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Learn How to Belly Dance - The Atéa Method™

The Core Belly Dance Techniques

Once a student has learned the basic core movements of belly dance, the next step is to learn the basic techniques for creating variety with the core moves and applying them harmoniously and gracefully to music.

Belly Dance Movement Variation Techniques

Belly Dance Moves You can take basic belly dance moves and create variety with them by using these core techniques:

1) Vary your speed - slow, medium, or fast
2) Vary the intensity of your energy - soft or hard
3) Vary the number of times you work each side of the body
4) Change the direction you are facing
5) Change your level by raising or lowering your body
6) Do your move standing in place, pivoting, or traveling
7) Change the direction of your move (circular moves can be reversed, staccato moves can be angled)

Movement Transition Techniques

These basic transition techniques allow you to flow smoothly from one move to another.

1) Centering - finish one move, center yourself briefly in a vertically aligned stance, then start your next move (this works well with staccato and angular moves)
2) Intersecting patterns - finish a movement in a point in space where its trajectory intersects the pattern of your next movement, then smoothly merge into the next move at that point (this works well with circular or wave-like moves)

Applying Belly Dance Moves To Music

The key to belly dancing well to your music is to listen closely to the rhythm, melody, and tempo and then to respond from your heart and soul. A belly dancer can apply her moves to different musical elements in belly dancing music, such as the rhythm, the melody, or individual musical instruments. The experienced belly dancer can dance to multiple elements at the same time. For example, the hips can move to the drum rhythm while the hands move to a flute melody.

View a belly dancing video clip in which Dahlia interprets a medium tempo of music with slow belly dance moves.

Your goal in belly dancing is to apply your moves in rhythmic harmony or 'on the beat' to the musical elements of your choice. We could say that belly dancing is your body's physical manifestation of what you hear in music. There are many good resources that teach in detail how to dance to the beat of music. Practicing a choreographed belly dancing routine is another good tool for learning proper movement application. However, responding rhythmically to music is a natural instinct and most of us can instinctively move in sync with music that we enjoy.

View a bellydance video clip in which the group demonstrates moves as a choregraphed belly dance drill.

In the Near and Middle East, belly dancing has been handed down generation after generation by women who learned by simply watching family and friends bellydancing at parties and celebrations. In addition to classroom or video instruction, it is advisable for the beginning bellydancer to watch a variety of skillful belly dance performances to help you visualize and develop your own harmonious interpretations of bellydance music.

View a belly dancing video clip in which the group of friends belly dances together.

'The Basic 12' core moves are taught in the Bellydance! Magical Motion DVD.

Advanced bellydancing moves are taught in the Bellydance! Slow Moves and Bellydance! Fast Moves.

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