Arms can either make or break a dancer. Have you ever seen a famous bellydancer with less than amazing arm movements? I didn’t think so! Here are some tips and exercises to get your arms in shape and up to par with your dancing.
- If you are choreographing a fast, energetic piece, your arms need to be strong and sharp! If you’re doing a more traditional or slower song, think graceful. Make sure to have your arms react with each music change as well.
- When doing any reaching arm movement, think about trying to lengthen your arm as far as it can go. This will make your movement stronger and more dramatic.
- Variety! Change your arm positions frequently! Nothing is more boring than a dancer not moving her arms. Listen to the music and choreograph the arms to fit.
- Make your movements natural. If it feels awkward, it probably looks awkward. Don’t be afraid to try something new!
- Watch this ballet video and follow along. It will get you used to moving your arms constantly and thinking about connecting your entire body. (Ballet is beneficial to every dance style. It may feel awkward if you’ve never done it, but I promise it helps. Do this at least once or twice a week for best results) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpIuX67mqLg&feature=related
- Sit back, close your eyes, and listen to a song. Visualize yourself dancing to the music and what arm movements would look fit perfectly to the rhythms/melody. Write it down.
- Watch other bellydancers on YouTube to see what they do with their arms. Bookmark what you think looks best and try to copy them. Write it down to use for choreographing later.
- Watch as many cultural styles as possible to discover what you like the best. Below are some dancers who have unique or dramatic, pretty arms:
- Egypt: Aleya of Cairo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf01zevxmVk
- Turkey: Nesrin Topkapi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhDcduy0-dk&feature=related
- Russia: Evgenia Kopteva http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8XOodMfEC4
- Latin: Saida (best arms ever!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhKO7ElrFrw
- Tribal: Kami Liddle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcSZMD3lScE
- Lebanon: Maya Abi Saad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE_ig1r4bUA&feature=related