you just love the music they use in the tapes? I have several cd's and play them all the time- even just to do the housework. I find the music very uplifting. I am having some trouble with the zills though :rolleyes: I just need to pratice at home more.

Let us know how you get on at your class- when do you start?

Take care,

02-05-2003, 10:05 AM
My classes start in a couple weeks-I am excited.
If you are having trouble with zils, you can usually use the simple "right left right" rhythm in a lot of songs, and you don't have to do it the entire dance, you can use it just for accent if it makes it easier. You can practice it without your zils on to get the rhythm better. I do that a lot.
Ebay is a good place to get hips scarves cheaper than in stores if anyone wants to check it out.
I checked out Dolphina's second video-Warrior Goddess-and it has its good points and bad points. My biggest complaint about her first one was that the camera concentrated on her upper body too much when demonstrating lower body moves-well, the second video has completely rectified that-showing her entire body when she is demonstrating the moves. I also liked what she was teaching, and the music. The only thing I didn't like about it was that I really liked the lush backgrouds from the first video-it was very exotic. The second one is really lacking in background-she is standing on a white platform that has water around it, and instead of wearing the differetn gorgeous bellydance inspired attire like in the first one-she is wearing a goddesslife (her company) top that she sells on her website with yoga pants and a small hip scarf. So-in short, the workout part and camera work is good, but it is not as enchanting with the background and attire and all as the first.

02-07-2003, 11:42 AM
Hello everyone:wave:

I forgot to mention that I bought a silver cane from my teacher the other week and we have been learning a few moves with it-it is totally cool! :cool:

02-11-2003, 10:15 AM
I went to the hafla this weekend, and my classes start in two weeks. It was much fun! My instructor has has members of her troupe that are all ages, shapes, and sizes! Some of her students danced at the hafla to get their feet wet performing in front of an audience, and I was really impressed with this little girl who has only been taking class for 2 months! Her older sister is a dancer and she wanted to learn-and she danced a simple routne with her older sister. She was only about 9, and a bit on the chubby side-and you could tell at first that she was nervous-but she did a wonderful job, and even did some basic veilwork. I was so happy for her, and the instructor and her sister just hugged all over her when she was done. I am glad that I will be dancing in such a friendly, supportive environment of all types of women. :D
There were some great vendors there, selling some cool stuff. I bought a few bindis-the little jewels you wear on your forehead for only $1.50 each.
If anyone is interested in making their own veil, a good inexpensive combination is to use chiffon in the size mentioned above, and sew a seam 1/4" from the raw edge all the way around. Press it in on that seamline, and fold it in again 1/4" and pin. Sew this hem down all around and you have your raw edges sealed all around. It is really pretty easy. A good weight of trim is the single row of sequin trim that they sell for about $1.50 a roll at Wal-Mart in the fabric section. You will need 2 rolls. You just hand sew it around the edge and it is done. You have a veil for about $15 or less-just like one that is $30 or more in a store-and it takes about 2-4 hours total.
It is my bellydance and abs day today in my exercise program-and I will probably do the Goddess Workout and then 10 minutes of abs. Everyone have a great day!

02-11-2003, 05:38 PM
Hey everyone! :wave:

Aphil, you have inspired me to wipe the dust off my Neena and Veena tapes and get my butt moving :D and also to get my sewing machine going again!

02-11-2003, 09:15 PM
mauvaisroux-I am glad to be inspiring! :lol:
I am just the type that would rather take the time to make something myself if I can-because if I do, I can usually save money, and do better work. With the veil I am doing now, I am saving about half of the cost for 2-4 hours of work, and since I am picky, my seams tend to be straighter and edges finished nicer than in some store bought items.
I will tell you all though-you can make coined and beaded hip scarves for a fraction of what they cost to buy, because what you are paying for is the time to make them. Most of them have thread crocheted edging which the coins and beads are attached to-and it takes quite a while to do all of that! So-if you have time and the know how-it would save a lot and you could customize them to exactly what you want-and when your fingers are busy, it is much harder to eat! :lol: (This is one of my biggest nightime munchie avoiding tactics)
mauvais-do you have any pictures of you in bellydance attire that you could put up? I need to get my husband to take a few of me and get them up here. I think it would be very inspiring for those wanting to learn to dance to see ladies of all shapes and sizes in bellydance costumes!

02-12-2003, 08:19 PM
To be honest with you Aphil, I am a bit shy about putting up my picture :o maybe later on when I have worked up the nerve :lol:

I would love to make my own belt but finding the coins/beads and then actually having the time to do it :shrug: it would probably fall into the box with all my half started-never finished sewing projects :rolleyes:

02-19-2003, 07:59 AM
Hello everyone!
I just put up a pic of myself in tribal styled bellydance gear! It is in the general diet plans part of the forum, under the thread Doin' it the Old Fashioned Way-on page 11. I only wanted to put it up here once, to save space on the site. I hope you all take a look, and ignore the camera "red eye" that I have! I have lost 26 pounds so far, but I am still in the 180's-and I wanted to show you all that you can look great in bellydance wear no matter what your shape or size! :dizzy:

02-19-2003, 09:01 PM
Hey Aphil! I just checked out your picture-you look great! :) very sexy and exotic!

I will try to take some pics at class in the next week or two.

I have lost about 25 lbs total too and my weight goal is 145lb which puts us in the same range. I found that bellydancing helped lose some inches off my butt, hips and thighs which are the difficult parts for me to lose on- I usually lose up top and through the waist. I am finding that I am getting more toned in those areas too by dancing.

Last weekend we practiced dancing with canes in more of an egyptian folklore type dance -it was fun! We are hoping to make up a routine using the canes in the next season's class.

02-20-2003, 10:03 AM
I seem to have the same problem as you! I lose easily in my waist, face, and bust-but my hips and thighs are where I really need to work it-luckily, bellydance costumes can very well cover up those parts! :D
I can't wait to see your picture!!! I am sure you are a very sexy redhead! :o
Thanks for the compliment-I will get another one up later with the works on-coin bra and all that-and maybe get a picture up that shows my skirt and pants-I had to shrink it down and cut my lower body out of the picture!
My class starts Tuesday-I am so psyched! I cannot wait to work with canes and swords in the more advanced classes! We will start out with veils and zils this year.
You are right about it being a great lower body toner though-I really feel it in my hips and thighs after practicing shimmies-which I do a lot! I put in a middle eastern cd and try to shake it through a whole song for practice! One of my cds is called Bellydance Superstars-which is bellydance performance music favorites chosen by bellydance stars-and there is a song called "Drum Solo" which is my favorite. Very Tribal and shimmie friendly. :lol:

02-20-2003, 10:54 AM
My mom used to be a professional belly dancer when I was a kid.

Back then I was just sooooo embarassed that my mom was dancing that I never even thought of learning.

Well - now I'm interested in learning. I'm a HUGE broad though. 300 lbs so I'll be starting slow and secret and maybe when I've lost some weight I'll try taking classes.

But looking like I do now... well let's just say I don't even want to see how I look trying to learn this stuff!

I also want to build up some stamina before I try a class.

But I want to thank you all for encouraging me to take another look at this beautiful art form. And the cool thing is if I have trouble with a move I can ask my mom for help!

Now I just have to figure out which tape to start with!

P.S. - I found the Bellydance Fitness for Beginners DVD's at Amazon.com for 16.99 each (each DVD contains two of the videos). I think I'm going to order them!

Thanks again!

02-20-2003, 01:02 PM
The best one of the two Veena and Neena dvd's is the one with the Basic Moves on it-it has more bellydance basic moves-the rest has a lot of exercises incorporated into it. To better learn the dance moves-try their Discover Bellydance series-more like a dance class with actual dance moves-start with the Basic Dance and Beyond Basic Dance dvds-althought Amazon did have a special on the 3 dvd set the last time I looked. Very good for learning the basics, and it teaches a choreographed dance in each one. :)

02-20-2003, 01:29 PM
I ordered the "Bellydance Fitness for Beginners - Basic Moves & Fat Burning" and "Discover Bellydance" DVD's.

I really appreciate the input! I wouldn't have known where to begin otherwise!

02-20-2003, 02:05 PM
Carole- that is so cool that your mom was a belly dancer!

Good luck with your tapes, I think you will have fun doing this :)

Thanks for the encouragement Aphil- have fun at your class!

02-20-2003, 02:17 PM
want to know a little surprise I have up my sleeve that sort of incorporates bellydancing? Some of you on these boards know that my husband and I are Star Wars geeks-and I do movie replica costumes for sci-fi/fantasy type movies such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings...well they have huge costume contests at a lot of these sci-fi conventions that I always enter-and for a very special one in two years-I have a great costume idea that I am going to do. Do any of you remember the green colored slave dancer that Jabba the Hutt had? With the two tentacle looking tails coming off of her head, and the scant bellydancerish attire that she wore? I am going to do one of these for a con in 2005-it will probably take me about that long to make this one! :lol: Some of my costuming friends are really excited about this one! I figure I can shed a few more pounds and be in good enough shape by then to perform a dance at the contest as part of my act.
So-this will be like my biggest upcoming bellydance performance in front of an audience. The last contest of this type that I entered had some great SW celebrities and behind the scenes people there watching. What an incentive to tone up my butt!!!!
clkchef-mauvaisroux is right. I think whether or not you end up getting serious and taking a class later on and performing someday, or just tie on a hip scarf and shimmy around your living room with your videos-you will have a great time doing this. It is really a fun and sensual dance-and looks good on all shapes and sizes of girls. Did you check out the website I mentioned above nearer to the beginning of this thread? The one of full figured bellydancers? If not, check it out. These girls look great. My mom-who would never dance in front of anyone even has fun coming over now and then just to do one of the tapes with me-I lend her one of my fringe or coin scarves, and we have a blast together!

02-21-2003, 11:15 AM
Hey Aphil, speaking of cons...are you and your hubby going to Gencon in July?

That last Star Wars Celebration was a blast- I am hoping to be at the next one too.

I am actually working at a con in London England in April -should be fun!

I have always wanted to wear my belly dance outfit to one on the cons as I have seen a few others there in costumes they made. Your idea for the green dancer sounds amazing!

02-21-2003, 12:42 PM
What is the date and location of GenCon this year? I have been so busy making things and working out, that I haven't checked. You are free to pm me about the con stuff since it is very likely we will get off topic. ;)
My Valentine's day present came yesterday from my husband. He ordered me a SWEET tribal style hip belt. It is made up of a black braided rope type of material, and it has cowry shells woven into the belt all around, and there are silver bells and authentic old silver colored middle eastern coins hanging all along the bottom. It also has small cowry shells and bells hanging from the ties. It is VERY COOL, and pretty heavy for the size. I have some stuff like hip scarves and such withe the fake costume type coins on it-but I wanted something authentic and old looking for my tribal costume. :D For my more "mainstream" bellydance costume, he ordered me a pair of sheer black harem pants, and a black velvet hip scarf with silver coins-the lesser expensive brighter type of coins that are on most hip scarves. It was like Christmas when the mail came. :lol: Although, unless I get a solid color skirt, or a much more toned rear end-I don't think I am going to be wearing the sheer see through pants for anyone but him! :lol:
I am counting the days until my class starts! (4) I am really excited!
I am also really interested in hearing about all of everyone's progress-what moves are their favorites, what they are learning now in class or video-what move if any they are having trouble with, and what cool little trinkets they may be buying! Speak up everyone!
The move I am having trouble with is shimmies. I am getting faster, but it is hard for me to keep a steady rhythm going for a while. They are fun though! I am also having a bit of trouble with belly rolls! (these are only taught in a few videos out there-not in any of the Veena and Neena videos I have) if anyone has any helpful hints or suggestions, I would be glad to hear it-and I would be glad to help out with any moves anyone else has trouble with that I can do more easily.

02-23-2003, 11:06 PM
Aphil- Gencon is being held in Indiannapolis this year at the same convention centre that the Star Wars Celebration was at.
I think the dates are on the 3rd or 4th week in July but I will have to check on that and get back to you and will PM you on that.

Back to Belly dancing! :lol: The move I have the most trouble with is the "Camel". It has become my nemesis move :mad: I will conquer it someday soon :)

One of my fave moves is in the veil work where you are holding your veil above your head so that it drapes in front of your face and you only see your nose and eyes-very cheeky and come hither ;) Chest cirlces are fun too but a bit tough - I should have abs of steel in a few months :lol:

Aphil, your belt sounds gorgeous! What a great gift from your DH!

What music does everyone listen/practice to? I am always on the look out for new music and would appreciate any sugestions.

One of my favorite artists is Natacha Atlas.

02-24-2003, 08:36 AM
Hello everyone!
I am counting the hours-my class starts tomorrow night! :D
Some of my favorite music to practice to at home...hmmm....well, I have the cd Bellydance Superstars-the one of performance music chosen by bellydance stars like Veena and Neena, Rania, etc. and there is a song I really like called "Drum Solo" on that disc. There are a few others I like on there too.
I also like the cd from the Goddess Workout by Dolphina. The cd is all of the music from the workout. It isn't real exciting, no big tempo changes or riveting drum solos-but smooth, even tribal beats in most of the tracks...really good when you need a steady tempo to practice moves with at home that you are trying to master...I also like the cd that goes with the Fat Chance Belly Dance instruction videos...because of the same thing. You can pick it up at www.fcbd.com.
If you need something "funky" I like Oojami. It is more like bellydance music given to a rave techno deejay.
As far as practicing to "regular music" some songs that I think have great beats for bellydance is No Doubt's "Hellagood" and a lot of stuff by Shakira.
BTW...yeah...the camel. I would have to say that while I am having trouble with shimmies...I like to do them more than the camel. Nemesis move is right! :lol:

02-25-2003, 02:06 PM
Hello Ladies, thought I'd let everyone know that I just attended my first bellydancing class and it was alot of fun...hard work - yes, but fun.

I was so worried about my weight (211) so I called the instructor and she reassured me that anyone who can move, can do this. When I went to the class, it was true . About 25 women all sizes, shapes, and ages came together. All of us beginners so there was alot of laughs.

I decided to take the class because it was something I've always wanted to do and the local college offered it.

I encourage everyone who is interested in taking a class to just do it!!

02-25-2003, 03:15 PM
I was exactly 211 pounds just a few months ago in August...do not be self conscious-just learn all you can in your lessons and have a great time with all of your new friends in class. Bellydance is a great exercise-if you continue to take class and practice at home...your weight will start to come off before you know it. I am so glad you have joined us!

02-27-2003, 09:21 AM
Hello everyone!
My first class went very well Tuesday night! We have a large class-about 20-25 ladies-and there were alla ges, shapes, races, and sizes.
Our first class consisted of sort of an orientation of what we will be learning in the 14 week class-she had it laid out very nicely. What I really liked was that instead of just throwing on a cd and teaching us some moves, she is teaching us different aspects of the dance-like in this 14 week beginners class, we will be learning 3 different common Middle Eastern dance rhythms, basic veilwork, and moves that go well with each of the 3 rhythms we are learning. Since I have a lot of videos and use them a lot, I know a lot fof the moves we will be learning-so it is nice to know that I will be learning other things as well.
The first class, and our next-we are learning the "beledi" rhythm and some moves to go with it. She took out a tribal drum and played it for us, and then played a couple of beledi songs while we learned the moves. I thought that this way of teaching will really help you later when trying to choreograph routine of your own, etc. We did some basic warm-ups for bellydancing, and did large hip circles, 3/4 shimmies, and basic Egyptian. Basic Egyptian is actually one of the moves I have a little trouble with-wouldn't you know that would be one of her first to teach! :lol: I love 3/4 shimmies though! We also worked on the basic bellydance posture/stance before we learned the moves, and I was so happy-when she told us all what to do and walked around the class-I didn't get corrected! :D I also found that I was able to hold the basic posture and do 3/4 shimmies and arm warm-ups longer than some of the thinner girls...I will chalk that up to my practicing and weight training. It is good to know that even though I may be heavier, I had more stamina and better posture. :D
We will be starting "bolero" music and veilwork in weeks 3 and 4 of class. Yay!

02-27-2003, 07:27 PM
Hey Rejoicee- good for you! Sounds like you had a lot of fun! I have women of different ages and sizes in my class as well. I think that it is one of the great things about belly dancing -anyone can do it :) and I don't feel as self concious as I do at the gym.

Aphil- your class sounds great - I love doing veil work. One time my class ( this one time at belly dance camp...:lol: ) was doing a free form dance with zills and we all ended up in a cirle facing each other- it was amazing how our energies just played off each other! Very empowering!

I have started doing the Neena and Veena tapes again, I had forgotten how good I felt after doing them :)

02-28-2003, 10:01 AM
"this one time at belly dance camp...." :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
That was just what I needed first thing in the morning.
I may have a vendor opportunity dealing with bellydance! A friend of mine does gorgeous tie-dyeing-and wouldn't you know it, on silk fabric...well, she has made some of the most gorgeous silk bellydance veils I have ever seen. She is making one up for me in greens and teals-and I am taking it to class when it is done-and if my teacher approves, she said I am welcome to offer them to sale in my class, and permission to go to her more advanced classes and troupe and offer them as well-and at the haflas we have twice a year. It is sortof a joint project-she is doing the dyeing, and I will be doing the rolled hem around the edges.
My veil I have now is chiffon, and they are nice, but silk veils are the best.They are so light, and they ripple in the air when you move, almost like they defy gravity-and to get tie-dyed ones at a decent price is almost unheard of. Every website I have seen has them at $60 plus...plain silk veils average at $30 plus...but they are SO dreamy...if anyone wants to see pics of mine or any info on them you can pm me...since we are not allowed to get into that here on 3FC. I can't wait to dance with mine...it is SO gorgeous. It has dark forest green at one edge, and a darker teal at the other edge, and a lighter pale blue in the middle...it is so beautiful. YUM.
We start zills in the next 14 week course-I think it is called "continuing bellydance", and then after that is the intermediate course, and then the advanced/performance type course-and then I guess if you are good enough she can have you join the troupe. You can continue to take the advanced course as long as you like if you are not a troupe member, because you do choreography to different songs, and it is not always the same old setup like in the basics course to teach you in the beginning.
I did my basic dance Veena and Neena tape yesterday...and my 4 year old daughter was hiding back behind me doing it as well-I could see her in the reflection of the glass door in the entertainment center. She actually did well with a few of the moves for being 4! I may have to start teaching her some moves in a year or so...and make her a min-veil-like 2 yards or something like that. :)
Well, I best get out of here-I need to have breakfast and get my exercise in!
ps-mauvais-Jason got his stormtrooper armor kit in this week!

03-04-2003, 01:26 AM
This is interesting, I was just looking at the schedule from my local community education courses and there's a bellydancing class less than a mile from me! I am going to sign up and have some fun. it's only $24 for 1 1/2 hour lessons once a week for 8 weeks. Another way to try videos is to check them out from your local library. I've found several that way and should have them in a couple of days. It's great to find another kind of dance that doesn't require a partner. 10 years ago I got into line dancing (remember "Achy Breaky Heart"?), competitions and the whole bit but haven't done any other dancing since then, feeling too fat for ballet or some such. Bellydancing sounds just the ticket:cb:

03-04-2003, 09:40 AM
Welcome KimmyKat! Since you mentioned videos at the library-I do have a suggestion to newbies doing videos-do NOT rent or buy "Bellydancing for Fun and Fitness" by Janine Rabbitt! I have this video, and have also read a lot of reviews on it. Janine is a very sweet lady who really loves bellydance, but she has bad form-feet too far apart, bad posture-slouching, and her arm movements are VERY stiff-not flowing. If you already know how to bellydance, you can pick out a few good points in this vidoe, such as basic zills playing and veil-but for a beginner I am afraid that someone might copy her movements and posture-which are terrible.
I have lost 3 pounds this past week! :cb:
I have been doing my regular workout schedule-2 days of strength training, 1 day of Pilates, 2 days of yoga, and 2 days of bellydancing-one at home, and one in class-BUT-I have added about 10-15 minutes of "freestyle" bellydance on my non-dance days...I just play some Middle Eastern or drum music for about 3 songs-and just practice movements from class and shimmies, etc. to the music. It is really burning the butter!
As sensual and free as I feel when I dance...this is a fabulous exercise-let's not forget that!

03-06-2003, 07:20 PM
My second class on Tuesday night went well...we still used to beledi rhythm, practiced some more on our basic Egyptian move, and added in the 3/4 shimmy-in both tribal style and cabaret/egyptian style. We also started working on some basic choo-choos to the side, and camels/basic Arabic...ugh. Mauvais-I can totally understand your "unlove" for the camels...The feet I can get...it is getting the little undulation in there WHILE I am doing the feet. :lol:
This next week we are starting veilwork...with a bolero rhythm. Yippee...I can't wait. I have a great black chiffon veil with silver metallic stripes, and a great silk veil with green/teal tie dye...which do I want to try first?!! I can't decide!
I did the Veena and Neena fitness Basic Moves today for practice-it is the easiest of all my videos...I wanted to take it a bit easy today, as I have MAJOR cramps. :^:
I found another great site for some costumes and accessories...it is www.dahlal.com. They have an awesome selection of hip scarves, zils, swords, etc. and they have some awesome full performance costumes-from more demure dance dresses that cover more, to the fancy beaded bra tops and matching accessories...they even have a section of plus sized costumes. Even if you never plan on performing, it is nice to take a look through them and drool. :lol:

03-08-2003, 10:13 PM

I peeked in a while back when this thread was just starting and became very interested in Bellydance videos. Today I was in Target to buy my Miss Meringe cookies and decided to look at videos. I picked up the 'Bellydance Fitness for Beginners: Basic Moves' by Veena and Neena. I am looking forward to trying it. I love doing my Walk Away the Pounds tapes but I also want a little variety and I think the tape is just what I need :-)! Thanks for starting this thread. DM

Holli's Human
03-08-2003, 11:45 PM
Hi all, I just read some of the posts on this forum and decided to go online to one of the websites and order the neena veena basic tape to try. You all make it sound great!

I also did a search and found classes with the community like someone above mentioned that are 8 weeks, under a mile away from me for 20 bucks! The only problem is they start Monday and I'm afraid the class is already full...but I will call MOnday.

I too need some variety. I usually walk outside, and just started the WATP video (2 miles). It'd be nice to do this class on Monday nites tho, and all of you seem to like the videos.

I usually post on Fresh Start but will be checking in here from time to time too.

Thanks for the thread! :wave:

03-09-2003, 12:25 PM
Hello everyone!
Welcome all of the newbies! I am glad that this thread is starting to get such interest! I truly think that the Basic Moves tape by Veena and Neena is the perfect introsuction to bellydance for quite a few reasons...it isn't TOO difficult, it teaches a few basic dance moves, and the rest is exercises that strenghten the muscles used in bellydance, and it teaches isolations/single movements that will help you learn how to control your body movement in ways you are not used to.
Bellydance is a dance of control, and sometimes it may feel akward to move your chest or hips in a way that you do not normally-with the isolated moves in this video, it is getting you used to moving this way-so when you advance in videos, or start a class-you understand the moves more and already are used to the feeling of that type of movement.
My class starts veilwork on Tuesday, and I am really excited about it!

03-09-2003, 07:12 PM
Welcome Daisy and Holli :wave:

I have the Neena and Veena videos too, although they are more fitness tapes than dance, I really enjoy the workout.

You said it Aphil! the key word is control :lol: But when you do get that control - darn it feels good:D

Speaking of which we were practicing the "camel" move in my class this week as well as chest undulations and belly rolls - I will have abs of steel by the end of this! I went out on Saturday afternoon to buy a cropped top so I could actually see where my muscles (or where they are supposed to be :rolleyes: ) are supposed to be moving. I usually wear a t-shirt at class but found that I couldn't quite get the moves down and thought that actually being able to see my belly and rib cage might help me figure out the movements better.

You will love the veil work, it feels amazing! It is one of my favorite parts of dancing.

03-09-2003, 09:17 PM

Did the Basic Moves this morning. I like it, it works several parts of my body. It will take a long time before I am very good at bellydancing but thats OK with me.

Its kind of funny, I was following along with the tape, doing what I could and then they are going to the floor and I thought 'What type of bellydancing do you do on the floor?' but it was already time to doing the stretching at the end, the time went so fast.

I plan on switching between this tape and my 2 mile Walk Away the Pounds tape. DM

03-10-2003, 11:20 AM
Hello everyone!
I made it to the 30 pound loss mark this morning! Wow...30 pounds of me totally gone now!
Mauvaisroux-didn't you say a while back that you had a leopard print hip scarf? I have come across something rather FABULOUS-I think there is a possibility you may be interested in it. pm me and I'll tell you about it. :D
I have the same "unwillingness" as of yet to wear a choli in class, but rather than wear a t-shirt, I wear a dance leotard with some low rise stretchy athletic pants over it. They are kindof like leggings, but lower on the hip and the legs flare a bit. The top is so that my tummy is covered and it holds it in a bit, but tight enough so that the teacher can see my ribcage and I can see myself in the mirror a little better. It helps. Check out any online dance supply place for a basic one, or maybe one of those stretchy type tank tops.

03-12-2003, 01:32 PM
Congratulations on the 30 lbs Aphil! :cp: :hat: that is amazing!

:chin: I don't know why I feel so self conscious about wearing a crop top in class, there are women there bigger than me who do. :shrug: I guess it is because I am just used to hiding in my clothes to cover the bits I am not happy with and old habits die hard. But I bought that top and now I am gonna wear it! :)

What is a "choli"?

DaisyMaisy- sometimes in my class we go down on one knee on the floor or kneel on both knees and shimmee our sholders back down to the floor until the back of our heads touch the floor but that's all I have done regarding floor work.

Holli- did you manage to get in to that class?

03-12-2003, 02:17 PM
A choli is a half top, usually form fitting at least around the ribcage (so it won't come up when you move) for bellydance. If you go to some online bellydance shops it will usually describe these half tops as a "choli." There are different styles, some are stretchy like stretch velvet or cotton/lycra that you can pull on over your head, and others like for the popular tribal style costume, have a completely open back-you put your arms through and it ties around your neck and in the back like a string bikini.
We did veilwork in class last night-basic veil moves and then "barrel rolls" with partners and two veils. They are really pretty when executed correctly. We also worked on figure-8 hips, and reviewed moves taught in earlier classes-and did a little bit of choreography with the veil moves and other moves that we had learned earlier.
I came home from class and showed my 4 year old daughter my veil moves-she LOVED it.
My teacher is having me help with making her troupe costumes-she is wanting a wrap closure choli, with 3/4 length sleeves, and a sheer chiffon flounce at the end of the sleeves, and a straight stretch velvet skirt with slits on either side right above the knee-plus a hip scarf-all in jewel tones like wine, navy, forest green, etc.
Oh BTW-another pound down now-31 gone!

03-13-2003, 07:39 AM
Hi everyone, I have enjoyed reading the posts so far. I will be taking my first bellydancing class ever this coming Tuesday and I'm so excited about it! I was intrigued to find out that there are a LOT of bellydancing fanatics here in Utah, there is even a national festival here in August! I just wanted to say *hi* for now, happy dancing...

Holli's Human
03-13-2003, 10:11 PM

Well, I did not get into the class, but I think I will try for the next one. I did check out the Neena Veena tapes from the Library, (still waiting for the basic I ordered to come in.) I liked the basic one. It's the only one I've had time to watch so far. It is indeed a little awkward. I think I might like trying this first on my own before trying the classes. I'm gonna try to really get into this weekend and am pretty excited about it!

Are those tops yall are talking about like the onces the twins wear in the basic video, the purple close fitting crop tops? I like them and was wondering where you'd purchase them.

Hope everyone is doing well!

03-14-2003, 05:57 AM
Hello everyone!

I just found this thread tonight and wanted to say hi. I've been taking classes for 8 months now and I absolutely love it!!! :dancer: I have moved up to the intermediate class (couldn't move up before the end of last year because of our performance) and it is even better now. Totally exhausting, but great!! I had my class on Tuesday and my abs are still sore. We did heaps of camels and belly rolls because our new dance involves a LOT of them. :lol:

I didn't know that there were videos available for bellydancing I'm going to have to see if there are any around here.

I have already learned a fair bit from you ladies and I would like to learn more about bellydancing and its origins, does anyone know any good websites or books?

Aphil - congratulations on the 31 pounds!!! That is awesome!!!


03-14-2003, 09:35 AM
Hi everyone!
Welcome newbies! The tops that Veena and Neena wear vary a bit depending on what video it is-in the fitness for beginners series of tapes they wear cropped athletic tops that you could find in a sporting goods store. In the beginning of the Discover Bellydance series-Basic Dance, Beyond Basic Dance, and Mystic Dance-where they introduce themselves-they are wearing a type of costume type bellydance vest. A "choli" is more of a sleeved half top-either with short, long, or 3/4 length sleeves that is either made of a stretchy material like a lycra blend or stretch velvet that you pullover your head, or of a non stretch material that either ties in the back or wraps. The best way to see what I mean is to visit soem bellydance costume or supply websites and see what they have listed as a choli. :)
As far as origins of the dance-I will tell you a little bit. Bellydance never started in the harems as a seductive dance for some sultan. It started out as a dance of celebration for women-usually at a wedding, engagement, birth of a baby, etc. Men and women traditoinally held their own celebrations for these events in same sex groups-so it was a dance the women did together. Some say it actually started as a dance for an expecting mother. It was supposed to help the women have an easy labor and delivery. In some places it has been considered sacred and men are not allowed to touch a woman dancing.
There are two main separations of bellydance-what is usually called "Cabaret" or the more traditional Middle Eastern style of oriental dance, or what developed in the 1960's called "American Tribal Style" bellydance. Veena and Neena do the traditional style of cabaret, which is usually done with a single performer-or in their case together-and they wear the traditional type of bellydance costumes. The American Tribal style incorporates bellydance moves with some dance moves from other countries and tribes, and while using the basic naval bearing costume, has incorporated costuming elements that are more tribal or earthy in the look. It was started in the SanFransico area in the 60's, but Carolena Nericcio-a student of the original starter of tribal style, made it more popular with her well know troupe "Fat Chance Belly Dance" in the 1980's-they are still very popular today. Tribal style is also more geared towards women dancing in a group together-and not a single performer.
My teacher teaches what is called "Tribal Fusion" which is a blend of both styles. Her troupe performs both traditional and tribal style routines. My teacher learned from an instructor who learned from the original starter of the tribal style in San Francisco.
You have seen the traditional costumes at the end of the Veena and Neena Videos-if you are unfamiliar with tribal style and want to see their costumes, etc. go to www.fcbd.com and take a look at Fat Chance's website.
As far as buying a choli or bellydance accessories-if you want low cost-try Aliah's closet at www.aliahscloset.com, if you want more of a professional type gear, or some really nice zils, or even a unitard with a see through belly portion for practice or class you can shop at www.dahlal.com-and finally, if you want a china silk veil rather than a basic chiffon, you can either send me a personal message or shop online at www.naharisv.com.
If you want more detailed information on the origins of bellydance, you can go to www.shira.net. She has a lot of great information there!
Have a great day everyone!

03-14-2003, 10:12 AM
Hi ladies!

I'm new to this board but wanted to say "HI" and say thanks for the belly-dancing information.

I have considered this form of cardio before.

How cool!!!


03-16-2003, 05:15 AM
Hi Aphil

Thanks so much for the info, I'll be checking out those links.

Jayne :D

03-16-2003, 12:28 PM
WHERE did you get that picture of me to use as your avatar?:lol:

I "dabbeled" at belly dancing but want to do it "full force" so to speak. I have Veena and Neena tapes but really want more instruction on the belly moves. I too am looking for my muscles !:eek:

At one point in time I found a site where this women "described" what to do but now I can't find it again. Aphil, do you happen to know of such a site?

03-16-2003, 02:22 PM
Do you mean that you are wanting instruction on advanced moves for the belly alone? A lot fo bellydance videos do not teach "belly rolls" because of their difficulty, and the fact that a lot of teachers do not do them well enough to instruct them on video. The video that I would recommend for teaching belly rolls is the basic video by Fat Chance Belly Dance. It is a tribal bellydance video-so it is a different type of dance than Veena and Neena, but Carolena teaches and executes belly rolls very well. If you are wanting to dance full force I would suggest that you try to find an instructor-like I said before, try to look for one at www.shira.net.
If you were not referring to belly rolls-could you describe in a little more detail what website you were talking about, or what moves it is that you are wanting to learn? For gaining more toned muscles, I would reccomend that you dance a few days a week with a class and/or videos, and that you add a weight training routine to your workouts 2x a week like I do. If you need any help, just let me know and I can help you out!

03-16-2003, 04:23 PM
Yep - belly rolls.

I live in a rural area - nearest town has 300 people and you can trust me on this - NONE of them belly dance!!!!!

From Veena and Neena I liked where they showed how to drop your hip and raise your hip. I would have never believed the move was different until I did it with them on the video. Otherwise I feel the video I have of theirs is more just an exercise video, which is okay but I was interested in actually learning the belly dancing "moves" and dancing the night away so to speak.

Thanks for your help, Aphil.

03-16-2003, 08:51 PM
have you ever heard of Suzanna Del Vecchio and what is your opinion?

03-18-2003, 03:28 PM
LLB-I live in a small town as well, so my class is about a 40 minute drive away-to the nearest bigger city. If you are truly interested in finding an instructor-why don't you pm me with your city and state, and I will see what I can do about finding you a class! ;)
Yes, I have heard of Suzanna Del Vecchio-but I have never seen her perform or a video of hers if she has one. If you have the Veena and Neena Basic Moves Fitness for Beginners video-this IS more of an exercise video-if you want an actual dance video that teaches a bit of choreography, try their Discover Bellydance "Basic Dance" video-this may be more what you have in mind. :D Another video that is great for beginners is called "Magical Motion" by Atea. It is a pretty standard basic bellydance instruction video-showing most basic moves-you may like this one as well.

03-19-2003, 09:21 AM
Class was great last night...I actually got up in the front row in class, rather than in the back row. I decided to choose wanting to see my teacher move more closely over modesty! ;)
It was great, we had a vendor from Dahlal International come in after with a ton of hip scarves, etc. and I brought veils, so we all had a little shopping excursion afterwards...nothing like combining two of my loves! :lol:

03-19-2003, 09:33 PM

This is Suzanna Del Vecchio site. I have to admit I like her "look".

I may invest in one of her video's. I will practice with what I have for awhile first.

03-20-2003, 10:10 AM
These videos are "drill" tapes for more advanced dancers. (Practice tapes for pros) these are videos geared more towards dancers, rather than the general public. I would really recommend that you try to find a class before attempting these-it is really important to get the correct posture down and proper execution of more basic moves. It is very easy to bend you knees wrong, or have your back tilted a bit, and with the more advanced moves comes the possibility of injury-we don't want that. (Right now I am picturing someone on their knees on the floor, lying back with their head on the floor and their knees under them for floorwork, and then not being able to get up!)
I would say practice for a while with the easier ones, gain strength, gain flexibility, and carefully watch posture-I don't actually think Veena and Neena have the best posture. They have their rear end tucked a bit, and their chests lifted, but they don't bend their knees enough and their feet need to be a little closer together at times-even the pros can compromise posture, that is something that is very important for best movement and to avoid injury.
On a lighter note, we are getting patterns ordered, and I am getting measurements for the girls in the troupe, for their new costumes I am making. I will definitely get pics up here when they are finished.

03-20-2003, 08:19 PM
Thanks, can't wait for the pictures.:)

03-22-2003, 06:45 PM

I am not getting time to do the basic moves tape as much as I would like to. The floor work is stretching at the end, the time goes so fast when I am doing the tape. I don't think I will ever be able to shimmy as fast as the twins do but I enjoy doing what I can LOL. DM

03-22-2003, 06:48 PM

I don't have any real exercise clothing so I wear an exercise bra and a pair of pull on knit shorts. I am doing this early in the morning and my feeling is if anyone looks in my window that time of day they deserve to see me in an exercise bra LOL. DM

03-22-2003, 11:33 PM
Shimmies take a while to get...but you will be able to do them after a while no problem! The key with a lot of bellydance moves that can be done at different speeds, is that the faster you do it, the smaller the actual movement becomes. When you do shoulder shimmies in slower motion, you do the shoulder "punches" but when you speed it up the movements are smaller-not going as far forward and back, and smoother-you do them more loosely. Hip shimmies are the same way...when you speed them up, you stay loose, and do not bend/straighten you legs so much-smaller movement, and quicker.
Last week in class we did Chiftatelli rhythm...this week in class we are taking all of our basic moves we have learned thus far and putting them together into a small piece. It will be very basic, but it should be fun. I am really enjoying it all so much...most of my female friends are "online" or long distance-communicating through snail mail, email, and telephone-and it feels great to be making some new friends with a similar interest-as well as doing something that makes me feel beautiful and feel better about my body. :)
Mauvais-since you dabble in sewing a little, I found a resource for a great wrap half top-very easy to make, and it can be used for class or performance, it is at www.darkthreads.com and she has a pattern for an easy wrap top...there is no cutting of a paper pattern! The shapes are very simple, and you just use a sewing marking pencil to draw the shapes right on the fabric with a ruler...pinning the pattern the the fabric is the part I dislike most about sewing anyway...it really cuts that step! It can be altered to fit all sizes...a lot of girls in my school use this pattern, and so far it looks great on everyone!
Well, I need to get going...gotta get the dishes finished and hit the sack...
ps-Daisy, I feel exactly the same way...Jason gets mad at me for leaving the blinds open a lot when I exercise, or walk through in a robe-I am not nude, but if someone is windowpeeking-they won't be doing it again after seeing me! :lol:

03-23-2003, 08:00 PM
Thanks for the helpful comments on the shimmies, I'll try to stay lose.
I must really like belly dancing, I was at work for a couple hours today and I had the radio on pretty loud (good thing I was the only one there), well I was standing up reading and realized I was doing small circles with my hips LOL (very glad I was the only one there). DM

03-24-2003, 10:29 AM
Hi everyone!
I was practicing with my zils/finger cymbals this weekend when the kids were around, and my son (who isn't even 2) later started doing motions with his hands that looked like zil playing when he heard some music on television...it was so cute! :lol:
Daisy, I can totally relate to the dancing when inappropriate...I am also guilty of listening to the radio and picking out songs that are "modern" that would be good to bellydance to-so far I think Hellagood by No Doubt would make a great Tribal fusion dance number...it just has that beat, you know.
I have a new favorite cd...it is called Bellydance Breakbeats-the artists name is Oojami. It is a cd of Middle Eastern and various tribal styled music, pumped up with a techno/raver music type remixes-it is awesome, and makes me think of fire eaters and other exotic things...

03-24-2003, 11:15 PM
DaisyMaisy-:lol: too funny about the early morning peekers!

I do the same thing with music. I will be sitting with friends in an Indian restaurant waiting for our food to arrive and listening to the music the Indian music over the pa system and I suddenly find my shoulders shimmying in time to the music and think "Hey this would be great to belly dance to!" :lol: My friends think I am nuts :dizzy:

Aphil- I do the same thing with modern music too! I love the song " I can't stand the rain" by Missy Elliot and belly dance to it! That and Prince's "Seven". Some of the Tea Party's music has a middle eastern flavor to it too and I even managed to do some moves to a Nine Inch Nails song :cool: I have a fun cd called Arabic DJ #10 that I dance to a lot - it has dance remixes of middle eastern and club music.

I accidentaly bought some fabric this weekend :rolleyes: I went shopping after class on Saturday with my dance teacher and another student since there was a big sale on at one of the local stores. Sigh....I haven't even started making my veil with the last lot of fabric I bought. But I did get a beautiful shimmery silver gauze fabric with tiny embroidered vines and leaves on it for $3.74/metre which was originally $18.99/metre so I could not pass it up- and it will go with my purple and silver coin belt :) not that I am sitting here trying to justify my purchases or anything :lol:

03-25-2003, 10:39 AM
I have the Prince cd with Seven on it...I remember the video having belydancers in it, and it having a bit of zils in the music...I also have the old Tina Turner version of "I Can't Stand The Rain" and it would be good to dance to as well...and we must be on the same wavelength-I dance to NIN too! :o Woa...
The dance troupe has added one more costume that I will need to sew...we are getting the patterns in the mail in a few days-and I believe we are going shopping for fabric and notions this weekend so I can get started.
Mauvais-I have to jusitify my purchases all of the time when I go to the fabric store...I have stuff for bellydance wear, costumes, regular clothes, stuff to make for the kids, quilting stuff...I actually have organizers separating all of my patterns by number like in the store! :lol:
Class is tonight-I will let you all know how it goes!

03-28-2003, 12:19 AM
Yeah, well now I have big plans to recover my boring old plain white lampshades with a gauzy fabric and feather boas to make some totally sexy lamps-umm....yeah in my copious amounts of free time :lol:

03-28-2003, 10:20 AM
mauvais-I don't seem to have free time in quantity either-it is mostly in small 15 minute or half an hour increments-so most of my sewing and crafting is done in short spurts...unless I am on a deadline, and that is when I stay up late at night for many nights in a row. I was actually awake the entire night before the costume contest at CII-finishing the last of the long beaded strands on my Amidala headress...and using Aqua Net and a comb to get the hair at the top to stiffen up into the "fan shpe" (Well that's it, I just let one of my secrets out! :lol: When I worked in the salon business, I preached about how bad Aqua Net was for anyone's hair...what I should have done is do a presentation with that headress..."See, if it can make a sideways mowhawk that lasts for hours without budging once...how good can that be for your REAL hair?" :lol:
Class went great this past week-we are learning class choregoraphy, and it has veilwork in the first part...then we throw them off and really get going. Very fun. Love veilwork.

03-28-2003, 11:55 PM
:lol: Aquanet-makes you feel like you can break off a piece of your hair, doesn't it?

I used to have a rockabilly type "do" in the 80's and used Joico Ice Mist to keep it up. We used to call it liquid cement - your hair would stay up for 3 days straight!

03-29-2003, 10:24 AM
That is some heavy stuff!!! :lol:

03-30-2003, 08:59 AM
Although I was in college in the middle 80's I mostly did the curlie perms that made me look like I had poodle hair. I don't do perms anymore but if I can't do it with a blow dryed I don't do it... DM

03-31-2003, 12:17 AM
I remember those perms :rolleyes: I actually had one too!

I am trying to grow my hair out so it looks better with my dance outfit -:lol: how lame is that??? My life is starting to revolve around my bellydancing :dizzy: oh, well, there are worse things I could be addicted too :D

03-31-2003, 10:14 AM
Okay I have tons and tons of fabric taking over my house now...we went to the fabric store, and decided on different fabric. We are still doing the same style-straight skirts with side slits, hip sashes, and the srap tops with the split sleeves. Here is the color scheme:
2 girls-tops and sashes-dark brown with metallic gold vine print
skirts and sleeve linings-gold liquid lame
2 girls-tops and sashes-black with silver metallic vine print
skirts and sleeve linings-liquid silver lame
2 girls-tops and sashes-white with silver metallic vine print
skirts and sleeve linings-metallic white liquid lame
I cut the sashes last night, and will hem them all today...then start on the harder stuff. These are going to look great!
Mauvais...my hair is short-like Jamie Lee Curtis or Halle Berry short, and I can't stand it long-so for fancy costumes I am going to rely on turbans for tribal, fancy hair kerchiefs dressed up with beads or coins for cabaret, or those min turban style headbands that come with some costumes....
ps-another pound down to 179...I just kissed the 180's goodbye!

04-01-2003, 07:51 PM
Aphil- those fabrics sound gorgeous- I bet those costumes turn out amazing! Post some pics when you can, I would love to see the finished products :)

My hair never gets past shoulder length although I used to dream of having waist length hair. I gave up on that long ago. My hair just gets ratty looking if it gets past my shoulders and I get mad and cut it off :lol: I have had really short hair before too and it suited me as well. I love that Halle Berry look!

Well, I'm off to practice my dancing now that hubby is out of the house for the evening. I never get any peace to practice when he is around :lol:

04-03-2003, 06:48 PM
Hi! I'm new to bellydancing, have 'the twins' videos--and I'm loving it! I never thought I could like my belly so much!:lol:

I really wanted to chime in about the short hair. Mine is ultra short and it doesn't quite look right with my dancing togs--so I always do up some kind of turban affair. Just goes with the costume better!

And I'm guilty of unconscious dancing too. There are worse things! I'm really enjoying this thread and am ready to come out of lurkdom. Great information!

04-05-2003, 09:23 PM

I always have short hair and I plan on going even shorter for the summer. Maybe even do a different color :-). DM

04-06-2003, 12:38 PM
I love belly dancing. I used to do it a few years ago, but then stopped due to rather stupid reasons. Now I'm doing again, and I absolutely love it. Everything from the music to the sensual moves to the way I can isolate and flex every muscle in my body is incredible! If I had more money I would take classes, but that will have to wait until I'm done with school and get a job that gets me above the poverty level. For now I'm going to keep shaking what God gave me, and enjoy doing it.

I'm also a GenCon goer, although I don't think I'll be able to make all four days, as it moved from my city to Indianapolis this year, and I just don't have the $150 a night for the hotel stay. I'll probably go on whichever day is fantasy day (used to be Saturdays), and just enjoy myself as much as I can!

I have long hair, and it drives me nuts occasionally, but it's good for dancing. I know women who use beautiful weaves and extensions, so you could always do that if you wanted the temporary look of a long flowing mane.


04-06-2003, 04:09 PM
Peekaboo-where did you get your avatar picture? I have been looking for a bellydancing avatar-something like a dancer or a genie, and haven't been able to find one yet!
I love the cons...I am working on my husband's stromtrooper armor, along with the bellydance costumes I am doing...then it is on to costumes for ME....(moohoowahahahahaha....devilish laughter)

04-06-2003, 10:51 PM
Hi Aphil,

I created mine using the dollmaker at http://www.cartoondolls.com, but there's more of a collection at http://maxpages.com/dollmagic/doll.cgi (use only if you have a good pop-up killer and have some patience). Otherwise I found some nice images I was considering using through the image search at Google. I entered both belly danc* cartoon (or anime), and belly danc* figure. Lots of choices, there.

I wish I had the patience and talent to make my own belly dancing costume, but thankfully I have a wonderful seamstress in my SCA group, and I'm going to see if she can help me. Maybe I'll see you at the con! ;)


04-07-2003, 11:04 PM
Hey peekaboo!

I will be going to Gencon this year too!

I have been dancing for 2 years now and totally love it! I am working on some sewing projects for costumes now too but I think Aphil is the reigning costume queen on this thread :D

Aphil, how is your hubby's armor coming along?

04-08-2003, 11:18 AM
Slowly...the dance costumes are first priority, because they are on a deadline...Jason can be a trooper for the rest of his life! ha ha
The armor is cool though...I must admit I have secretly tried on some of the finished pieces...

04-08-2003, 01:27 PM
Does that make you at Trooperette? :lol:

I wish I could dress up at the cons but it is such a pain to pack costumes when you have to fly :( Maybe one day I will do it!

04-08-2003, 02:24 PM
I have a lot of "trooperete" friends...a lot of the troopers you see at the cons are actually girls...you just have to take a little better look-shorter a lot of times, with more rounded thighs and calves...with the voice changer boxes...you can't tell by voice!
When we con, we usually drive, with the costumes packed up in rubbermaid tubs.
There are some you could do that wouldn't take up a lot of packing space, such as Lara Croft, the simple Princess Leia white gown-they pack flat...the Queen's and trooper ensembles take a ton of space though...I am actually drawing up sketches to make a Star Wars/Moulin Rouge can-can costume for myself to wear at Celebration III in 2005...it is going to be SEXY...
I have dance class tonight...yippee!!!!

04-10-2003, 08:55 PM
Well phooo!!!! My dance classes are over until the second week in May- I will miss the weeklies but will try to practice at home in the meantime.

I am going to London on Monday for a week and I am hoping to find some Middle eastern stores for costumes, belts and chotkes.
Hopefully I will find something cool and not too expensive :)

Aphil- your I am sure your Star Wars/Moulin Rouge costume will be gorgeous and you will look very glamorous in it:cool:

04-10-2003, 11:32 PM
I hope you find some great things in London! :)
My Star Wars can-can costume is going to be a Moulin Rouge type of ensemble...black fishnet hose, black long gloves, black top hat...except the can can skirt and bustier are going to be made from my old Star Wars sheets with all of the characters on them! The ruffles are going to be made of the colors in the sheet pattern, plus a coordinating feather boa...and the whole makeup with the false eyelashes, etc.
My classes run until the first week in June...I am not sure if they hold summer classes, or if they start up in the fall with the school year...I will have to ask my instructor.

04-11-2003, 10:13 AM
:chin:...hmmm my hubby still has his Star Wars sheets from when he was a kid....maybe I could make a designer gown out of them :lol: He has a Star Wars tie too! :D

04-17-2003, 12:40 AM
I know I'm kinda late in the conversation, but I just wanted to say that I LOVE to bellydance!!!!! I'll be dusting my tapes off and getting to it again!


04-17-2003, 10:18 AM
Class was great this week...and my teacher is loving the stream of costume garments I am bringing in each week. Hopefully they will all be done in the next 2-3 weeks.
I went to Jo-Ann fabrics last night to pick up some more serger thread, and cruised the clearance fabric. I found a great cotton fabric for $1.88 a yard...it is a deep red, with a print on it in gold....I brought 2 yards of it home, and it matches perfectly with my red hip scarf with the gold coins...I have been wanting to make a choli or wrap top to go with it....:) One of my silk veils is tie dyed in three layers as well...from gold to deep red to violet-so if I add a black gypsy skirt-it is a nice pulled together look for dancing for friends or at a hafla or other not so dressy event.
My teacher told us that she is going to be offering some private lessons over the next couple of months, if any of us in her regular classes want to get some extra one on one time-to get help on certain moves that we may be having trouble with or just to better refine our technique. I am thinking about taking a private lesson or two with her soon. Everyone is different, and what I do well, others have trouble with, and a move that some of the girls have mastered, I have trouble with-so I think that is good for someone who is serious about dancing.
I also noticed in class this week, that my abdominal muscles are really starting to become apparent...I by no means have a six pack, but I am getting the prequel to a six pack...the two definition lines that run down on either side of your belly button...the ones that frame the six pack if anyone is ever lucky enough to get one. Now I just need to lose some more of this fat layer on top of it! :lol:

04-17-2003, 05:15 PM
Hi Aphil! I know those lines you're taking about---after years of thinking I'd never have them, I'm starting to see alittle defintion there. And that sexy line down the middle too--love that! I attribute my baby six-pack to Pilates and bellydancing.:)

04-28-2003, 03:25 PM
Can someone who has used the tapes for a while , tell me how much you losted? I need to lose 85lbs and haven't found a fun way to do it yet, or for that matter anything other than strick dieting that works. Please Help I am 19 and don't want to be like this for the rest of my life.


04-28-2003, 07:55 PM
If you are looking for a way to exercise that is fun-that will HELP you in your weight loss goals-bellydance may be for you-but bellydance alone won't do it.
You need to exercise regularly AND change your eating habits...and it should not be a "diet" but a lifelong change. If you diet, when you go off the diet-you will gain the weight back.
Mauvaisroux and I take professional bellydance classes-as well as use tapes. If you cannot find a class near you-and want to use it mainly for exercise, rather than dancing as an art form-I recommend the Basic Moves and Basic Dance tapes by Veena and Neena-if you want to really know how to dance-I would recommend taking a class, and using the videos at home as exercise through the week.
I have commited to a lifelong change in eating habits and to exercising regularly years ago...but two pregnancies in the past 5 years have put the weight on. I have lost 34 pounds of "baby weight" so far over the past year...through diet and exercise. I bellydance about 3 days a week-2 at home, and 1 in class. I also weight train two days a week, and practice either yoga or athletic stretching the other two days of the week.
The key to exercise is finding what you like, and then making a commitment to do it each day, just like taking a shower or eatng dinner, or making a haircut appointment. It should be treated as something that MUST be done-a priority.
If you pm me-I would be glad to outline a basic dietary guideline for you to follow, and a beginning exercise plan geared towards your interests. I look forward to hearing from you.
Aphil :D

05-07-2003, 12:52 PM
Well, the big dance show is coming right around the corner...it is actually a pretty big deal. Jajouka from NYC is coming to do a workshop there that day, and the show is afterwards in the evening. If anyone is in the midwest area-Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio-and is interested in going-let me know and I'll get you the information.
The costumes for my instructor's dance troupe are 2/3 the way done-I have 1 skirt and 3 tops left to do...so far everything fits the proper wearer, and they are looking pretty good.
As far as my personal progress...I am learning more veilwork, and our class starts zils in 2 weeks. I am feeling much more confidence in class now, and have found that I often stand "in posture" doing dishes or other things without even realizing it. :lol:
I am looking into getting some new music...and am looking for some drum solos by Karen Barbee...they are really great to dance to. My instrucor is also sponsoring a tribal drum workshop as well pretty soon which will be pretty cool.
How is everyone?

05-09-2003, 03:25 PM
Thanks for the advice, but I am concerned about trying belly dancing. I had a c-section and now I can't feel anything below the belly button. Will that influence how it works for me? I really love dancing though, it is my favorite thing to do.

05-09-2003, 04:09 PM
Even with the numbness in your lower abdominal region-you should still be able to learn to bellydance. What you will find after learning some basic moves is that a lot of the dance movements move THROUGH the belly, though most do not come FROM the belly. Most of the movements are actually done with your ribcage and hips-but when your ribcage and hips move, there is also movement that travels through the belly region-since the belly is what connects these two regions. Since the costumes show the tummy area, and harem pants or long skirts cover the legs in most cases, it is actually a sort of illusion. You see a dancer danceing around in a long skirt, with lots of ripples and subtle movements going through the abdomen, and it looks very mystical...like her tummy is sort of moving on its own...what you are not seeing, is the bent knees and working thighs underneath the skirt! Go to www.magicalmotion.com and click on "clips." Watch the second vido clip of the woman dancing a solo...the first time, watch like a normal audience-watching her tummy. The second time, watch her skirt instead...if you look carefully you can see that most of the movement is actually coming from her hips and thighs, and her abdomen is "going along for the ride."
When I first started dancing...I was amazed at how much I was feeling the "burn" in my thighs, shoulders, and upper and mid-back...these are the muscles in which you will mostly need to execute the moves in bellydance. There are a few advanced moves that are ab oriented, but if you have good control over your upper abdominal region, and control over your deep breath (you can push your belly out while inhaling deeply, and suck it back in tight when you inhale) then you should have no problem eventually executing belly rolls when you are a more advanced dancer.
Try it out...you will be great!

05-23-2003, 04:58 PM
Hey ladies!
Well-the troupe costumes I had been working on are finished-and the big show is tomorrow night! The troupe made me a muslin tote bag with a design of a belly dancer balancing a sword on her head-and it says "Official Costumer of Troupe Taleeba." It was so sweet!
It is also sort of a lst minute thing, but there is a huge 5 hour seminar with Jajouka from NYC tomorrow during the daytime, and all of the troupe members and some girls from the continuing and intermediate classes are going there to learn. I am in the last 2 weeks of the 4 month basics course still-so noone from my class was really going. My instrucor told me that I girl from one of her higher classes could not make it, and wanted to know if I could buy her registration to the workshop! I aksed her if she thought I knew enough to do it, and she said she thinks I can handle it-so I am going tomorrow to that as well! Yippee!!!! I will get pics up here SOON!!!

05-26-2003, 10:22 AM
That's great that you finished the costumes Aphil! :cp:
and that was so nice of your troupe to give you that gift!
I am planning on taking the summer off from classes as I tend to get too busy on the weekends and I have to go to Indy in July which means I will miss 2 classes anyway.

I am going to do the Neena and Veena tapes (I have all 3 fitness tapes) and practice with the music and choreographies that I already have and then I will join up again in September. Then again I may take a weeknight class :shrug:

06-01-2003, 11:41 AM
Hey Aphil - how did your big show go? I bet you all looked amazing in those costumes!

06-02-2003, 10:03 AM
The costumes for my instructor's troupe turned out great, and they looked great in the show! If anyone wants to see some costume pics, email me at mom2raiandjas@lycos.com

06-07-2003, 09:51 AM
I have been doing my Bellydance fitness tape for 2 weeks now. After trying on bathing suits last night I have decided to focus on the butt, thigh tape - trying to get in shape for summer! :)

I think I will be taking an evening dance class during the summer just to stay current with my moves and get some extra exercise.

06-17-2003, 12:52 PM
Tonight is my last class for the basics level...my instructor promised it to be a fun last class-I will let you all know how it went later...I am excited-next week I am no longer considered a beginner-I will start in the continuing belly dance level class! Yippee!!!!!!
If anyone really likes to dance to really great tribal drum solos-a great cd is "Sabla Tolo" by Hossam Ramzy...I bought it at Borders, but you can also get it online-it has some great drumming!

06-17-2003, 01:32 PM
Yeah! Hossam Ramzy is great! :)

Has anyone tried the Dolphina Warrior Goddess bellydance workout tapes? I saw them at the video store the other day but wasn't sure about buying them....One was the Ultimate tape which I think may be a bit too advanced.

Anyone have any input on these tapes????


06-17-2003, 03:54 PM
I have the original Dolphina "the Goddess Workout" which I have done and viewed many times...I also have the Warrior Goddess workout-but I have only viewed it once.
You can go to her site-I think it iw www.goddesslife.com and see a few downloaded clips from her videos.
As far as the original "Goddess Workout" video or dvd-here is my little review.
What I liked:
-she teaches a lot of basic dance moves in the original workout, such as snake arms, shimmies, chest circles, shoulder shimmies, and hip circles-I found that she taught a lot more basic dance moves than in some of the Veena/Neena videos.
-she wears very nice workout wear with a dance twist-which can give you some nice ideas on how to coordinate your spandex practice wear with a hip scarf or skirt and make classwear look a little more exotic.
-GORGEOUS sets...
-she is very friendly and not intimidating or snobbish
-she really loves belly dance, and it shows
-it has a GREAT soundtrack of soothing music, with basic bellydance rhythms that you can use to review what you do in class-shiftatelli, beledi, etc. I use this soundtrack on cd to practice a lot of moves from my class
-it has a nice soothing cool down and warm up
What I didn't like:
-the choreography of the dance segment at the end of the video-she teaches a little dance using the basic moves that she taught-but I don't think it was choreographed well, and it didn't go with the music that was chosen
-I don't mind it so much, but a lot of more mainstream people who are not into alternative religions or middle eastern culture may not want to hear all the talk about your energy centers or chakras, or awakening your kundalini...:lol: (warning to more mainstream viewers-it is like having 40 minutes of exercise and spirituality with Darhma's parents on "Darhma and Greg.")
-some of the camera work could be a little better. On a few occasions the camera man is focusing on Dolphina's face while she explains something, when he should have focused on her full body so you could see what she was doing as she explained it. This is not a big deal for more advanced viewers or those taking a class along with the videos-but if you know nothing about belly dance this could be a little frustrating.
-I wished in a couple of moves that she would have used better bellydance posture-ie knees more bent, feet closer together...
I have only seen the Warrior Goddess video once-but if you like I can pop it in again and give a little review so you know what it is about. The only thing I really remember is that it doesn't have the gorgeous exotic sets like the first video does, and it focuses more on hip work.
I have not seen the Ultimate Warrior Goddess video yet-that must be a new one-I will check it out!
I actually was going to ask you if you liked the Veena and Neena hips, buns, thighs video. I have only the basic moves/fat burning dvd, and the 3-pack of the Discover belly dance series-basic dance, beyond basic dance, and mystic dance. I usually do a more mainstream toning or strength workout-but I wanted to try this one for strength training days now and then for a change of pace.

06-17-2003, 04:20 PM
I have actually been doing Neena and Veena's hip, thigh and buns tape for the last week and a half :lol: I have been rotating it with a pilates tape and a yoga tape.

I found it very good - it doesn't really show you any real dance routines but is more of a fitness tape. The music is pretty good, though nothing special, the moves do focus on the thigh and hip area and if you have taken some classes you will recognize the shimmee, the walking shimmee, the hip lift and the hip drop :D they also incorporate some of the arm movements or postures too. I do break a sweat during the workout but don't feel sore or like I hurt myself.

Although it focuses on hip, thigh and buns I did feel some toning in my arms and abs.

I also have the arms and abs tape in the same series and I like that one too.

Aphil, if you don't mind I would like to have your opinion on that other Dolphina tape -thanks! :cool:

06-18-2003, 09:55 AM
I heard that it was a more fitness oriented tape like the basic moves/fat burning one of theirs that I have. I like that one so far-I dance about 3 days a week-one in class, and two scattered through the week on my non-strength training days-and since the basic moves video by them is VERY basic, I like to use it more as a "drill" tape, to practice my shimmies, ribcage slides, and other basic moves. it is great when you take a class and learn more advanced moves than most videos teach, but I always like at least once a week to "drill" with the basic moves. I think when you do them SO many times, that they end up being sort of "second nature" and it makes it so much easier to play zils or use a veil or cane when you dance, because you don't have to really concentrate on what you are doing with your body-just on whatever "toy" you are playing with. :)
I will definitely do my Warrior Goddess video this week and let you knoww what I think of it. For a drill/basic moves tape I really like the Goddess Workout though-especially for the music, which I like much better than in the twins tapes. It is much more "authentic" sounding.
Last night's last class was great-we learned a quick choreography to a Hassam Ramzy tribalish sounding Siaidi rhythm, and then we divided up into partners. One of us would do the choreography AROUND our partner, and our partner would play zils for us, and then we switched. We also got into a semi-circle at the end-sort of like an American Tribal Style "chorus", if you are familiar with that-an everyone did tribal 3/4 shimmies in unison, while one at a time each of us came into the center of the circle doing walking shimmies, and took a bow and then shimmied back. It was very tribal, and very "women supporting women" an it was wonderful.
Something sort of exciting about the continuing level I am starting-our dance shool runs all year 'round, with a 14 week semester in the fall to winter, and a 14 week semester running from winter to spring. The summer session is only 7 weeks long, and each session has a week or two between each, plus a week or two for spring break, winter break, etc. just like a school year.
The continuing class is normally 14 weeks long, but since it is the summer, it will be only 7...meaning that it will be very condensed-like cramming for a test. Usually we learn a handful of moves, tehn learn a basic choreography using them, learn a few more, add them to another choreography, and keep building.
This session, since it is condensed will have very little choreography-it will be mostly drill oriented, learning lots of moves and working on form. We will be learning a lot of rhythms on the zils as well. Basically we will need to learn in 7 weeks what other classes learned in 14...but I am excited about the challenge!!!
I am also excited about a workshop my instrucor is hosting in September-it is Americal Tribal Style--YAY!!! The guest teacher we are having has studied under Carolena Nericcio-the director of Fat Chance Belly Dance, which is my all time favorite tribal troupe. If any of you are interested in tribal-I TOTALLY recommend you get their Basic instructional video, and their Costume and Makeup video-both have performances at the end of the video, and the Costume and Makeup video goes in depth on how to construct a tribal costume and how to apply the makeup, build a headress, etc. they are FABULOUS!!!!! I love the glitz and fancy bra and belt costumes of cabaret/traditional belly dance-but the earthiness and "group" choreography of tribal is VERy powerful.
Have a great day-and SHAKE IT LADIES!!!

06-18-2003, 08:33 PM
Wow Aphil! Your class sounds amazing! I love dancing in a circle like that very powerful :)

Thanks for reviewing the Dolphina tapes!

06-19-2003, 10:35 AM
I was wondering about the "Goddess" tapes too. Thanks for the info!

I wanted to tell you about a lovely book I'm reading: "Grandmother's Secrets" by Rosina-Fawzia Al-Rawi. It concentrates on the deeper meanings of the dance.
It was funny when I asked for it at the bookstore; the guy looked it up and read the title and the subtitle which is "the ancient rituals and healing power of bellydancing"----and then he looked up and gave me the old once-over while I stood there and grinned at him. He probably thought from the title 'Grandmother's Secrets' that it was a book about how to bake a nice pie! :lol: :lol: :lol:

06-19-2003, 10:38 AM
I have heard wonderful things about that book-it should be in every dancer's library...

06-19-2003, 12:19 PM
I will have to check the local library for that book EYdie -thanks!

Aphil- I checked out Dolphina's web-site last night - wow! It looks really professional, I loved the sound bites for the CD's ( I want them all! :D ) and the samplers of the tapes.

I am going to go to the store I saw them at and buy at least one to try out.

06-19-2003, 04:29 PM
I am going to be a vendor for the tribal workshop in September, so last night when I was a t Wal-Mart I checked through the clearance fabrics and remnants to see if there was anything I could use to make some stuff out of...I found some great heather grey knit fabric to make a couple classroom/practice knot front choli tops out of, and a GREAT remnant of upholstry fabric in a rich sage green, with a great pattern on it in golds and taupes...I have been looking around online for information on making some tribal style dance belts with the big wool tassels, and this upholstry fabric can be used to make a really pretty one...I was thinking of doing the embroidery and wool tassels in the golds and taupe colors. :)
If any of you are handy with the sewing machine-I totally recommend you take a look at :
Check under the patterns section-they have a GREAT selection of bellydance costume patterns. I am a thrifty person myself, and love to skim through the clearance fabrics and make stuff from that, and purchase the items that would be too much of a pain to make-like coin hip scarves.
You can also find some great free patterns at www.shira.net for making dangely beaded earrings to match a costume, for other stuff like harem pants in the "costume goddess" section of the site. FUN FUN FUN!
Mauvais-I hope you like the Dolphina video-my favorite is the first one and its cd soundtrack-I even clean my house and drive with it playing a lot!

06-20-2003, 11:05 AM
Thanks for the Websites Aphil!

I have been toying around with the idea of making jewellery for the next bellydance bazaar ( in the fall) and renting a table.

I am thinking of making some bead necklaces with matching earrings and selling them at a reasonable price.

I may get a friend in on it too-she is very talented at beadwork :)

06-20-2003, 12:59 PM
That is cool-the earring pattern isn't too hard, and you could make up a few pairs in some basic costume colors like black/silver, white/silver, black/gold, etc. and if people like them you can do some in custom colors. Lots of craft places sell a nice selection of seed beads.
I went rummage sale-ing today, and found a great queen sized sheet that is light sage green and taupe tie dye...I am going to use it as fabric to make a couple practice/classroom cholis. :)
I have a tribal coin belt that is black cord with antique silver coins (not the fake ones like on regular hip scarves) and silver pewter bells and some shells woven into it, and at Wal-Mart they have some Panama Jack brand choker necklaces and anklets that have black cord and the same kind of shells on them-I may have to go get them so I have a matching set of tribal jewelry! :D
I also found a free online pattern onhow to make an 8 point accent skirt which I am going to try sometime...and a free pattern to make some crocheted zil covers/mufflers. :)

06-23-2003, 10:31 AM
Well, I watched/participated in the Dolphina Warrior Goddess Workout yesterday, and here is what I thought:
What I liked:
-The camera work was much more effective in this second video, as far as showing her entire body rather than so much focusing on her face-so you can see what she is doing much better.
-The choreographed piece she teaches at the end of the video goes much better with the music chosen than the one in the first video
-She taught some nice new hip moves!
What I didn't like-
-Some of the moves she taught without good form-in one move is seemed to me like her arms were just flailing about.
-The warm-up salutations went kindof quickly-she walked you through the long series only once, and then sped up and did it a few more times faster-ie you better have gotten it the first time, 'cause she won't explain it again! :lol:
Neutral-some observations that you may or may not like-more of a personal preference thing.
-In this video, Dolphina is on a white circular platform surrounded by water, with a white wall and the sky as a background. Some may find this a very peaceful and serene backdrop and may love it-this is much different than the lush exotic changing backgrounds in the original Goddess Workout video-I preferred the backgrounds in the first video-but it is a personal thing, you may love this new background.
-Dolphina does not have all of the costume changes like in the fisrt video-she wears the same thing for the entire warm-up and workout, and changes for the choreography and cool-down. Once again, some people maynot care at all about this, but I liked seing her many changes (for each segment) in the fist video.

Overall it is a nice video, with improved camera work. Dolphina is very nice, and loves the dance-and it shows. You will learn some new moves and combinations, but if I had to choose between the two-I still love the slower pace and the overall charm of her first video! Now I need to check out her zils video and review it!!!

06-23-2003, 11:47 AM
I found both of dolphina's videos at Best Buy for $14.99 each instead of the $20 each at the other store so I got them both and I plan on test driving them this week.

I asked if I could order the veil work one and the Zill one but they said no unless it is something they usually stock. Which makes no sense to me since they stock the other two from the same company :mad: but there is one other place that I may be able to order them from and I will probably check into in the next week or so since I am kind of broke right now.

06-23-2003, 12:09 PM
That is dumb that they couldn't order those videos for you...they could order them whenever they restocked her other two videos...you might also check on Ebay if you ever order online-they have had them on there before.
I bought both of my Dolphina Videos at Suncoast video-and I know they also have them at Borders-so if you have any of those places around maybe they can order them for you.

06-24-2003, 01:20 PM
Thanks for the info Aphil! :)

I did the introduction to bellydance tape this morning and really enjoyed it. It was exactly what I am looking for to keep my moves up over the summer until I start class again in the fall.

Funny, I was reading some reviews of these tapes on-line by some people who bought them and they hated the costume changes and were very critical of Dolphina herself. :shrug:

I thought she was fine and I loved her clothes-they gave me some ideas- and the sets were beautiful - love the morrocan courtyard scene- I don't see what their problem was with her :?:

The only thing that bugged me a couple of times was when they focused on her face too long when I thought they should be focusing on the movement more and they didn't show her feet much in order to see the correct positioning.

I am really interested in getting the veil tape and the zill tape as well as the CD's if I can find them in a store here. That way I can pay in Canadian $ and not pay the shipping :) but if I have to order them on-line I will.

06-24-2003, 04:29 PM
You seemed to have the exact same thoughts on the video as I did!!!! I liked the costume changes-it gave some great ideas for combining your class wear with some extras to make it more exotic. I also thought the same thing about the camera work-about focusing on her face a couple too many times!
I think the only people who really have a problem with her are the straightlaced ones who don't really get into the spiritual side of belly dance-the ones who just do it as just another exercise video. They may not like the "hippy/spiritual/free" side of Dolphina. You know, the type who only buy a belly dance video so they can try to do something to impress their husband. :lol:
We have one girl in our class like that...arrghh.

06-24-2003, 08:26 PM
Well a lot of the comments were about her personally. Like saying that the costumes changes were like her own personal fashion show and that the camera work made it look like the tape was just a personal showcase for Dolphina and that overweight people would not be comfortable doing this tape. Whatever:rolleyes:

From the type of comments being made I got the feeling some people didn't liked the fact that she was an athletic and attractive blonde woman ;)

I think she looked great and had nice dancers hips and a realistic body. Maybe I can relate to her more since I have the same kind of shape- smaller on top and bigger on the bottom (I'm really a weeble :lol: ).

I know what you mean about the spiritual side of it though - I find belly dancing very uplifting and empowering :df: :flow1: :strong: :angel:

I know it sounds weird but when I am dancing I just let the music wash over me and take over and I just go with it - know what I mean? I feel like a whole other part of myself surfaces at that point. Okay now who's getting hippy/spiritual :o :lol:

06-24-2003, 09:32 PM
I didn't feel that way about her at all either...I felt that she was genuinely friendly, and unintimidating. I also felt that the way teh video was portrayed that any woman of any shape or size would feel wonderful doing it-she talks of how EVERY woman is a goddess, and her voice is very soothing. I guess the stereotypes against thin and pretty people are just as bad as against heavy people-a lot of people will automatically think you are snooty/snobby and that you think you are better than everyone else...
I didn't think the costume changes were her own personal fashion show-I think she was just trying to portray a lush and exotic experience with the costumes and the lush backgrounds.
I totally agree about feeling free and letting go when I dance...I feel the same way. Veilwork and slow bolero music makes me feel exotic and beautiful and graceful...and faster rhythms like Siaidi with its tribal sound makes me feel very empowered-especially with moves like tribal 3/4 shimmies and playing zils.
I feel like most of my life I hated to exercise...I hated gym class in school with the basic track running, playing basketball, and all the other stuff you normally do. I hate playing most organized sports like baseball/softball and volleyball. I felt my whole life I was unathletic and uncoordinated. When I was in high school I took some jazz and modern dance lessons, and my mother sat in on a few lessons-she said she couldn't believe it, that I finally took to something athletic so well! I guess it just took me a while to find out that while most everyone was on some sort of sports team in school or cheerleader-that I marched to the beat of a different drummer, and that my physical fitness interests were peaked more by things that included my love of music (dance) and were more SELF challenging (yoga and weight training) rather than a team effort like in a sports team.
I find that my love of music and being able to play a few instruments really helps me in dance, because I can pick up and recognize rhythms very easily, and find it very easy to stay on time with the music. I have seen in performances and in my class a few dancers who have flawless technique in their execution of a certain dance move, but it is uneffective because they cannot stay "on time."
I think with the undertaking of more spiritual and self oriented physical activity like belly dance and yoga, that I have truly found the exercise that "fits" me.
-as far as my body shape-I am an hourglass figure...big boobs, big butt and thighs, and smaller waist. Luckily my problem areas are my chunky butt and legs, and I tend to hold onto fat in my upper arms, but I am longer torsoed...so actually a belly dance costume with a long sleeved or 3/4 sleeve choli is actually very flattering to my figure. It covers up the not so good parts and shows off my best parts-my chest, waist, and small framed shoulders...give me a long fulls skirt to dance in and nobody has to know I have cellulite! :lol:

06-25-2003, 08:07 AM
I'm SOOO with you about the spiritual aspects of bellydancing. I've told several friends 'if you want to feel like a goddess, take up belly dancing'! When I'm dancing it's almost like I'm watching myself on the other side of the room, and I don't know what my body's going to do next. It's wild!

06-25-2003, 10:40 AM
Tonight is my first class in the continuing level-I am really excited about it. I am also excited to not be in the "basics class" anymore when more intermediate and professional level dancers ask me how eperienced I am! hee hee hee
I cannot wait to see what new things we will be learning-we should get a handout tonight breaking down what we will be learning each week-at least we did in the first class when I was in basics.
Yesterday for my daily exercise, I did one of the Veena and Neena "Discover Bellydance" series of videos called Basic Dance, along with some weight training for my upper body and some abdominal work. I only have one of their exercise/fitness videos-well, actually two. I have the basic moves and fat burning videos together on one dvd. I find that the fat burning video is not so much belly dancing, but more middle eastern folk dancing, with lots of hopping moves like you would see a dancer dancing with a cane. I have all three videos in their Discover Belldance series though. I would like to get their other fitness dvd, the upper and lower body ones. I prefer to get these on dvd simply because they have two videos on one dvd, and it takes up less space in my cabinet. I have also been wanting to try their fitness belly dance video called Slimdown-has anyone got this one that can tell us about it?
The Discover Bellydance videos of theirs that I have are more dance oriented in that they teach the moves like the fitness videos, but they also teach a small choreography at the end of each segment. They are Basic Dance, Beyond Basic Dance, and Mystic Dance. The last video also teaches a touch of veilwork, if any of you who do the videos but are not taking a professional class want to learn a bit of veilwork. (I believe in the beginning of the thread we talked about how to make your own veil.)
Is there anyone out there besides Mauvais and I that have or play zils? I LOVE it-it is very empowering. Being in a musical family, I find that I am sort of picky about zils, and only like certain ones due to their sound quality-namely I like zils by Saroyan, Turquoise, and the ones by FatChanceBellyDance. I play with Nefertiti zils made by the Saroyan company. (They are cool-with little engraved pictures of Nefertiti goddesses on them.) When I fist started playing around with belly dance, I got a pair of cheaper made zils from Aliah's closet, and after buying a better brand like Saroyan-I will never go back! They are lighter in weight and easier to play, have much nicer engraving and shape, and have a much richer tone. The bad thing is, that they were only like a $1 or so more than the cheaper made ones!!!!! Oh well-my daughter likes to play with them now! :lol:
My exercise today will be my hour dance class this evening, and I will do a short 20 minute session of Pilates today-abs are the only body part you can strength train every single day due to their quicker recovery time-and I am going to take full advantage of that!!!:lol:

06-25-2003, 01:13 PM
I have "Slimdown"---very easy to find at any Target store. As a matter of fact, it was my first bellydance video so I have very tender feelings about it!:D Very easy to follow and made me believe that I can actually do this!

06-25-2003, 02:25 PM
I may have to get that one then...I liked the fat burning one, but it is more middle eastern dancing, and less traditional belly dance moves-I heard that the slimdown is more traditional belly dance moves but at a more cardio pace-which is what I would like to have in my collection.

06-25-2003, 02:37 PM
Hmmmm:chin: I am going to the States in July and I think there is a Target the close to where we are staying. Maybe my friend and I can con someone into driving us to the local mall too :devil:

06-25-2003, 04:13 PM
Arrgh...just finished my Pilates-now I best jump in the shower and start getting ready for class tonight! Yippee!!!!
I have fabric cut out for 5 cholis cut out now in sizes s-xl-I am going to put them together in assembly line fashion-do the sleeves on all of them first, then all the shoulder, etc. to save time. Hopefully the other students and dancers at teh workshop in September will like them!

06-26-2003, 01:41 PM
As usual your out fits sound cool Aphil! :D

I really admire you for your ability to sew and for your self-confidence in making things for others -way to go :cp:

06-26-2003, 03:35 PM
Thanks Mauvais!
I did The Veena and Neena Fitness dvd today-Basic Moves, along with some abwork. I am taking the kids down to my mothers tomorrow for the night, and on my way back I will stop by her local Joann fabrics and see what goodies I can find there...belly dance apparel making is pretty addictive! :lol:

Suzanne 3FC
06-26-2003, 04:04 PM
Did you guys see this?


CNN news article on belly dancing for fitness. It's not often belly dancing makes the news! :)

06-26-2003, 04:22 PM
Thanks Suzanne!!!
That was a very nice article-and I feel the exact same way about the bonding experience talked about in the article. Our classes are all women of all races, ages, shapes and sizes. When we started our first class in the continuing level last night, we went around to everyone in the class and introduced ourselves to each other (some come from other dance schools, and some are in my class from two different beginning classes my instructor teaches) and we were asked to tell everyone what we hope to get out of this class. One woman in our class-a slightly overweight woman probably about 45 said "I just love it-since I started belly dancing about 6 months ago, I have realized that it is about the best thing I have done for myself in a very, very long time."
The comeradery, the new friendships, the exercise...and learning and participating in something that has been sacred for women in other cultures for years and years...there is just something so powerful about it-no mainstream step aerobics class can ever come close to this...

06-26-2003, 08:43 PM
Thanks for the article Suzanne- it really is true. I think it is a great experience for most people. The music is amazing, you meet new people, you feel good, you end up exploring another culture.

I am going to try planning an evening out with my classmates where we go to a proper Lebanese restaurant, not the take out shwarma kind (which is yummy :T ) but a proper restaurant and the place I have in mind features a professional belly dancer on Friday nights- I think it will be fun!

We have been learning a little Arabic as we go along as well and I am seriously thinking of taking some classes. I already speak French, Italian and Spanish (although the last two are a bit rusty) and I would also like to learn Chinese. My husband says to pick one and go with it :lol:

06-27-2003, 09:52 AM
-You should go for it and learn some Arabic! And you should definitely go to the restaurant with the bellydancers! We don't have any around here, but we do about 2 hours away...I may have to go sometime as well!
Heck-we have a middle eastern restaurant in Fort Wayne-maybe in a year or two I'll go apply for a job-tell them having a dancer there will increase their business! :lol:

06-29-2003, 10:16 PM
Yeah, I love Lebanese food :T

We are planning on going to a Persian restaurant for my birthday next weekend - I can't wait :D

07-08-2003, 08:11 PM
Hi Aphil! I saw you post about belly dancing over on videofitness and came here and saw that you are also from Indiana. I have been taking lessons in Indianapolis and was wondering where abouts you are taking lessons? :)


07-09-2003, 10:47 AM
Hey Beledigirl- weird coincidence I am going to be in Indy in 2 weeks at a convention - small world :)

We went for to a Persian restaurant on Saturday night- it was great! Food was really yummy and well- priced and they had a guy there playing middle eastern music- I almost felt like getting up to dance but wasn't sure how they would react :lol:

Aphil- I am currently torn between learning Arabic and learning Chinese :shrug: I will have to decide before September so I can sign up for a course at the local high school.

07-09-2003, 11:43 AM
Hi Liz! I take lessons up here in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. It is nice up here, because we are only about 2 hours away from South Bend/Mishawaka Indiana, and there is a dancer up there named Ruby Jazayre who usually hosts some sort of wokshop and belly dance show each year.
My teacher's name is Zweena bint Asya, and she teaches up here-cabaret, tribal fusion, etc. we have a nice set up at a local "alternative" sort of dance shool-not the traditional tap, ballet, etc. We have belly dance, yoga, modern movement sort of dance, African dance...it is a nice little school.
mauvais-learn Arabic! Arabic! Arabic! hee hee hee

07-09-2003, 01:49 PM
:lol: Aphil is that you doing the Zena yell??? ;)

07-09-2003, 02:12 PM
Yes it is!!!!! I am also doing a "run" with my zils.....

07-09-2003, 03:45 PM
:lol: I thought I could hear that sweet zill music! :D

My friend gave me the "Belly Dance in a Box kit" -those ones you get at Chapters - cute!- and a sarong for my birthday.

07-09-2003, 05:16 PM
I have not seen those Belly Dance in a Box kits...what was in it? And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

07-09-2003, 08:40 PM
Thanks for the Birthday wishes!

It was a tiny box that was red and white... it had a tiny book of instructions for some basic movies and included some recommendations for music and came with a pair of zills :)

They are usually up front near the lines for the cash -there are tons of kits...Zen kit...Feng shui in a box...chinese take out in a box...yoga in box...tons of other topics too...

They would probably make great stocking stuffers at Christmas.

07-10-2003, 10:29 AM
Last night in class we were doing combinations...
3/4 shimmies, walking shimmies, then a turn, shoulder shimmies, and fast shimmies while going down a bit...plus arms...plus zils....OOOH!!!
And we did walking mayas with zils, and mayas in place for AN ETERNITY...my thighs are so sore and tight today!!!!! After another year or so of this-I better start getting a nice butt, let me tell you! ha ha ha

07-10-2003, 01:09 PM
Aphil- I am telling you it works! :) I lost a couple of stubborn inches off my hips because of bellydancing :D

07-14-2003, 11:01 PM
Hey Aphil are you going to Gencon this year?

07-15-2003, 11:58 AM
I am not sure yet...I am so busy sewing for the dance workshop, as wel as the ren faire, Halloween...I am trying to get Jason's stortrooper armor done in time for Halloween. His birthday is in a couple of weeks and I got him the "voice changer" for his trooper armor. We might try to make it up there though-I'll ask him.

07-15-2003, 12:11 PM
Cool! If you do go I am working at on-site registration -stop by an say Hi- it would be great to meet you :D

BTW I hear that Daniel Logan and a few other Star Wars stars will be there.

Daniel is such a cute kid! :chin: guess he is more of a teenager now! :lol: We took him and his grandmother with us to see the Spiderman movie when we were at Star Wars Celebration, he was really nice and his gran was such a sweetie.

07-15-2003, 01:06 PM
You lucky duck...Jason would have given his...well, you know-to go see a movie with a SW actor! :lol:
I just got two new videos-The Ancient Art of Oriental Belly Dance Volume One and Two...she is a very respected dancer in the belly dance community. I have heard that she is a very good teacher, but the video quality isn't real good. (sound, lighting, etc.)
That really happens a lot with videos by really great belly dancers-Dolphina and the twins have wonderful production in their videos, but they are beginner level-when you get into more advanced videos by belly dancers-it always seems that they can't put a whole lot of money into the production of it...sad really, but it IS a limited market.
I will watch/do them this week and let you all know what I think.

07-15-2003, 01:50 PM
Yeah well, just don't tell him I went out drinking and dancing with Richard LaParimitiere and Jerome Blake one year :lol: :devil:

Those videos sound cool - I would love to hear your reviews.

I may try to look for those other two Dolphina videos when I am down in the U.S.

07-15-2003, 02:28 PM
We were at the hotel party with Peter Mayhew Firday night at Celebration and we have pics with him...I swear he was more excited about that than sex! lol
He has tons of pics of me in the costume contest with Anthony Daniels and Warwick Davis...he was so excited about that...he showed them to everyone.

07-15-2003, 03:43 PM
Cool :cool: Sounds like the party was a lot of fun. Peter Mayhew seemed like a really nice person too! :)

07-15-2003, 04:45 PM
The funniest part of the party was some of our pictures of some of the 501st members drunk laying out on the hallway floor of the hotel...it isn't every day you get to see and take pictures of "on the floor drunk" stormtroopers! :lol:
Yeah, Peter Mayhew was really nice, and I am so impressed at how respectful SW fans are...everyone waited patiently in line to see the "big ticket" starts like Carrie Fisher, and the smaller stars were totally able to walk around and go to the parties without being mobbed all night. Everyone was great-and treated them like one of their pals-no need for body guards or anything.

07-15-2003, 05:01 PM
Hee, Hee...yup you don't often get to have drinks with Stormtroopers! :lol: The guys from the 501st were great!

I had a great time there and most of the people were really nice. They just seemed to be so exited to be there! It was a lot of fun and I am hoping to be at the next one.

07-19-2003, 05:58 PM
Hey ladies!! Thought I'd jump in here. I've toyed around with the idea of bellydancing. I bought a video about six or seven months ago & used it once. Now it's collecting dust along with my others. After reading this thread, I think I'm gonna start using it again. I can't think of the name of it but Janine Rabbitt is the instructor. Do any of you use this one? I haven't read the enitre thread... would take me forever to do it!!! ;)

07-20-2003, 12:08 AM
Hi guys I am fairly new here but I thought I would jump in since this is my area :-)

I participate in and work with a bellydancing studio, we do telegrams and we do dinners/renn fairs ....etc etc

Bellydancing can be as hard as you want it to be, its more of a slow burn activity and REALLY tones not only abs but GLUTES. I really don't consider it cardiovascular but I am sure you can do it fast and make it super cardio dance :-)

I reccomend bellydancing because it will make you feel beautiful and confident in what your body can do. Most of all to absolutly feel sexy in a midrift no matter what your size! :-P

07-21-2003, 11:33 AM
natenkayliesmom-Since you are a newer "at home bellydancer" I would first recommend that you get a different video...the best for a beginner would probably be "Magical Motion" by Atea.
The Veena and Neena ones are also very nice, but I would recommend the one by Atea because since you are not taking a class, in her video she goes over the correct form and posture for belly dance-which most do not. It is very important for performing the moves correctly.
I have the Janine Rabbit video-I am sort of a collector of belly dance videos-I have Veena and Neena, Atea, Fat Chance Belly Dance, Alexandra King, Dolphina, Sharqui Bellydance...and more. I have videos ranging from excellent to pretty darn bad. The Janine Rabbit video has a few things that I like about it-her obvious love for the dance, that she shows how to wear a veil and "dance it off" and that she gives a history of the dance in the beginning of the video.
Where I think a better video would serve you is that Janine is not a very good dancer herself-and uses bad posture-which makes it harder to do the moves, as well as more prone to injury. There are a lot of bad habits that you could pick up if you follow her form/posture.
Since you have not read through all of the forum-here is a short breakdown of things we have discussed.

Best beginner videos for learning to dance:
*"Magical Motion" by Atea
*"Tribal Basics" by Fat Chance Belly dance-for tribal style belly dance
*"Basic Dance" by Veena and Neena (from the Discover BellyDance series)

Best beginner video for exercise-these videos are exercise videos that incorporate a few belly dance moves in them, but you are not going to learn choreography, or play veils or zils(finger cymbals) in them.
"Basic Moves" by Veena and Neena (from their Fitness for Beginners series of videos)

Some other basics that we have discussed is that their are two main kinds of belly dance-cabaret and American Tribal Style. Cabaret is what people mostly think of when they think of a bellydancer-most videos teach this style-American Tribal Style uses a more ethnic approach and they dance in groups like a tribe, and wear earthier clothes rather than the sparkly costumes like a cabaret dancer.
To see a cabaret styled dancer-and a great site with tons of information-go to www shira.net and check out her site. To see an example of American Tribal style-go to www.fcbd.com and take a look at Fat Chance Belly Dance's site. :)

When you get more comfortable with one of the beginner videos I mentioned, than feel free to come here and ask about veils, finger cymbals, and other belly dance items we dance with. We know lots of great places to get dance stuff, great cd's to dance to...etc.

Emmaleth-Welcome! Great to have you here! I am Aphil and I study both cabaret and American Tribal Style. I am a costumer for belly dance stuff-as well as other costumes and I work for myself doing that.
As far as the workout side of bellydance-I think it can be however gentle or strenious you want it to be. Some days in class or at home we (or I) do a lot of slow veilwork and lots of drills-working on my technique and form-and for me it is really a toning and strengthening workout then...like with a bolero or chiftitelli rhythm, other times we (or I) do a ton of fast moves/dancing with say a beledi or a siaidi rhythm-and then for me it is very much cardio-I can really work up a sweat. I think it is great in that sense-because it is almost like circuit training-where you are combining the benefits of cardio and strength training-and having a ball feeling like a goddess doing it! I strenght train my full body twice a week-and I feel some days I get JUST as much a strength training workout dancing-the veil in the air provides tons of resistance when you doing the moves-and you are so right about it working your buns and thighs-dancing in the correct form with your knees bent is like doing the worl's longest set of squats! :lol: I think it is wonderful, because I can go slow and easy if I want to-as well as fast and POWERFUL if I want to.
Belly dancing is great for your abs-but in a totally different way than traditional exercises. I work my abs doing traditional exercises for my center abs like crunches and Pilates, but I find that bellydancing with all of the ribcage work REALLY tones my oblique muscles (sides of the wiastline. I am still overweight, but I am really getting a nice definition line down each side of my tummy...now I just need to work my center abs a little more to get the six pack in the center to go with it! :lol:
How did you get started doing belly grams, etc? Do you like it? How do the customer's react? Any good stories?

07-21-2003, 09:17 PM
Thanks Aphil for the suggestions. I'll look into those videos & websites!

07-23-2003, 11:39 AM
Hey guys...
My class reunion is in just over a month, and it is for two days. We are having a casual get together at a local bar that Friday night, and then a more "reunion like" get together that Saturday with dinner and all.
For the Friday night bar get together, I want to dress with a touch of belly dance influence...JUST in case I get to feeling frisky and want to shake it on the dance floor...anyone have any suggestions that would look good? I want to still be able to look normal-meaning no sequined bra-but with a touch of dance influence.
I have had a couple ideas-feel free to give me some more suggestions!
black dressy boot cut/flare leg pants-mine are lower waisted, not quite low rise, but lower waisted, with my black chunky heeled boots. I thought of pairing this with a cool 3/4 sleeve choli top and one of the following:
I have a black lacy triangle shaped hip scarf that has fringe around the edges-not coins. I also have a black hip belt that has small cowry shells and silver bells on it. These are dance influenced, but not as "out there" with a regular outfit as a coin scarf would be. (Although I LOVE my coin scarves.)
Any other ideas?

07-23-2003, 12:11 PM
I got started doing bellygrams when I turned 18. My mother's side of the family is of turkish decent so I was always familiar with bellydancing, I started dance when I was 2 years old :-)

The studio were I went always asks their long time students to be in their renn troupe and/or do bellygrams (I do both). I dance in middle eastern restraunts mosty, and I always get a very positive reaction. When I get hiried same thing. People always go out of their way to compliment you and try to immitate what you are doing lol. It is a very fun job to have while going to school, whenever I get my degree I plan to help my mentor teach at her school and mabey quit telegrams.

As far as abs go....listen to aph! LoL I have an extreamly flat tummy for my weight....or just in general from bellydancing. Although it is not "rock solid" washboardy in a way that the gym will make it....it is stronger and shaplier. The biggest area would be the glutes by far....you squat the whole time!


07-23-2003, 12:52 PM
Aphil, I'd just go for it with the coin scarf! Have fun! Reunions are all about getting to know a person again---dressing the part will get the conversation going. It's who you are--go for it!:D

07-23-2003, 03:11 PM
Eydie...thanks for the advice! You know, I may just do that...I had planned on taking a sampling of some of the costuming work that I do to the more formal reunion on that Saturday, so that everyone can see what kind of work I do...maybe my husband's stormtrooper helmet, a belly dance costume, and pictures of my competing in the costume competitions....besides, it is always good when you have an "outlandish" occupation to bring something to back it up so they know you aren't making it up! :lol:
For the "bar night" on that Friday...I may just wear the belly dance thing and go with it! I am sure it will start quite a few conversations...:D
Emmaleth-dancing in restaurants sounds like such fun! My teacher lets long time students help her teach the beginning classes, or substitute for her when she is out sick on occasion.
The bellygrams sound fun as well...my husband's boss has hinted around to him to have me dance at one of the Christmas parties...maybe next year when my skills are more refined...I would like to be able to do a sword dance or something really cool before I do anything in front of that many people.

07-24-2003, 12:38 PM
I just got the greatest news!!!!
My instructor has asked me to make some items-curtains, etc. for her nursery-and in exchange she will give me some private lessons!
We talked about it, and she is going to teach me some sword dancing! She also asked me if I wanted some performance experience-because in September the more advanced class is doing a performance and she said she would teach me the routine and I could join them!!!!! :hyper:
I am like totally geeked up about this...my "first" performance...and with a higher class! Yay!!! Now if this isn't a good motivation for sticking with my diet plan and exercise...I don't know what is!

07-25-2003, 04:47 PM
Hey all...
I just ordered my top to wear for the performance so I will match the other girls...
Go to www.ganeshabazaar.com and click on "clearance tops and skirts" at the bottom of the menu. My top is Gypsy Top #2, the purple sparkly one with the sheer sleeves.
The other dancers will be wearing the same style tops, in different colors.
Oh...and I just ordered a sword. My husband is going to kill me...wait a minute....his stormtrooper costume I have been working on has cost over $800 so far...and will cost another $300 or so before it is finished...I have something to throw in his face after all. (laughs)

07-28-2003, 09:26 AM
Hello Ladies!
I'm new to 3fc and just found this thread. I'm a belly dance instructor and technical director for our troupe, so I thought I'd join in on this thread. I've been a professional bellydancer since 1989, though I've had 3 kids along the way and I no longer do bellygrams.

I just wanted to let everyone who's "thinking about" or "toying with" the idea of bellydance that this is the most wonderful thing you can do for your body and your soul! It doesn't matter what shape you're in, what size you are (I'm currently waaaaayyy overweight--which is why I'm hanging around 3fc in the first place), what physical limitations you have (I've taught the blind, deaf and even paraplegics to dance).....*everyone* can do this dance. Even if you think you're a "clutz" or have "no rhythm", I've seen women blossom through this dance time and time again. It's been said that the moves in this dance are born into every woman, some just need to dig a little deeper into themselves to find them. I really believe that.

Videos are a wonderful place to start, if you are shy or very far away from a class........but I would urge everyone to take a few "real" classes as well. Videos can never replace the experience of a live class...the good feelings you get just walking in the door can often last the whole week. Plus, videos can't correct your posture, can't accomodate for bad backs or knees, can't judge if you need to advance or try a different style. A good teacher can do all these things, plus add encouragement and friendship! Almost all teachers have their names on the internet somewhere, even if they don't have their own websites. (my troupe's site is at http://desertdancers.tripod.com in case you're curious. If you want to find my picture, you can go to "our dancers" or "classes, advanced")

If you must use videos exclusively, I'll share a little safety hint that I tell *all* my students. If IT Hurts, Don't Do IT!!! Which means, if a move hurts your back......don't do that move. If your knees hurt for days after you practice....something's wrong. This is a gentle dance, and should never never hurt you. Even if you're shimmying till you see God, you may be sore but should never hurt! Not all moves are right for all people. If you're experiencing pain, please find a qualified teacher to see what's going on....or post on here, and I'll see if I can help. Though it's hard to tell anything without seeing just *how* you do a move.

I guess I've rambled long enough....I'll post more later. I'd be happy to answer questions either here or on P/M. And if anyone is having trouble finding a class near them, please let me know where you live and I"ll see if I can find you one. I'm on several listservs for MED (Middle Eastern Dance).

Happy shimmies to all!

07-28-2003, 10:17 AM
Mira-we are SO glad to have you here with us! I totally agree with finding a class and at least taking a few basic lessons if you can find any in your area-because soem videos do not discuss proper form with your back, knees, etc.
I am going to check out your links!

edit: Mira, you are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!

07-28-2003, 12:02 PM
Thanks for the compliment........but I really can't wait until I lose this **#(@ 80 pounds so I can wear my old costumes again!!

07-28-2003, 01:31 PM
I know what you mean there...I am at 176, and I am hoping to get between 165-170 by the time of my first performance in September, and get my tummy a little more toned up!

07-28-2003, 04:37 PM
Aphil, a word of advice about performances.............enjoy every minute of it! Dance is an ephemeral art form, it does not last! You work and work and work and then it's here and then BAM, it's over! Relish all the sweat and effort you are putting into your performance right now and enjoy the **** out of the day itself! Don't fret about being 5 pounds heavier than you would like, or berate yourself for missing a step or two.......just HAVE FUN! :dancer:

Good luck, and I can't wait to hear about it!

07-28-2003, 09:59 PM
I have my regular class on Wednesday night, and then I start learning the piece for the performance on Thursday and Friday this week...rehearsals for it with the whole group start a week from today-next Monday night.
I have just finished yet ANOTHER choli top for the tribal workshop we are having in September...so far I have made 5 cholis to vend...and I have some silk veils and bindis as well. I am hoping to get a few pairs of harems and another handful of cholis done by then...the ones I have made for it so far are sage green, blue metallic (cotton/lurex belnd), and red metallic. I have some great fabric in black, as well as turquoise and rasberry metallic. I have made them in short and 3/4 sleeve...I guess I will make the next couple with long sleeves...get the whole variety thing going-all sizes, all sleeve lengths. I hope to have some good sales that day, to make some money to make some more stuff. (laughs)
Mira-what all props do you dance with? Veils and zils are pretty standard-what is your favorite? Do you do any specialty, like cane or sword? What music have you been jamming to lately? I have been listening to a lot of Hossam Ramzy and Natacha Atlas...I just love to hear about what other dancers like to do and listen to!
Mauvais-I am sure that you will be back on the boards soon from your trip to GenCon...I wasn't able to make it due to my brother's wedding over the weekend...but I have seen many pics already and heard all about it! Hope you post soon!

07-29-2003, 09:22 AM
Hi again!
Sounds like you've been busy sewing! I do the same thing here in Maine, sew lots and lots of costumes. Sometimes I sell them on Ebay, too, but that's been kinda dead lately. If you go to my troupe's website and click on "our dancers" and "Mirage", I made the purple/silver costume with the shell in the middle. http://desertdancers.tripod.com

I am currently teaching a group sword routine which we'll be performing on Labor Day at our annual workshop. Amaya is coming all the way from New Mexico to teach workshops. She's a super teacher if you ever get a chance to take a seminar from her. I don't much care for veil, though I do teach it because it's always a favorite with new dancers. We zill every class, just because it's nearly a dying art and IMHO every dancer should know how to do it! I've played around with candles and cane and such, but I'm really partial to drum solos. I'm a very technical, hard line, Turkish style dancer and I just love it when I can nail every little beat with a sharp hip :)

Music? Hmmmm, I'm pretty picky about the music I like....it has to be crisp and have drums and not sound like that clarinety--accordiony 70's style belly dance music (like George Abdo and Others from that period) I used to adore Hossam Ramzy, too...but lately I"ve decided that he's a tad monotonous and often drums for his own pleasure, not for the dancer. I've been partial to alot of "pop" songs lately. The new cd "Belly Dance Superstars" has alot of really good rockin' songs on it. Hate the name though! I love just about anything from Omar Faruk Tekbilek. Solace is good, though they've gotten weird lately too. One "old school" musician that I do like is Emad Sayyah.....he's the one who does all the "Best of Bellydance from ______" (fill in your favorite middle eastern country) Again, not very original titles, but he's great because he plays specifically for the dancer. Which means he's easy to follow.

I thought I might give a little info on some videos you gals haven't mentioned (probably because they're not commercially available.......you can't get them at Block buster!) The best teaching videos, I think, are by Suzana DelVecchio and Jillina. They both have series of technique and performance videos on their websites. I also love Artemis Mourat, for honest to goodness "Real" Turkish Rom (Gypsy) style. Suhaila Salimpour has some great videos out, if you like the California style of cabaret (*not* tribal) Most of the easy to find stuff (neena/veena, and the like) is a nice lure into the world of bellydance, but when you're ready to really chew on some solid techniques and choreographies there are hundreds of much better videos out there.

I don't recommend ATS (American Tribal Style--like Fat Chance) videos to people unless they're part of a group that does it together. The whole point behind ATS is that it is *always* done as a group, as a "tribe" of sisters....it has certain "rules" (like every move starts on the right.) so that the tribal leader can "improvise", but really everyone knows exactly where she's going because they know the rulebook. That's why ATS groups always look sooooo tight, there's very little variation.

Geez, I guess I've rambled long enough!:^:

Talk to you later,

07-29-2003, 10:49 AM
Hi Mira,
The purple shell costume looked great-very "mermaid-ish!" I love it!
We are having an American Tribal style workshop in September with Jaleela Saleem, and I will be vending there. I vend cholis, harems, and other dancewear items that I make myself, and I am a vendor for A Kai silk veils as well. My instructor is a vendor for Dahlal Internationale-so between the two of us-her with all her hip scarves and finger cymbals and music-and I with a lot of apparel items-we pretty much have everyone covered. I usually make items in S-3X, but I do custom-so if a smaller or larger size is needed, I will make those as well. I designed costumes for my instructor's troupe for a show they had in May, and they turned out great. That was a week that we hade a workshop with Jajouka up in South Bend Indiana.
I make custom designs, as well as cholis-Fat Chance style and wrap style in various sleeve lengths, and I also use some patterns by B.D.Patterns and I like them lot.
I agree about the videos-I usually recommend one that is easily available for a newbie-just to see it they like it-and then I like to either talk them into taking a class and using their videos for home practice, or get them to a more advanced video if there is not a class nearby.
I totally recommend videos by Ruby Jazayre-her site is www.rubyjazayre.com. She is a super lady, and a great dancer-who also does a great drum solo! :D She has some really nice drill videos to really refine the moves. I don't have a lot of actual choreography videos...mostly technique/drills for cabaret and American Tribal Style. (My instructor teaches both.)
I like veil, but I LOVE playing zils...and I prefer doing a faster number with heavy drums and zil playing over a slow pice with veil. I am also really into learning to work with a sword-which I am starting this week! (I also prefer any zils by Saroyan) :D If I remember correctly Mauvaisroux who posts here (she is away for a couple days out of town) likes to work with veil and cane.
I also really love the dancer Laylia from Ohio-she dances with the Naughty Navals at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Her site is www.laylia.com. What I really like about her is her presence. I have seen some really great dancers, but if they don't intereact with the audience with their expressions and smile-it just isn't as good. I have seen audiences go wild over less skilled dancers who really looked like they were just loving what they were doing, and giving a flirty glance to the audience now and then. I think presence really makes so much difference.
Laylia has that presence...let me tell you. She is flirtatious without being "too much" and she is very approachable, and has even been known to stick out her tongue and act a little goofy in a renaissance performance, and her audiences just love her. I am really hoping to go to Ohio and take a workshop with her in the near future.
I also have the Bellydance Superstars cd...Do you like the Chicky song on it by Oojami? I have the Oojami Belly Dance Breakbeats cd, and if you like that song you would probably like the whole cd. (I hate the name of the Superstars cd as well...hee hee)

07-30-2003, 08:42 PM
Hi Aphil! I am back from Indy-had a great time at the con- met a couple of the 501sters again :) I think it is great that these people put so much work and effort into their costumes!

I got meet some of the celebs over the weekend, the LARPS seemed to go well and I heard the costume ball was fun although I was too busy to get there :( The True Dungeon seemed to be a big hit and I hope they have it again next year.

My friend and I are hoping to bring a costume next year and I may bring one of my bellydance outfits. I have some great material set aside to sew some new costumes so that will give me a project over the winter and also inspire me to stay in shape and keep up with my classes ;)

Welcome to everyone new who has recently posted :wave: I am looking forward to getting to know you and chatting about dance with all of you. Belly dancing is one of the most fun, invigorating and uplifting things I have ever tried and I hope all of you who are trying it out for the first time have the same good experiences that I have had.

Jennifer 3FC
07-31-2003, 01:16 AM
Ok, I've looked at so many sites and video clips that my head is spinning! I have the Neena and Veena tapes. They start out so SLOW. Am I just being impatient? I'd like to learn this, but I want to learn a fast dance eventually. It seems like almost the whole first tape is turning my head back and forth. Are these the videos I should still be using, or should I be looking elsewhere? I haven't watched the end of the video series, so maybe it gets quicker.

I watched a small clip (very small!) on Ruby Jazayre's site. That looks like so much fun! I like the music, too. It was fast, drummed, and sounded traditional. What type is this?

Thanks for advice - I'm a BellyDance virgin!

07-31-2003, 09:20 AM
Oh HONEY, Get thee a better video!!!!!! Or better yet, a class. I've been teaching for 12 years and the twins and their perma-grins just send the heeby-jeebies down my spine.

If you truly want to learn this dance, you need to get a video from a "non-commercial" source. So many of the top dancers have been seduced by the commercial fitness producers and mass produced videos meant to be sold, viewed once or twice, and then collect dust on a shelf.

There are so many really good instructional videos out there, depending on your personality. There are floaty, "goddessy" , get in touch with your inner woman-ness type videos and there are hard core, just learn the moves so we can sweat together types. There are jazz-influenced videos that are still uniquely middle eastern, there are traditionalists, pure-American......whatever.

I would suggest checking out www.shira.net
This is the best overall view of the belly dance world. She has music and video reviews, and articles about all sorts of stuff....including a page for overweight dancers. And links for dancers webpages all over the world, so you might be able to find a class or two.

If you tell me where you live, I can try to point you to some classes as well. You really can't get the proper attention or outright fun from a video!

Good Luck,

07-31-2003, 04:15 PM
Yeah, I like the Neena and Veena workout tapes but I haven't used their actual dance instruction tapes.

I use the workout ones as part of my cardio routines.

I like my Dolphina Goddess basic workout tape for reinforcing and refining movements but nothing beats a real class. :cool:

07-31-2003, 05:42 PM
Basically, most beginner tapes like Veena and Neena and Dolphina are pretty basic, and a lot of the moves go pretty slowly-this is because (I think) some of the movements are different, ones that we are not used to doing-the head slides, the lifting up and down of the chest, etc. that they want you to get a feel for the movement.
The Veena and Neena tapes are a "taste" of bellydance-if you don't like it they sit on a shelf, if you DO like it you end up buying more videos or taking a class.
When my first couple of basics classes started, we took movements pretty slowly-hip circles, ribcage isolations, neck slides and circles...because now months later you are doing these same movements while playing finger cymbals, doing fast footwork or moving your hips. There is a lot of layering, so it is best to learn a basic move well and slow for proper technique, and then add on.
I totally recommend the three video set by Ruby Jazayre. Since you are a bellydance newbie, and want to learn the basics, but learn a few faster moves-I also recommend Magical Motion by Atea. It is also very basic moves like snake arms and ribcage slides, but it does some faster hipwork, and shows you how to play a basic finger cymbal pattern.
(I also use ONLY Saroyan brand zils-the Nefertiti ones are smaller and a good size for beginners. Once you have used cheap ones and then get nice ones, there is a world of difference.)
Check out www.shira.net, not only for her video reviews, but for her instructor/class directory and see if there is one near you.
I have the Veena and Neena and Dolphina videos and I like tham both, but I do them as a WORKOUT between classes-not for technique. I have other more advanced ones plus my class for more advanced technique.
I had my regular class last night, and I had my first private lesson this morning, and another one tomorrow morning to learn the piece for the upcoming performance. Rehearsals start Monday night for that, and I need to get up to speed with everyone else. The group I am dancing with is doing a drum piece-song number one off of Hossam Ramzy's Sabla Tolo cd...can't think of the name of it right off hand. I really like the choreography to this one. Very fun. :)
My top came last night as well...I really like it...very sparkly. :)
Now I just need to get some black harem pants in satin and I will be all set.

07-31-2003, 07:50 PM
I agree with you Aphil. I am using mine for the summer until my class starts up again in September. And then I will use them as a between class workout :D

Jennifer 3FC
08-01-2003, 12:27 AM
Thanks for the advice! I'm going to search these out and see if I can find something that works well for me. Thanks again. :)

08-01-2003, 03:56 PM
I just came back from my private lesson, and learned the rest of the drum solo piece for the show. Now all I have to do is go to the rehearsals, and work on getting everything nailed perfectly and all of the movements/form perfected.
We had a few minutes left over, so then we played around with the sword for a little while...fun, fun, fun!

08-05-2003, 12:24 PM
That sounds like fun Aphil!

08-11-2003, 06:17 PM
How do you find if there are any classes near where you live -- I am out on the eastern end of Long Island, NY "The Hamptons"

Thanks -- this sounds like it would be a great addition to my new workout routine and fun to boot.


08-12-2003, 10:59 AM
That reminds me of that old Seinfeld episode...where George gets a "house in the Hamptons." :lol:
Check out www.shira.net on her instructor directory...and you can also call local dance schools and ymca's...places like that and see if they know if any are offered around there. I would try Shira's site first!

08-12-2003, 03:45 PM
Thanks -- there is one about 45 minutes away from me according to that list -- I saved the info to check into it later.

:lol: I remember that Seinfeld episode --

08-26-2003, 02:03 PM
Hey everyone!
Updates: I got my Saroyan Scimitar sword recently and I am LOVING it...I also have a new favorite dance cd...it is by a group called "Solace" and the cd is called "The Gathering." I love it-it is very tribal sounding. I am working on a choreography with sword to a song on it called 'Sudan."
I have been dancing a lot lately for exercise and for performance practice, and I have also been doing various tapes-both choreography and technique oriented, as well as more workout oriented tapes/dvds such as Veena and Neena.

09-03-2003, 08:44 PM
Your sound sounds très cool Aphil! :cool:

I can't wait - my class starts again on September 20th! :cb:
I have really missed it over the summer.

09-07-2003, 08:08 PM
Yay! I bought some beautiful fabric at an Indian sari store this weekend. It is chocolate brown with a gold paisley type print and a wide gold print along the bottom that shines irridescent pink and green when the light catches it. I am making a skirt and a matching veil out of it for our class performance.

09-07-2003, 08:11 PM
I bet you are glad it is starting up again soon! I have rehearsals and such...but I will be glad in November when my actual weekly class starts up again after her baby is born.
Speaking of that-her baby shower was today...it was to die for. It was held in an upscale Italian eatery...and we had a private room called the Wine Cellar...which looked like a wine cellar with stone walls and everything. Fancy salads with pine nuts, wine, wparkling water and lime...pastas and grilled vegetables...and to finish it off we had berry sorbet with fresh berries and a small Godiva chocolate...it was awesome. Much better than a cake and ice cream/parlor games type of shower.
Only 6 more days until the tribal workshop...I am excited about that-the workshop and vending there both. It will feel great to get back in the dance school for a few hours Saturday...we have two more rehearsals before the show the next weekend, but they are at people's homes and it just isn't the same!

09-08-2003, 05:01 PM
Oohhh sounds pretty! I just bought some emerald green sari fabric that has gorgeous designs on it to make a choli out of...I am going to use the pattern band that runs along the one selvage edge of the fabric as the bottom of the sleeves....
I bet that color you chose will look GREAT with your red hair and the snow white skin I hav heard all about!

09-09-2003, 04:04 PM
Ellis and Ruthxxx helped me decide and they told me it looked really good on me and I trust their judgment :)

I can't wait to wear it so I better get cracking with that sewing machine. If it turns out well I will post a picture.

Your fabric sounds gorgeous too!

09-09-2003, 04:18 PM
Oh you better post a pic...I am going to post a pic of me in costume from our show next weekend!!!

09-09-2003, 07:53 PM
Cool! :cool: Can't wait to see your outfit!

By the way your baby shower sounded like a lot of fun! It actually gave me an idea for one I am co-throwing for a friend in January!

09-09-2003, 11:13 PM
cool...was it the place settings part??? That was a really cool thing that they did.
Since it is an outdoor show, we are dressing real fancy...I will be wearing black satin harem pants, a black coin scarf with gold beads and coins, and a purple top that has gold sequins, and the sleeves flare and are sheer from the elbow down...plus the kohl around the eyes, bindis, etc.
I can't wait to do a solo at an indoor event...so I can wear something FANCY...

09-09-2003, 11:27 PM
Yeah. We went to the same friend's bridal shower and it was punch/cake and parlour games. Which was nice but the usual stuff and I hate those games :p

I was approached by a mutual friend who asked if I would help host the baby shower. She wanted to do something sophisticated/modern and no dumb games :lol:

So I have agreed to have it at my place. We were leaning towards a "cocktail/mocktail" party since the mom-to-be can't drink (but the rest of us can ;) ) with some fancy nibbles and fine linens and I love the ideas of the place settings and Godiva chocolates and a fancy dessert instead of just grocery store cake. No cheesy balloon bouquets and wearing of the bows on mum's head either :nono: Hmmm...:chin:wonder if we should have it at a restaurant instead?

So many things to think about :lol:

Actually several of the ladies attending are into belly dancing and the mum-to-be used to take lessons too. Maybe a middle eastern theme would be good? :D

09-10-2003, 10:05 AM
That would be awesome...you could either have it in a Middle Eastern type of restaurant...OR you could recreate it at your place...with big pillows around to lounge on while she opens gifts...and maybe the linens and plates and such in Sari-ish colors/prints...We had the cocktail/mocktail thing as well...with both offerings...the fancy dessert was a great addition at the one I went to...they laid out a couple of small saucers at the end of the meal across the table that had the fancy chocolates on them...enough for each of us to have about 2-and before I forget-there is a place that has better chocolates than Godiva...no kidding. I am a chocolate snob, and I know! :lol: Go to www.debrand.com and check out theirs...the taste is unparallel to any chocolate in the world...their classic assortment would be a good idea to do this with...their fillings are DECADENT. They are a local place here about a half hour away from me-owned by a woman that knows her chocolate!
From what I hear you are a great adventurous cook, so I am sure that it will be awesome!

09-19-2003, 12:03 PM
Hey everyone!
Well, my frst performance is tomorrow! I am really excited! We had dress rehearsal the other night, and it was so cool to have on the whole ensemble...and tomorrow will be even better with the whole makeup deal! :D
I have been thinking about the upcoming holiday season-and what I really want for Christmas...my husband and my mother usually come right out and ask me-and pretty much let me choose what I want-and I think I want a full costume. My costume for the show is nice-but it is a basic top, hip scarf, and harem pants-I can wear the harem pants with anything, as well as the hip scarf-so they are sort of "mix and match pieces." I think I want a "full" costume...I can't afford anything extravegant-like a $600-$700 beaded extravaganza-as much as I would like-but here are a few I have been eyeing and drooling over...
1.) "Oriental Orchid"-this costume is under the Egyptian full costumes...it has a skirt, but you can order the bra and belt set and neckpiece for only $294.95...I would make my own skirt and sleeves out of a coordinating fabric. I thought that the bra and belt set would be flattering and camoflauging for my still a-bit-fuller figure.

2.)"Renaissance"-this costume is under the Egyptian costumes in the dresses section...I am just in LOVE with this one...drool, drool, drool...I like the flash of leg you get with the sheer inlays without being "bare" and I like the tummy coverage-while the hip wrap and decorated bust still give the look of the traditional bra/belt set-$299.95

3.)"Trendy Traditionals"-this one is under Egytian full costumes as well...I like the fact that it has long sleeves and full bust coverage-I can still wear a bra under this, and it will cover my still not perfect arms...and I like the skirt-it is a one piece skirt, but has the look of a skirt with a fringe belt-$274.95 and different colors available.

4.)"Shooting Star"-not nearly as fancy as the others-but I like this because I can wear a bra under it...I like the fuller coverage, and the fact that it is harem pants as opposed to a skirt-which is essential for most sword routines...because we are usually all over the floor and going up and down-and you don't want to "expose" the audience. :lol: I thought it would be a put together inexpensive costume for sword routines at $99.95.

drool, drool, drool, drool...of course-if money were not an option at all...under the Egyptian full costumes I am in love with "Samia's Secret"...love the arm coverage, the waist straps that give a slimming illusion, the full bust coverage...it really gives the total illusion of a perfect, voluptous hourglass figure...hey, it's only $750!!!! :lol:

Feedback, please!!! There are a lot of gorgeous costumes on this site, but I have chosen these ones specifically because they address my specific figure needs...I am large busted, hourglass shaped, and my upper arms are a problem area for me-so a skimpy bra with no support and no sleeve coverage is not something I would feel comfortable in.

09-21-2003, 07:55 PM
They are all gorgeous Aphil! I think I like the Shooting Star outfit best though. It is a beautiful color, a little different and the pants look really comfy. This outfit would be great if you were doing a routine with a cane or a sword :)

Running a close second would be Oriental Orchid. Then again if I was fabulously wealthy I would be buying one of each from that site :lol:

How did your performance go?

09-21-2003, 09:36 PM
The performance went GREAT! My stepdad videotaped and took some photos...can't wait to see them!
It turned out really nice...the weather was 70 degrees and perfect-sunny, and not too windy. :)
We had a really nice audience as well for an outdoor event...and were really well recieved by everyone there...and I was totally surprised, but I was not nervous AT ALL...I was actually very calm and collected, and really enjoyed the whole experience.
I know what you mean about the costumes...I really do like the Shooting Star costume too...it isn't really that fancy, but it has just enough sparkle for the stage...and it is relatively inexpensive. I may have to get that for my birthday or Christmas this year. (I choose my own gifts...DH hands me the checkbook)
I like "different" colors as well...oranges, lime green, wine...stuff a little bit different than the usual red, black, or royal blue belly dance costumes you see every event.
I will get a pic up here as soon as I get them!

09-25-2003, 10:10 PM
Glad your performance went well Aphil :encore:
Can't wait to see your pics.

My dance teacher is having a costuming seminar, a performance makeup seminar and a professional photographer come in to take photos if we want them - throughout the season. I would love to have some proper photos taken in one of my costumes :)

09-26-2003, 11:01 AM
Hey everyone!
Mauvais-having pictures taken sounds great! My stepfather is a former pro photographer and a former pro bodybuilder...(some combo, huh? :lol: ) He is one of my family members who is always rooting for me in the diet/exercise arena-rather than some of the family who can be "sabotogers" if you know what I mean!
He took our wedding pictures, and is always there taking the candids at family events-I definitely want him to take some pictures of me in some awesome pictures of me in costumes in the future!
I was talking on the phone a couple of days ago with a member of my instructor's troupe...and we ended up talking for about an hour, and really got to know one another better. I wanted to share part of our conversation with all of the bellydancin' divas here! ;)

What we discussed was our different reasons for beginning to take bellydance lessons, and how interesting it was to see how we have "evolved" and how much of a learning experience it has been for us. She told me that she started taking bellydance lessons through a special community program that our nearest large city offers-my instructor is a part of this program and offers a beginning class through it-along with her regular lessons at the dance hall. She said that she always liked to learn new things, and took floral design, or some sort of class through that program-and when she saw bellydancing on there, she took it just because it was something different. She said that she was shy about showing her body (and she has a nice figure) and never even wore a choli or half top to the beginning classes. She never dreamed of performing because she was very shy and "unrelaxed". She fell in love with the dance and culture, and slowly gained more and more confidence with herself...now she is a troupe member and performs in great costumes and has finally relaxed into it and is having a ball! Her little sister (who is 12) is anxiously awaiting her 14th birthday, when she is old enough to start taking lessons in the adult class! Her little sister has a poor body image because os a few extra pounds, and watching her big sister dance with all shapes of women (and the audience loving it) has her really excited about getting into it as well.

I had always loved bellydancing, and when I found a local instructor I thought it would be a great way to combine that with exercise-and finally have an exercise form that I enjoy. I have accomplished that, but I have also found that I have lost the "exercise" mindset with it-that I am concentrating on my form and technique and taking it very seriously. I have also learned that while I still am in the losing weight and firming up process, that I accept and enjoy my body more the way that it is now. One year ago I never thought I would be baring my belly and dancing in public weighing in the 170's....
We also discussed that for the first time in both of our lives (with the exception of my friends here at 3FC) that we are in an environment of women where it is totally supportive. I am used to women being catty, backstabbers, superficial....and for the first time I feel like I have sisters who are 100% supportive of me and that we all really care about each other. Before now, the closest female friends I had were my mother and stepmother...even all of the female in-law's in my family can be catty and unsupportive.
Our classes have women of all shapes, all sizes, and all ages...and we are embracing this beautiful art form, learning about another culture, getting wonderful exercise, making lifelong friends, and being in a supportive environment where we are encouraged to be ourselves 100%. I don't know any other "exercise" that has done that for me. I feel more alive and more beautiful than I have in years...

I have also just ordered the book called "Grandmother's Secrets" and it has been recommended to me by my instructor as well as other dancers...they sell it at Amazon.com if anyone is interested in learning a little but more about the culture/history of the dance. It is a true story about a young girl growing up in the culture, and learning all about belly dance from her grandmother.

Take care,

10-02-2003, 11:29 AM
Yes! :cb: Tomorrow night I am going to a belly dance party/benefit at a local dance club with two of my friends.

There will be dance demos by local dance teachers, dance videos shown, prizes given away, an auction and afterwards a big party with a dj playing arabic music!

All this for $6.00 and the money goes toward cancer research! :D

We are to bring our hip scarves with us or show up in costume- should be fun! :)

10-02-2003, 11:57 AM
That sounds awesome!!!!! We are in between classes right now with my teacher about to "pop" any minute...:lol: but we are getting together in about a week and a half for "video night". WE are going to do the "Stretch and Tone" workout by Suhaila-it is supposed to be a workout video for belly dancers, and then we are going to watch vintage belly dance performance footage...YUMMY! We are supposed to have popcorn and door prizes as well...I am looking forward to it.
I have been watching and doing/reviewing some videos that I haven't done before-so I thought I would tell youa l about them:
~The Goddess Workout with Dolphina:veils~
I really liked this one-it is short and sweet, the entire thing from warm up to cool down is only 20 minutes long-but I really felt it in my arms and shoulders!!! :D There was a lot of moves in it that I have learned in class, so it was good review/practice at home-and fun to do. Dolphina calls some moves different names than what my instructor calls them-but I have heard that it is a pretty common thing in bellydance-what she calls "whirlpools" by instructor calls "egg beaters" but it is all the same...if anyone likes to practice basic veil moves at home this is a decent tape to do that with, and it is also easy enough for a beginner who doesn't have a teacher but wants to learn to dance "with a prop" to do on their own. All you need is a veil, and if you are doing this at home-all you need is a 3 yard piece of chiffon-and it doesn't even have to be hemmed.
~The Goddess Workout with Dolphina:finger cymbals~
This was also a 20 minute short and sweet lesson...I really liked the 5 minute "hand yoga" warm-up to loosen up and strengthen the hands/fingers. Something that Dolphina did that I really did like was instead of using the drum sounds to tell the rhythm, she used easy to remember the pattern. Instead of saying "Dum" or "Tek" like an instructor did, or "Right Left Right" or some other phrase, she made it easy for a newbie or at home user by saying "Wor-ship Me" to remember the "R-L-R" triplet cymbals pattern and so on...You can do the dance segment with this one, or if you want to concentrate on the cymbals alone, you can just sit down and play along until you are ready to tackle both.

All in all, I would recommend both for a student new to either prop, or just for practice use at home. You are not going to learn some spectacular move, but you will get some good review if you are taking a class, and learn enough to use both props if you have no teacher and are learning with videos alone.

10-02-2003, 12:07 PM
Hi ladies! Its so cool that you're talking about bellydancing. I always wanted to try it. I bought 2 of the videos by the twins. The basic moves and 1 other. But I barely watched the 1st one and never opened the 2nd. I ended up loaning them to a friend who probably hasn't watched them either. I thought about trying a class. There is a group in my area called Isis that perform at Scarborough Faire and they have classes in Hurst, TX. Here's the link: www.isisandthestardancers.com I just haven't gotten around to doing it. But you're really encouraging me! I'd love to feel sexy and make my man drool! Thanks :D

10-02-2003, 03:40 PM
Thanks for the reviews Aphil! :D

I want those 2 videos but I haven't been able to find them in my area yet and I don't want to pay in U.S. $ plus shipping plus GST taxes on my side of the boarder so I guess I'll keep looking.
My favorite part of dancing is the veil work and could use that tape for zil practice.

I do have Dolphina's introduction to belly dance tape and her warrior goddess workout which I really enjoy.

BTW - I have introduced yet another friend to bellydancing :lol:
She is currently taking the begginer's class and I am taking her to Friday's bash with me. She was over the other night and I was showing her my hip scarves, silver zills and my costume making materials and I think whe went home with visions of her own future outfits in her head! This makes the seventh person - we could start our own troupe in a few years :lol:

Hello again shoequeen! You should get your tapes back and dust them off :D
Hope you can make it to a class it is so much fun and very empowering!

10-05-2003, 07:41 PM
The party on Friday was awesome!!!

The costumes were amazing, the music was great and the dancing was incredible!

I felt really inspired to sew some costumes after seeing the beautiful outfits.

One woman danced with a chandelier with lit candles on her head and two other women danced as a team with lit candelabras on their heads - amazing!!!!

10-14-2003, 02:51 PM
Hello everyone,
My instructor had a beautiful baby girl one week ago today! I have been emailed pics and she is ~GORGEOUS~ :)
We have a twp hour practice today-one hour with just me and one other girl for swrod practice, and then another hour right after for who ever wants to practice while we are still all out on "maternity" break.
We are choreographing an American Tribal Style piece to perform for her when she comes back...actually-I am planning a surprise gathering in celebration of her and the baby in a few weeks...

10-14-2003, 05:28 PM
Hi girls! I just found this thread, very cool. I just started bellydancing like 6 months ago, I go every Thursday night with my sister. It's American Tribal style, and as soon as we're ready, we're going to start performing and forming a troupe. (We all started as beginners, so we have a ways to go yet) I like it, I think it's great for toning, but I don't think it's very cardiovascular at all. It's amazing learning to move parts of my body independently that I never could before. I also love the costumes, the instructor is also a seamstress and has made a lot of beautiful harem pants and cholis, and I got a set that looks fantastic on me. Anyway, I've found something that I really enjoy, the costumes, the music, the moves, the friends in the class, and plan on sticking with as long as I can! :-D

10-15-2003, 10:23 AM
Hi Harmony!
I am taking bellydance from an instructor that teaches tribal fusion-or a combination of styles. We learn Caberet with Turkish and Egyptian influences, and we also learn Americal Tribal style. She teaches zils, veil, cane, and sword. Since you are doing American Tribal Style-you probably would work mostly with zils and less, if any with the other. I definitely recommend learning both styles if you ever get the chance.
I think it CAN be very cardioascular, depending on what you are doing-if you are learning very isolated moves like belly rolls and ribcage rotations-it is more for toning-but you get some fast songs going and end up doing 15 minutes of 3/4 shimmies and Egyptians...that heart gets pumping! I think because you are concentrating on what your instructor is doing and where you need to be moving to in the room, and all of the other-that a lot of times we tend to forget that we are getting our exercise in...whereas you watch the clock the entire time while you are on a treadmill just waiting for it to be over. :lol:
Good luck and welcome aboard!

10-19-2003, 07:38 PM
Whew! I am wiped out! I spent most of my day at a bellydance bazaar...part of it as a volunteer helping set up and direct the vendors to their tables, some time spent watching a few peoples tables while they got food, drinks and a bathroom break and the rest of it shopping.

I got a new black and gold belt, a small silver and black waist tie and a veil that attaches to your head with a band of silver coins- :dancer: (me doing the happy dance :D )

Welcome Harmony-good to see you over here. I do cabaret style.

10-20-2003, 10:54 AM
Don't you just love it when you get new belly dance "pretties"? :D I know I sure do! My birthday is next week and my mother always just sends me cash to get whatever I want...decisions, decisions, decisions...I am tossing around the ideas of either a scabbard for my sword, a fancy caftan/coverup, or calling every belly dance supplier in the known world in search of a brown chiffon hip scarf with gold coins...

10-21-2003, 01:37 PM
Yup! I love gettin new stuff :) I also bought 2 of the Goddess workout Cd's as I really like the music she uses. I can find two of the work out tapes here but not the CD's so that was a find in itself! :D

06-08-2004, 05:35 PM
Bumping this thread up for Beach Gal! :D

06-14-2004, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the bump Mauvais! Wow...I haven't posted on this thread in months! Too busy DANCING! :lol:

Things have been going well since I last posted here! I went to a Middle Eastern Festivale Saturday...and a couple dancers and I were out dancing to the live group...(Amin Sultan...and he is WONDERFUL...and SEXY!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!) and a man came up that owns a local restaurant and offered us jobs as dancers in his restaurant! It was too far out of town for me, but one girl lived closer and she just may take it!

We had a great time dancing there, and tasting all the food and looking at the great hand made items. There was a woman there giving Middle Eastern cooking demonstrations...and I bought a GORGEOUS handmade pillow cover with some beautiful embroidery work! And when we were out dancing, Amin Sultan motioned that he wanted us to go on stage! We were too flustered to go do it...he was just too darn good looking! ha ha There were also some cute little girls doing dances with canes and tambourines...they were so fun to watch!

I am preparing for a lot of performances this summer...I am doing lots of sword balancing dances and floorwork dances, as well as some drum solos! And, I am loving every minute of it! I am still dancing with my fitness belly dance videos on days off from performances and classes to keep brushed up on the basics, and to get the benefits of the continual exercise.

How is everyone else's dancing going? Are you taking classes, performing, or just trying out videos at home for the exercise benefit? Are you enjoying yourself? Any new finds in videos or music? Mauvais-I know you are learning floorwork like I am? Are you still learning cane? I want to learn cane so badly!


07-15-2004, 06:19 PM
I actually spent about an hour yesterday on the web, researching bellydancing classes in New York, before I had seen this thread! I went to a party recently where there were several bellydancers, and I was really amazed by a) how sensual it is; b) how much control it requires; and c) the acceptance (even reveling in!) the different shapes and sizes of women's bodies.

I'm not sure I have the guts to take a class yet, but I'm working up to it :).

So glad to find this here!

07-15-2004, 09:39 PM
Oh honey...go on and sign up!!!! I have women in my classes from 200+ pounds down to 95. All shapes and sizes. Ages from 17 years old to 60's. It is VERY self accepting...and a heck of a workout! I have been dancing for a couple years now...and I am loving every minute of it! I have done 5 performances this past month...and have more lined up for later this summer!

Yes...it also teaches you amazing control of your own body over time. Belly dancers can move individual body parts like most people can only imagine! :wink:

08-23-2004, 09:04 AM
I have always been very interested in belly dancing. I checked out one of the Neena and Veena tapes a couple of years ago and didn't like it (I guess I picked out the exercise one and not the dance one). I'm going to go back to the library today and find some tapes that will teach me moves. I can't wait!! I really want to join a class too, but I'm leaving for college in a month. Who knows, maybe they will have classes at school?

08-23-2004, 09:22 AM
Check out www.shira.net and look at her instructor directory-there may be a teacher near you. Out of the Veena and Neena "Fitness For Beginners" series-the SlimDown one is probably the quickest paced with the most variety. The Discover Bellydance Series (basic dance, beyond basic dance, mystic dance) are a little more structured like a dance class than the fitness series.

As mentioned earlier-Atea's Magical Motion is great if you can ignore the outdated hair and costume styles. She teaches posture and form well.

Whatever you do-do not pick up "Belly Dancing For Fun & Fitness" with Janine Rabbitt. It is AWFUL. She is a very nice woman, obviously loves to belly dance-and was produced nicely with great lighting and traditional music-but she just can't dance. :( Bad posture, bad execution of moves...you don't want to learn from her and pick up those habits.

Those are usually the ones found in local libraries.

We had rehearsal for the upcoming show last night, and tonight as well. Kicking my butt. :lol: I am excited because we are doing the group sword balancing act-and so far the troupe enters...I enter and do a short solo part with knee balancing and Indian type dancing moves-and then re-enter the group. Then my instructor comes out and does a short solo part. She re-enters the group and we all partner up-and I am partnered with my instructor! Yay! (crosses fingers and hopes we get to do something really cool together in this dance) :lol:

08-24-2004, 12:36 PM
I went to that website and found an instructor in my area. I am planning (?) to take the class maybe in September, if I can get up enough nerve.

08-24-2004, 12:51 PM
Good for you!!!

08-24-2004, 10:46 PM
Hi again, Aphil and alla the resta yall. I noticed this thread and had to chime in.

I took maybe a total of 2 years worth of lessons, on and off, ad been practcing it for 6 years. That's not including my instructional tapes. I have the gawdawful Janine Rabbitt tape (that was the first one i ever got, keeping it for nostalgia), three of Atea's magical motion tapes, one choreography tape by Suhaila Salimpour, and two of the Belly Twins tapes for exercise. When I used to live in Alabama I was lucky enough to have a neighbor who had a good bit of tapes to share. I dance in my living room about twice a week, and a couple times a month I get together with a friend who took lessons with me, and we work up short choreographies and practice. I guess I'd call myself a lower intermediate student of the dance.

I did one actual performance, at a senior care facility. We did a "Gypsy" dance, and a veil number. I'm not too much for dancing around other folks, but maybe if I could get to my fitness goals, I'd change that. My hubby said that when I reach my goals, he'd buy me a real costume- he'll take me to New Orleans to get it where there is a real bellydance supply store.

I have been working on a costume for years. My sewing skills are horrid. I did manage to get good at harem pants but have yet to create a functional top. However, i do have a goodly selection of hip scarves, coin belts, and veils. I wear nude color danskin slippers. I have a cheap balanced sword, full-size and mini-zills. But it took years to accumulate all this.

Aphil, what is your favorite music to dance to? Mine is the old skool Cabaret stuff like Eddie the Sheik Kochek, George Abdo, The Sultans, etc. For modern stuff I like Light Rain, and Hossam Ramzy.

I ordered a book from Turkey with lots of cheesy-looking costumes in it. But it also had several photos of Victorian era "belly dancers". I put together a costume in this fashion and had my hubby fix up a pic of me in it. I am going to try and attach it, hope it works!

08-24-2004, 11:29 PM
Cool pic! :)

08-25-2004, 10:06 AM
Very folkloric! Love it!

My favorites to dance to...hmm...so many! I do cabaret, American Tribal Style, as well as tribal fusion...so I have a large selection of likes. I love Eddie The Sheik Kochek for traditional...I also really love Solace all around, Oojami for fusion stuff as well...Natacha Atlas...so many!

My sword is a Saroyan steel scimitar-the kind that have been around forever. Saroyan recently discontinued them and now have a newer lighter and cheaper aluminum one. I am not a fan of it. They are cheaper-but they do not have the beautiful etchings and handle of the original. They are lighter and easier to balance-but they look too "cheap" to me. They still have a few left at Saroyan of their original steel ones-so hopefully I can afford to get a second one soon to match the one I already have for double sword balancing.

I have some pretty good instructional and performance videos-Delilah, Awalim, Dalia Carella, and the like. Dalia Carella is the guest dancer at the Best Of The Midwest show I am dancing in next month. She is a big gypsy dancer-I am excited to be taking a workshop with her earlier in the day before the show.

We have rehearsal tonight for our performance in that show!

I also have the Janine Rabbitt-and it is awful. I, too, keep it for nostalgia. :lol: I actually have been meaning to invite the other dancers over for a "movie night" to watch it with popcorn-and laugh our rear ends off. :lol: It is sad that she can't dance-because you can tell that she really enjoys belly dancing-and would totally be a dedicated teacher. Everything else about the video was nice-she explained well, she had a nice set,nice music, she was informed of the history of the dance, she had the choreography up on the screen-if she could dance it would have been great. I would be up for her putting out a new video if her dance skills have improved.

08-28-2004, 09:16 AM
I wound up disliking the videos I got out on bellydancing. The one with the twins was boring, and I couldn't handle Shamira (the one telling me to imagine I am an ancient Egyptian priestess and to open up my chakras). BUT, alas, I tried the last video I got, which was "hip hop hip drop" with rania. It is really fun!! She actually teaches you a dance, instead of just moves.

08-28-2004, 10:42 AM
If you don't like Shamira-you won't like Dolphina. lol They are both very "earthy". If you don't want to keep the other ones-they have a great exchange forum over at www.videofitness.com where you can exchange videos/dvd (dance and exercise) that you don't want for ones that you do. I trade there all the time-your trash is someone else's treasure!

I am off to a dance workshop in a couple hours-vending there-hopefully I make some $$-because I need it! :lol:

08-28-2004, 10:55 AM
Thanks for the tip aphil, I do have some videos I would like to exchange. Luckily I just rented these from the library. I think I'm going to buy the Rania DVD though. I love it!!

08-31-2004, 12:17 PM

If you like Rania, she has three new dvds and a book coming out this Demcember.

Oh, and I found a fiction book about bellydance-the main character begins taking classes after breaking up with her boyfriend. It was an excellent read. Here is a link to it on amazon:

Surprisingly, my library had it.

Aphil, I'm on vf too-great place!

Take care,

08-31-2004, 02:07 PM
Yeah...Snake Hips is sort of a belly dance "classic" fiction.

09-02-2004, 08:07 AM
Hi from a 3FC newbie

I do bellydancing too, and I love it. I go to a class (tribal style) once a week, and also have a video made by our teacher to practice with at home. Nice to meet lots of other dancers :)

09-03-2004, 08:31 PM
My classes start up again in a few weeks - I am really looking forward to getting back to it! We also have a bazaar coming up in November and a show in October :)

09-07-2004, 10:15 AM
Sounds great!

We have the Dalia Carella show and workshop coming up less than two weeks...and in a week (Monday night) I am starting a belly dance conditioning class-isolations, form, flexibility training-that sort of thing. We have a workshop in October for duvani gypsy styled belly dance...and in November we are getting Laylia of Ohio to do a sword and audience interaction workshop for us. I am giddy with excitement over all the new stuff coming around the bend with it all-lots of new things and styles to learn.

Is anyone here familiar with duvani gypsy belly dance? It sort of looks like a combination of traditional with some earthy moves and flamenco moves thrown in there...very kewl!!!!

09-08-2004, 01:31 PM
Wow- that duvani style sounds really cool! :)

09-08-2004, 03:17 PM
Yeah it is...they utilize a lot of the really full circle skirts or huge tribal yardage skirts that you can pull the hem out equal to your hips on both sides or higher...TONS of skirt. :)

09-17-2004, 03:03 PM
Hey Aphil! Someone in my area has started offering beginner's classes for tribal and another two have started gypsy style classes. The tribal is too far for me to attend but the gypsy style classes are closer so I may go and check them out.

I am going to class tonight - I am going back to one of my previous teachers as she is now offering a special choreography class - she wants to start a troupe and me and one of my friends are thinking of joining :D I would love to be able to perform more and this would be a great opportunity to do so!

I just got a costume idea while going through my closet last night :idea:
I have a bridesmaid dress from a couple of years ago that is quite pretty. It has a creamy coffee coloured underskirt and a pale copper coloured organza overlay. The bodice is fitted and the skirt is A-line and floor length. I really love the material but the dress is too fancy to wear except to a formal Christmas party or something like that.

I was thinking of going to a seamstress, since I am not that good at sewing that I feel comfortable altering an organza dress, and having the dress made into a skirt and top ensemble. The top would be cropped enough to show my belly button and I would then trim the top and skirt with a few coppery sequins and coins to add some flash.

09-17-2004, 03:28 PM
Ooh....that sounds pretty! All you would need to do is have the seamstress redo the waist so it is elastic if possible...and then have her hem it so it is to the top of the foot when you wear it at "belly dance" level on your upper hips. The top should be pretty easy to crop and decorate!
I am going to be in a wedding next year-hopefully I can recycle my dress as well. :lol:
I hope you try the gypsy class and enjoy it! I am getting my costume and all my junk (circle skirt, veil, zils, clothes, makeup) and all that together today/tonight. I have to leave at the crack of dawn in the morning to drive to the workshop and show!

09-20-2004, 05:42 PM
aphil, how did your workshop/show go?

I found a couple of other outfits that I can take apart and use the sequins and trims from too :)

09-21-2004, 10:16 AM
All I can say is...if any of you ever get the chance to watch Dalia Carella perform...or take a workshop from her...it is a MUST DO. I have taken a lot of workshops...and this was by far the best and most fun. She taught a very flirty almost on the vulgar side duvani gypsy...and a wonderful section on traditional Indian dance. I am in awe of her and want to follow her around like the Grateful Dead. :lol:
I got to chat with her a couple times over the course of the day and evening-and she is a wonderful woman. She is a diva-but it's like she doesn't know it. Her personality is wonderful. She puts everyone around her at ease instantly. When she performed at the end of the show I was a little teary eyed. I could only hope to ever be as good as her technically, and to have her astounding stage presence. She also did the most fabulous Turkish Drop...it was amazing.
I was really pumped up...when we were in the dressing room (which we shared with her!) she commented on our costumes-and I felt so good when she said that. We performed our sword piece a couple numbers before Dalia...and at the end of our piece we got great cheers and applause and yells...and as we were walking off stage Dalia was in the wings awaiting her turn-and she said our piece was beautiful. That meant the world to me to hear that from someone of her status. :love: :love: :love:

09-25-2004, 02:20 PM
I found a great quote from British comedian Victoria Wood (http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/entertainment/filmandtv/tv/s/77/77786_telly_talk_weighing_on_my_mind.html) ~

If life's given you a belly, go dancing!

in fact I think that's gonna be part of my sig ;)

09-28-2004, 04:19 PM
Love the quote clarrie! :lol:

Aphil that sounds awesome! :)

I signed up for the class that is duvani style - first class was an awesome workout! We are jsut doing review for the first 2 classes but will be starting the duvani moves during the 3 class - I can't wait! :cb:

09-29-2004, 11:13 AM
I was vending at another beginning class last night...and I have noticed something. In the beginning class-you get all these tiny, tan, Barbie doll women in their thinking they are hot stuff-not really interested in the ME dance as an art form or fomr of expression-they want to be in their to learn some dance for their husband or boyfriend.
What I have noticed is that they flip their hair around and buy some fancy hip scarf-and they are the WORST DANCERS. They are so stiff and uncoordinated-and all of the women who are not so "perfect" or who carry a few extra pounds are the ones who turn out to be great dancers. Yes-it is the "normal woman's revenge!" :lol: I have also noticed that the Barbie women never sign up for the next level class...once they find out it is actually "work".