Belly Dance Moving Across the Floor (I)- Technique, Playlists, and YouTube Links

Classic New York-Style Belly Dance with Veil (I): Class Notes, Playlists, and YouTube Links

Step-Touch (Linear Walk), Step-Ball-Ball, and Rocking Rhumba

First step is opening up and getting our connection flowing again.

Music

Warm-Ups (In-Place)

  • Simple drop-down-and-reach-up, with veil (use music Diaspora from Spain, see link above),
  • Simple in-place gyrations – emphasize whole-body movement – with veil (same music as above).

Techniques

YouTube Vids for Reference

A more complex walk, the “Turkish Walk,” to do later: Learn to belly dance: the Turkish walk .

Related Blog Posts

Master Class Study

Preps for Turns and Spins


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Very best wishes as you use Oriental dance (belly dance) for personal growth and healing!

Yours in dance –

Alay'nya - author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Unveiling-The-Inner-Journey-Alaynya/dp/0982901305/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368123419&sr=8-1&keywords=unveiling+the+inner+journey">Unveiling: The Inner Journey</a>
Alay’nya – author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey

Alay’nya
Author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey
You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus. Become the Jewel!

Founder and Artistic Director, The Alay’nya Studio
Bellydance a courtesan would envy!

Check out Alay’nya’s YouTube Channel
Connect with Alay’nya on Facebook
Follow Unveiling: The Inner Journey on Facebook

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Alay’nya, Unveiling: The Inner Journey

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Copyright, 2016 (c). All rights reserved.

Winter Quarter Studies, 2017

Dear All – We had a great kick-off class on Saturday, Dec. 3rd!

Here are some links to help you start your at-home practice, as an adjunct to what we will be doing this Winter Quarter:

Winter is the Season of Pentacles; it deals with the element of Earth. So, during Winter, we do grounding and anchoring types of things. We work with solid, percussive rhythms that help us connect with our Earth-Mother. We work with zills and complex rhythms. We do drum solos.

Here are some posts-from-the-past on these topics:

And since this site is getting a total overhaul and update, why not begin at the beginning? The very first blog post – from 2003:

Belly Dance for Sex Energy Transmutation

Check out this Youtube clip on the gnostic teachings regarding sexual alchemy:
Gnostic Sexual Alchemy

I’ll fill in more about this soon.

In the meantime, a couple of good YouTube vids:

Healing and Resolving – Helps You Have Beautiful Dance Arms

What Makes Your Arms Look Gorgeous? (And What Makes Them Look NOT – In Your Dance and In Your Life)

It Takes Courage to Claim Our Space

Learn to take up space - it takes courage, but makes a statement! Photo courtesy funnygrins.com.
Learn to take up space – it takes courage, but makes a statement! Photo courtesy funnygrins.com.

A woman who retired as full colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps recalled counseling a woman junior officer. The younger woman was presenting herself too timidly in the presence of her male peers.

The result of the young officer’s nice girl posture was that her ideas and work was not being taken as seriously.

My friend’s advice?

Take up more space.

She suggested that the young officer sprawl more when she sat in a chair – stretch out her arms and legs, rather than sitting in a tight, closed, demure little posture.

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Chicken Wings – How NOT to Look Graceful on Stage

Chicken wings - not an ideal visualization for beautiful arms and hands.
Chicken wings – not an ideal visualization for beautiful arms and hands.

Can we just cut to the chase here?

There are wonderful imageries that help us create beautiful flowing technique and lines in our dance.

Chicken wings is not one of those images.

How do we get them?

More important – if we have them, how do we get over them?

Practice counts, surely.

But what if there was a way to make near-instantaneous change – in our dance and in our life.

Interested?

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How Not to Have Chicken Wings in the Middle of Our Dance

Chicken wings in dance - when our arms and hands don't give us the beautiful line that we'd like.
Chicken wings in dance – when our arms and hands don’t give us the beautiful line that we’d like.

I recently observed a dance performance, and a highly respected dance teacher was sitting next to me.

The choreographies were good, and the dancers had their moves down right. But something was off.

Instead of having a long, beautiful line, various dancers were pulling in their arms.

The respected dance teacher summed it up in one pithy comment:

Chicken wings.

Chicken wings are not just a matter of poor posture, poor training, or inattention to detail.

What is really going on is that the dancer is constricted in her energy field. She’s afraid to open up and really claim her space.

But that’s not what we want, is it?

When we dance, we’re not just doing entertainment.

When we dance, we are a priestess, taking our people into a transcendent space.

We can’t do that if we’re fearful and constricted.

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Tight Shoulders – The Other Extreme

Belly dance with tight shoulders is not attractive, either.
Belly dance with tight shoulders is not attractive, either.

Sometimes, we express our tension differently – we get our shoulders up to our ears.

This isn’t pretty or graceful either. (Nor is it inspiring or transcendent.)

These are two sides of the same coin.

In both cases, it’s like having a kink in our energy hose. Our energy isn’t flowing freely, and so of course we don’t look as good as we might.

 

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Reaching Through Our Energy Field – Inspiring, Enthralling, and Transcendent

Belly dance arms - excellent line - transcendent moment.
Belly dance arms – excellent line – transcendent moment. Photo by Stanislav Honzik.

When we’re not afraid to extend our reach, we create transcendent moments – in dance, in life.

Recently, I talked with my dear friend Patty Haley – a beautiful dancer (and who has also served as an officer in the U.S.M.C.). Patty teaches women to take up more space when they dance. (See a great video clip of Patty explaining her Peaceful Warrior Girl approach.)

But sometimes, we need to make this change from the inside out.

 

 

 

 

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When We Claim Our Space, We Claim Our Lives

<a href=
Julie Marie Rahm, the Resultant. width=”147″ height=”220″ class=”size-full wp-image-1953″ /> Julie Marie Rahm, aka the Resultant.

Earlier this week, I asked my friend Julie Marie Rahm, the Resultant, to help me with a challenge.

I’ve done a lot of healing lately, and a lot of integration – but I still had some big areas of “stuckness.”

Recently, I’d felt very unsupported during a challenge that affected my entire Household. It’s not so important what the details were; it’s that I had some old tape playing in my mind.

Because the outer always reflects the inner, I created outcomes that had me feeling unsupported. These outcomes reflected a belief that I had – actually an energy pattern that I’d created.

This energy pattern impacted everything. Finances. Relationships. Stability of business ventures; whether on my own or with partners. Ability to get support and implementation of my creative areas.

More and more, I was seeing this as a pattern – not as a series of isolated events.

And more than anything, I wanted a deep pattern shift.

Julie worked with me for about 25 minutes, using YUEN Mastery, the New Science of Achieving Immediate Results. She did this at a distance; we were on the phone with each other, but once she knew what the problem was, she didn’t even need to have me on the line with her.

She advised me, when we were done, to take it easy for the rest of the day.

She was right – I felt just fine during the session itself, but later in the day, was a bit loopy and spacey – definitely not a day for operating power tools or making corporate budget decisions.

Felt fabulous the next day, and wrote my planned blogpost introducing Julie and the Yuen Method; see Has Your High Priestess Been Shortchanged This Year (How to Fix).

The day after that (yesterday), I really needed to take some time off for pure integration – lots of stuff going on both physically and emotionally.

Today is the fourth day since my Yuen session with Julie.

In next week’s blog, I’ll report how this method seems to be impacting my life overall.

I could feel the shift, as we worked. But it will take time for the real pattern-shifts to manifest on the physical plane.

One thing I can tell you, right now. Some of the blurts that I’d been wrestling with – for the past several years – have eased up substantially. (See Using Belly Dance to Heal Deepest Emotional Wounds, from February 2, 2013. And if you had joined me on the Twelve Lessons of Solstice (which will re-open again at Winter Solstice of this next year), you heard a lot about blurts, and how they reflect our core wounds and impact our lives.)

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Can the YUEN Method Resolve Issues with Our Core Power Archetypes?

Chinese Emperor Kangxi was known as wise and benevolent.
Chinese Emperor Kangxi was known as wise and benevolent.

I’m looking for shifts in all areas of my life – personal, professional, and dance.

In dance, I’d like more strength, structure, firmness of expression. These are Emperor characteristics.

We may also want our Emperor to show up in our lives by having better boundaries in our relations with others (as well as keeping more of our vital energy for ourselves), having clearer communications with others (as well as greater internal connection), and increased financial well-being (along with personal energy).

Our Emperor achetype works to our advantage, both in creating a positive experience in the external world, and in shaping our internal energy selves. These really become the same.

Our Emperor is one of our core power archetypes. Our Emperor serves to define and protect our boundaries, increase communications and energy flow throughout our whole being, and bring in good energy and resources. In short, his job is to protect and provide.

Sometimes, we have some damage in our Emperor connection. Then, our Emperor has a hard time expressing in a useful and sustained way.

As I wrote recently in The Unveiling Journey (the blog series associated with Unveiling: The Inner Journey), our Emperor is on our side. Check out Healing Our Inner Emperor – What a Breakthrough Feels Like.

If you’ve experienced the Yuen Method, please share your experiences in the comments section.

If this is new to you, check back next week, when I report in. Also, look into Julie’s webpage, Problems-Resolved. Read some of her blogs to get a sense of how this method works in practice.

I’m working on healing (or as Julie would say, resolving) issues with my Emperor. You may want to focus on a different archetype or life-area. Either way, I’m interested in your results.

Please share. I’ll read and respond to your comments, and ask Julie to chime in also.

And oh yes. Let me know if strengthening your inner Emperor – or any other resolving done with the Yuen method – helps you claim more space. Personally, professionally, or in dance. Or in all areas at once.

Very best wishes as you use Oriental dance (belly dance) for personal growth and healing!

Yours in dance –


Alay'nya - author of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey"
Alay’nya – author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey

Alay’nya
Author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey
You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus. Become the Jewel!

Founder and Artistic Director, The Alay’nya Studio
Bellydance a courtesan would envy!

Check out Alay’nya’s YouTube Channel
Connect with Alay’nya on Facebook
Follow Unveiling: The Inner Journey on Facebook

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Oriental Dancer Ronnette Ramirez on Unveiling: The Inner Journey

What does Oriental dancer Ronnette Ramirez have to say about Unveiling: The Inner Journey?

Alay’nya’s Unveiling: The Inner Journey

Ronnette Ramirez, dancer and Edtior, Bellydancing Site at BellaOnline: The Voice of Women.
Ronnette Ramirez, dancer and Edtior, Bellydancing Site at BellaOnline: The Voice of Women.

This is a must read for all women. Most of what is written, relates to oriental dance and the lives of dancers, instructors, and those who dream of becoming a dancer. A woman’s journey is of importance and Unveiling: The Inner Journey, is a terrific guide.

Alay’nya has a HERstory that is familiar to us. However, what she created is a wonderful text of rich knowledge and research for women to use in their pathway. In Unveiling, Alay’nya takes you on a journey to discover what is a woman’s pathway.

… On a personal note, there is a section in the book called “Receiving”. This is my challenge, for I do feel less in control if I receive from others. I will go back to that section and work this issue. Alay’nya’s words hit close to home.

Read Ronnette’s whole review here at Ronnette Ramirez on Unveiling in the Belly Dance Editorial at BellaOnline.


Check Out Ronnette Ramirez’s Belly Dance Editorials at BellaOnline

BellaOnline - a website for women, with a good belly dance site edited by Ronnette Ramirez.
BellaOnline – a website for women, with a good belly dance site edited by Ronnette Ramirez.

BellaOnline is a website for women, covering many areas of women’s lives.

BellaOnline includes a Bellydancing Site, edited by dancer Ronnette Ramirez.

Recent posts by Ronnette include:

And just as a side note – Ronnette is fascinated by the character Scheherezade (such drama! such psychological richness! such courage!), and has several posts on her – interesting coincidence that I write about Scheherezade also in Unveiling‘s Chapter 8: The Essence of Stillness.


 

Alay’nya, Unveiling: The Inner Journey

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Related Posts: Emotional Release for Beautiful Arm Movements

Dancer’s Archives: Classic Drum Solos (DVD & YouTube)

Dancer’s Archives: Classic Drum Solos (DVD & YouTube)

Morocco in Bahlam Beek & Drum Solo – the drum solo starts at minute 7; a solid 3 1/2 minutes.

One of the most fascinating things about watching the really great dancers is their sense of humor – something missing from some of the younger ones.

Morocco accompanies the drummer throughout on this piece with expertly-played zills (at a tempo and with patterns that few dancers today can match). Generally, playing zills during the drum solo is a “no-no.” The idea is that the only musician playing during a musical “solo” is – indeed – the solo musician. Zills are a musical instrument, hence, the dancer should not compete (musically) with the drummer.

However, great dancers can break all the rules.

This one is worth watching.

Dalie Carella opens an improvisation with a drum solo.

Mid-East Darbouka Drum Rhythms

Five drum rhythms: baladi, ayube, masmoudi, malfouf, & karsilama

Malfuf rhythm

Top ten drum rhythms: Maqsoum, Baladi, Ayub, Malfuf, Saidi, Masmoudi, Chiftetelli, Fellahi, Khaleegy, Wahda

Four Ways to Play the Maqsoum, posted Dec. 10, 2016, 7PM.

Veil Dancing – A Beautiful Instructional YouTube Clip

Belly Dance Veil Instructional YouTube Vid by Imei Hsu Shows Softness, Sensitivity, Technique

Too many of us in Oriental dance have performances that are heavy on the glitz and glamour – all brightly-colored, sequined and beaded costumes, big smiles – and not enough sensitivity and depth of emotional feeling.

One of the best ways to enrich our emotional repertoire is by dancing with a veil.

Anahid Sofian, Master Teacher of Oriental dance.
Anahid Sofian, Master Teacher of Oriental dance.

Veil dancing gives us mystery and depth.

I learned this from two of my master teachers in Oriental dance, Anahid Sofian and Elena Lentini.

Both of these teachers were renowned for their flowing and expressive veil movements.

In Chapter 4 of Unveiling: The Inner Journey, I describe one of Anahid’s favorite veil drapes, the “Turkish turtleneck.”

In Unveiling’s Chapter 26: Selective Revelation, I share a powerful lesson that Anahid taught me.


Unveiling: The Inner Journey currently has twenty 5-star reviews. It includes many vignettes of studies with leading teachers of Oriental dance.
Unveiling: The Inner Journey currently has twenty 5-star reviews. It includes many vignettes of studies with leading teachers of Oriental dance.

From Unveiling: The Inner Journey:

What was it that Anahid had, and that I had totally forgotten?

Simply, it was the power of holding something back.

In my dance, I had started the way that many dancers start these days; holding my veil behind me, and using it to frame myself as I moved across the floor. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, if the music is very active and dynamic, theis can be a great dance opening! However (and this is important), this approach lacks the power of mystery and suggestion.

In the dance that Anahid showed me, she started by staying in one place, with the veil wrapped around herself. She held the veil edges in such a way that her hands were covered. She held her hands high enough so that, with the veil wrapped around her from behind, it covered her face as well. [pp. 359-360]


Where Can We Learn Good Veil Techniques on YouTube?

Imei Hsu does Veil Bellydance for Emotional Performance as a YouTube video clip.
Imei Hsu does Veil Bellydance for Emotional Performance as a YouTube video clip.

In last week’s Alay’nya Studio blog, I shared one of my favorite recent finds – a YouTube vid veil performance by Imei Hsu: Bellydance Veil for Emotional Performance.

Today – in preparation for this week’s class, and for those of you who are studying with me “virtually” – let me recommend two of Imei’s instructional vids.

Basic Veil Openings and Movements

If you are just beginning your veil work, start with: Imei Hsu’s How-To Veil Basics. Although she starts even beginners with a 3 1/2 yard veil (and recommends 4 yards for taller students), her techniques are very accessible; within a short time, even a beginner can be using these techniques and looking very good.

Soft, Graceful, and Emotionally-Rich Veil Openings and Movements

Melina, of Daughters of Rhea, teaches Greco-Turkish Oriental dance.
Melina, of Daughters of Rhea, teaches Greco-Turkish Oriental dance. Photo by Najmat.

Imei has a second, slightly more advanced tutorial: Imei’s Advanced Belly Dance with Veil YouTube Instructional Vid.

If you have problems loading this clip by clicking on the link above (YouTube is being just a tad bit tetchy today), then open a browser in YouTube, and enter the key words:
Imei Hsu Belly Dance Seattle Classes How To Dance With a Veil – you’re looking for a vid clip that is 8 minutes 14 seconds long. That should get you there.

Once again, here’s the link to Imei’s Advanced Belly Dance with Veil YouTube Instructional Vid.

I like this clip because it breaks down several of the techniques taught to me by Anahid and Elena. Imei credits Melina (of Daughters of Rhea) with some of her techniques.

Here are some special points to note:

  • Longer-than-average veil allows more flexibility with dance opening moves. Imei favors a 3 1/2 yard veil. Most veils today come in 2 1/2 yard and 3 yard sizes. When you go to a 3 1/2 yard veil, it is a bit more difficult (especially for shorter dancers), but the increased vocabulary range makes it worthwhile.
  • Emotionally-compelling dances often begin by keeping yourself fully veiled from view. Imei shows two lovely variations on how to enter covered with your veil, where one of the long ends is tucked into your hip belt. The veil can be draped so it covers your head and torso, either coming up from the front, or swooshed to the back and draping down over your front. Both are lovely and give a subtle sense of mystery and drama to your opening moves.
  • Your longer veil gives you more options for framing and partial draping. Imei shows how you can frame yourself from behind, or throw your veil over one shoulder and arm – while still keeping the tail end tucked in your sash. There’s a lot of choreographic and expressive flexibility with these moves.
  • Lovely way to frame your hips for shimmies. Imei shows a very pretty and useful way to have the veil close-held and yet frame your hips, about 3 min, 40 seconds into this clip.
  • Beautiful “Z” movements – can be combined with turns. This section is very reminiscent of some of Elena Lentini’s movements; about 5 minutes into this clip. A dramatic flip-up, followed by “double-Z’s” is very reminiscent of what I’ve learned from Elena! (About 5 min, 40 seconds in.)
  • Veil work – with back to audience – can be a lovely lead-in to shimmies. See a section about 6 minutes in. Imei shows the same movement she just did previously, with back to you (the audience; the camera), followed by a little in-place shimmy. Delightful!
  • Play with your veil as though it were your dance partner. Imei’s concluding technique demonstrations – starting about 6 1/2 minutes in – show a beautiful veil change-of-pattern embedded into an in-place turn; this was new to me and very worth learning. She follows with a segment on holding the veil (more or less) steady in front while doing a turn – I prefer to hold the veil more taut for this. (Petite Jamilla shows this beautifully on her DVD, Unveiled.) Her concluding techniques are both lovely and dramatic, and well worth mastering.

If you are studying with me – either in-person or virtually – please review both of these YouTube clips before class on Sunday.

Right after Sunday’s class, I’ll post a very quick little “class review notes” blog. It will cover techniques and micro-choreographies that will be our homework for the coming week.

Whether you’re with me in person or at a distance, please do chime in with your comments as we move through Autumn Quarter, devoted to emotionally-expressive movements in Oriental dance!

Very best wishes as you use Oriental dance (belly dance) for expressing those aspects of yourself that come out only when you dance!

Yours in dance –


Alay'nya - author of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey"
Alay’nya – author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey

Alay’nya
Author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey
You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus. Become the Jewel!

Founder and Artistic Director, The Alay’nya Studio
Bellydance a courtesan would envy!

Check out Alay’nya’s YouTube Channel
Connect with Alay’nya on Facebook
Follow Unveiling: The Inner Journey on Facebook



 

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Related Posts: Veil Dancing

Related Posts: Autumn – Esoteric Energy Dance for the Season of Cups (Metaphysical Element of Water)

Does Your Walk Give Away Your Age?

The "Dior Lady" by <a href="http://overgaard.dk/the-story-behind-that-picture-0070_gb.html">Thorsten Overgaard</a>; Image No 5 from "The Salzburg Collection," available from The Leica Gallerie Salzberg
The “Dior Lady” by Thorsten Overgaard; Image No 5 from “The Salzburg Collection,” available from The Leica Gallerie Salzberg

Since then, I’ve noticed that all my Master Dance Teachers have this quality of “eternal youth” to their gait; to their walk. This comes from their “dance walk.”

This isn’t as easy as it sounds.

One Master Teacher, Anahid Sofian, produced Passage Through Light and Shadow (a major dance dramatic story) a few years ago. One of the dance segments had women walking in a somber, dignified pattern; each holding a (battery-operated) votive candle.

Anahid says that she spent weeks teaching her dancers “how to walk.”

The reason that this is so difficult?

Most people just use their legs when they walk.

A Graceful Walk Makes You Look Ageless and Beautiful

A woman's walk moved  George Gordon (Lord Byron) to pen the opening lines of  his famous poem, 'She Walks in Beauty.'
A woman’s walk moved George Gordon (Lord Byron) to pen the opening lines of his famous poem, ‘She Walks in Beauty.’

She Walks in Beauty Like the Night
(“She Walks in Beauty,” by Lord Byron (George Gordon)

Dancers – especially Oriental dancers – use their abdominal muscles to generate their walk.

This isn’t overt; it’s based on very subtly incorporating a lower body undulation.

Your first step to claiming this ageless, supple walk?

Learn the basic undulation walk.

The next step?

Apply what you’ve learned not only to your dance, but to your life.

Panther-Like Grace and Power

Using your abs and releasing back tension helps you move with panther-like grace and power. Northern Chinese Leopard - photo courtesy Michael Rank on Danwei.com
Using your abs and releasing back tension helps you move with panther-like grace and power. Northern Chinese Leopard – photo courtesy Michael Rank on Danwei.com
[/caption]

Can transforming your walk transform your life?

You bet it can!

A smooth, effortless, graceful walk is a power statement.

The reason?

Most people let go of their abdominal muscles; their inner core. And most people have very tight lower backs.

So if you gain control of your abdominal muscles, and use them – so subtly that it seems imperceptible – you’ll transform the way you present yourself.

If you release tension in your lower back, and get your abs to pull you forward – you’ll move with the panther-like grace, confidence, and power.

Your walk will communicate that you are totally present and aware of what’s going on, and that you are in charge of your life.

People defer to those who have confidence.

You’ll find that without changing anything else in your life, people will be eager to give you what you want.

When you have a beautiful, powerful, graceful walk, people will respond to you positively. They will feel better knowing that they’ve served you well.

What Happens If You Don’t Transform Your Walk?

May I say it bluntly?

Women who have not mastered the secret of a beautiful walk look graceless and awkward. No matter how much they spend on cosmetic surgery, or how much time they spend at the gym – if all they do is “work their muscles,” then – they look clunky and old.

As Shakespeare put it:

Youth is nimble, Age is lame …

No amount of cosmetic surgery, dieting, or exercise will give you the same supple, youthful appearance as well as a beautiful walk.

From Unveiling: The Inner Journey:

[On some talk-show makeovers or reality programming:] … stories of full-body transformations of different women… At the end, each woman was, in her own right, as gorgeous as she could possibly be – until she started to walk!
Typically, these women didn’t learn how to move in a beautiful and graceful manner. As a result, although each woman became more beautiful in a simply physical sense … there was still an element of awkwardness. [p. 305]

How To Create a Beautiful Walk

Here’s the secret:

Your walk will be luminous, sensual, and magnetically attractive when you:

  • Release tension,
  • Use your core, and
  • Generate your movement from your center.

Tension release is your most important first step. Pay attention to your:

  1. Lumber area and your sacro-iliac joint,
  2. Hip flexors, and
  3. Psoas muscles.
Alay'nya at the Tiraz Belly Dance Convention, 2013. Photo by Melissa Brooker.
Alay’nya at the Tiraz Belly Dance Convention, 2013. Photo by Melissa Brooker.

Then, engage your core muscles – particularly your internal and external obliques.

Finally, generate your walk using your abs, not just moving your legs. You will use both your tension release and your ability to work with your abdominal muscles as you do this.

This actually is the crucial mechanism underlying your undulation walk; essential to sensual belly dance.

What happens then?

Your walk becomes effortless and compelling.

What happens next?

  • Standard repertoire “walks” – such as the beautiful “touch-step” – become natural.
  • Your beautiful, sensual, and graceful walk emerges – without your “efforting” at it.
  • Without stress, without any sense of “trying” on your part, people feel compelled to watch you.

To help you transform, I’ve put together an Online Guide. It’s my carefully-selected, “best of the best” YouTube resources that will help you develop a walk that will give you turning heads – and admiring glances – wherever you go.

Whenever someone sees you walking – onto the stage, down a grocery aisle, to walking or onto the red carpet – these techniques will empower you to draw attention, and communicate a subtle message that you are “someone important.”


Join me using the form on the right.

When you do, I’ll send you an email with a link to my Online Guide, She Walks in Beauty.

You’ll get my personally-selected, “best of the best” YouTube links for creating a sensual, compelling, ageless walk:

  • Three great YouTube performances – with notes about what to look for (and when) – so you get examples of the best “walks” in action,
  • Five of the best YouTube belly dance instructional clips on the all-important undulation walk, and
  • Special Bonus: My top selected Red Carpet training YouTube links – the “best of the best”: how walk in high heels, how to sashay down the runway, how to take charge of any room and any situation – just with your walk!

Special Bonus:

Once you get access to this special Online Guide, She Walks in Beauty, look for the link to my touch-step walk as I introduce a candle dance. Compare my approach with that of Horatio Cifuentes, a master dancer from Berlin, Germany. How are we similar? How are we different?






Get “She Walks in Beauty” – Your Guide to a Graceful, Sensual, Powerful Walk!

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Alay'nya - author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Unveiling-The-Inner-Journey-Alaynya/dp/0982901305/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368123419&sr=8-1&keywords=unveiling+the+inner+journey">Unveiling: The Inner Journey</a>
Alay’nya – author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey

Very best wishes as you use Oriental dance (belly dance) to bring youthful vitality, movement, and expressiveness into your life!

Yours in dance –

Alay’nya
Author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey
You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus. Become the Jewel!

Founder and Artistic Director, The Alay’nya Studio
Bellydance a courtesan would envy!

Check out Alay’nya’s YouTube Channel
Connect with Alay’nya on Facebook
Follow Unveiling: The Inner Journey on Facebook


P.S. Would you like to use a sensual, graceful walk to open one of your specialty dances? Learn how Alay’nya opens a candle dance with this beautiful “touch-step” belly dance walk!


P.P.S. Learning the sexiest walk in the world involves lengthening our lower back, strengthening and using our abdominal core, and generating your movement from within.

As a side benefit from doing this, you will automatically begin to strengthen your pelvic floor.

There are additional health benefits from doing this. Dr. Christiane Northrup, New York Times best-selling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause, tells us that developing a strong pelvic floor is necessary for our overall health – including mitigating urinary incontinence.

Dr. Christiane Northrup, The Wisdom of Menopause

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Dr. Christiane Northrup on Unveiling: The Inner Journey

What Does Dr. Christiane Northrup, New York Times best-selling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause, have to say about Unveiling: The Inner Journey?

Dr. Northrup notes:
“Alay’nya brings divine sensuality to women in the ancient forum of dance. This book is delightful.” Read this and more reviews of Unveiling: The Inner Journey.

 

Alay’nya, Unveiling: The Inner Journey

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Copyright (c) 2013, Alay’nya. All rights reserved.

Related Posts: Creating a Youthful Presence Through Belly Dance

How Old Is Belly Dance – Really?

The Healing Power of Belly Dance in Water – The Evolution of Belly Dance

Belly Dance Breakthrough via Dancing in the Water

Belly dance in water is a natural hydrotherapy for tension release and a great way to reduce stress and promote natural healing. Energy healing comes as we release stress and let go of back tension. We learn belly dance effortlessly as water shows us natural belly dance techniques.

Tension release has been a big goal for most of my life. I sought stress relief in many ways; many of these involved natural healing and emotional healing. I sought out various energy healing methods, and I saw my chiropractor regularly, got massage, stretched, did dance, and all the “right stuff” to ease the tension. And yes, I had lots of “release breakthroughs” – but this has been one of my core problem areas throughout my life.

Belly dancing in water helps release tension
Belly dancing in water helps release tension and makes movements more graceful and supple.

Not surprisingly, I’m always on a quest to learn how to release muscle tension.

One breakthrough happened when a business trip took me to Hawai’i. I took a few extra days to enjoy the exotic locale.

Natural hydrotherapy, or water therapy, was not something that I expected to find – but I learned how to reduce stress when the soft beach waves gave me a natural water therapy treatment!

I had already been giving belly dance lessons for years, and had taught many women how to belly dance. We all found that belly dance was one of the best stress relievers in our life! But on this trip, I learned how to reduce stress – and release muscle tension – in a very new way!

I was surprised to find that even the world-famous Waikiki beach was nearly deserted after the sun went down. I went out into the water – and found that the beach-shelf extended far out beneath the shore; it was a very gradual and gentle slope. That meant that I could walk out quite a ways before the water really came up to chest-level.

The waves were very gentle; really just a rhythmic swelling. I began to feel calmer; more tranquil and and peace with the world.

I tried “playing” with my belly dance moves in the water, resting my hands and arms very lightly on the water’s surface. It’s then that something new started happening.

Belly Dance in Water – How Surprisingly Right It Feels!

The natural buoyancy of the warm sea-salt water, coupled with the gently swelling waves, helped me relax from the long flight and the meetings. I began to let go of some body tension.

Woman in water. Photo by <a href="http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/coper">Ton Haex</a>. Used with permission.
Woman in water. Photo by Ton Haex. Used with permission.

I flexed my knees just a little bit. This helped me keep my balance. Then, I found that my back was naturally undulating in response to the gentle swells.

Since I was much more buoyant, my hips and pelvis freed up. I started doing all the pelvic techniques – hip circles, Figure 8’s, and others – in a much more natural way.

Resting my hands and arms gently on the water, I found that snake arms simply “happened.” I didn’t have to force them. The “right technique” simply emerged.

This was one of the “transformation moments” in my dance. Now, every time I’m at the beach or in a pool, I try belly dancing in water again. It feels so good to recapture the body-memory of how natural belly dance really is!

The Healing Moment

The healing moment came when I tried undulations. Or rather, I relaxed and let the gentle water swells cause the undulations to happen.

Undulations – upper, lower, and combined – are how our bodies respond to the gentle rhythm of the waves. Releasing ourselves to this healing movement in water helps us integrate, heal, and nourish body, mind, psyche, and soul.


Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus
You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus.
Become the Jewel!

Do you want this kind of healing in your life? Do you want the kind of total body/mind/energy healing that comes as you release and let the water carry you?


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The Real Origins of Belly Dance – From Our Pliocene Ancestresses!

So it’s not hard to wonder why belly dance feels so right in the water – almost as though it is the most natural thing in the world. And perhaps, it feels that way because it is natural for belly dance to happen in the water; this is very possibly how our dance began!

I remembered reading Elaine Morgan’s The Descent of Woman many years ago. (Fascinating read; and I so recommend finding a copy and taking it to the beach with you!)

Elephants evolved long trunks.
Elephants evolved long trunks that helped them breathe when standing in water, and to cool themselves. Photo by Kendra Crowell.

Morgan’s thesis is that humankind went through a major evolutionary growth spurt during the heat wave of the Pliocene era, when temperatures in some parts of the world were higher. She suggests that humans (along with several other highly evolved and intelligent species, including dolphins and elephants) took to the waters during this time. Dolphins became completely water-adapted. Elephants evolved their long trunks, so they could breathe while cooling themselves.

And we humans? Basically, we “became human.” We stood upright (in the water of the beaches and lagoons). We evolved language. A number of our social – and sexual – behaviors come from this time.

My guess?

We also evolved belly dance.


Summertime Good Beach & Pool Reads

What will you read at the beach this summer? Try Elaine Morgan’s Descent of Woman, which kicked off a firestorm in the 1970’s. Her insights and logical reasoning hugely upset the apple cart of “how we humans came to be,” devised by male anthropologists promoting the “great male hunter” myth.

Morgan received widespread interest, a good deal of acclaim, and a lot of criticism, as Descent of Woman was written for general readership, and was not tied to references in the same way as would be an academic book or paper.

Her next book, the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis, added rich references – but is still enormously readable!

Read either, or both, while at the beach or pool – and then use some of her fascinating anectodes and insights to launch your evening conversations. With the right crowd, you’ll get a lively discussion going!

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Belly Dance Comes Out of the Water

Naturally, we progressed beyond our early hominid stages. But we still had a fondness for going to the beach!

Belly dance was born in water - and came to fullness as we danced around fires at night!
Belly dance was born in water – and came to fullness as we danced around fires at night! Photo from Deva Coaching.

Let’s move forward to the time of our ancestresses; a time in which we had recognizable humans – but not yet societies with written language. We had fire, though.

So after a day at the beach, spending our time in the gentle waters, what would we do in the evenings?

Build a driftwood fire, and dance.

Our movements? Those that we had been doing all day long – in the water. Now, though – dancing on the beach sand around a fire – we could leap and turn much more easily.

We lost the buoyancy of water, but gained the ability to turn, leap, and spin.

Early ancestors developed percussion instruments, which spurred the percussive movements of belly dance.
Early ancestors developed percussion instruments, which spurred the percussive movements of belly dance.

We gained the ability to put “sharpness” into our techniques – to do more “percussive” work with our hips and ribs. (These were more emphatic on land, without water slowing the movement’s impact.)

Of course, we were also making our first musical instruments around that time. And these first instruments were percussive; things that we could drum or strike – even clapping our hands. So we had the impetus of percussive accompaniment to spur on our evolution of “percussive” techniques (hip drops, hip and rib accents, etc.).

And thus, belly dance evolved – a combination of movements that were born in water, and completed on land.

To bring the natural buoyancy of water into your technique, check out the video in my previous post. Let let me know via comments if this works for you!


Alay'nya - author of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey"
Alay’nya – author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey

Very best wishes as you make your dances more fluid and expressive by including the joy of “water play” in your practice!

Yours in dance –

Alay’nya
Author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey
You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus. Become the Jewel!

Founder and Artistic Director, The Alay’nya Studio
Bellydance a courtesan would envy!

Check out Alay’nya’s YouTube Channel
Connect with Alay’nya on Facebook
Follow Unveiling: The Inner Journey on Facebook

 


P.S. “Water therapy” helps emotional healing through belly dance – see how Alay’nya uses belly dance in water to release neck, shoulder, and back tension, minimize carpal-tunnel-like stress in the wrists, and create beautiful snake arm movements!


What Does a Leading Belly Dance Teacher Have to Say about Unveiling: The Inner Journey?

From a much-respected Oriental Dancer writing under the Amazon nom de plume of SapphoandRumi, read her Amazon review of “Unveiling: The Inner Journey”: “Even though I’m familiar with much of what she says because I’m a long time belly dance instructor with similar slant; belly dance is more than a dance on a stage; but there is a great deal of new insights I find provocative. She has my ear. Her voice is intelligent and the contents [are] well written and excellently laid out. Bravo!”

 

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P.P.S. – Do you want the healing power of belly dance in water?

Try doing your belly dance when in a pool this summer – or (better yet) – get into a saltwater pool. This can be a hydrotherapy pool, or water in a sheltered lagoon or beach.

Want more? Delilah usually offers a winter belly dance workshop in Hawai’i – what better place?

Delilah's Belly Dance Retreat
Delilah’s Belly Dance Retreat

Copyright (c) 2013, Alay’nya. All rights reserved.

Related Posts: Water Dancing and Emotional Release Through Belly Dance


Belly Dance Was Born in the Water!

Belly Dancing in Water – Creating More Natural, Graceful, and Sensual Snake Arms

Alay'nya helps women learn belly dance "snake arms" technique by practicing in water.
Alay’nya helps women learn belly dance “snake arms” technique by practicing in water. This approach also releases neck, spine, and wrist tension, and gives a more natural and graceful expressiveness to dance!

Do you feel that your belly dance snake arms, your undulations, and your pelvic techniques are as supple, fluid, and graceful as you want them to be?

Do you want to finally master good snake arm techniques?

Your “secret weapon” to gaining fluidity and expressiveness is to play with your belly dance movements in water!

Study with Alay’nya in this YouTube clip to get ideas and inspiration:
Belly dance snake arms – practice in the water!

Filmed live at the first private book signing for Unveiling: The Inner Journey, hosted by Nicole Cutts, Ph.D., Founder of Vision Quest Retreats.


Belly Dancing in Water

When you try your belly dance moves in the water, the natural buoyancy helps you release tight spots and mobilize your neck, spine, and pelvis. Try it! You’ll find that not only your “snake arms,” but your undulations and pelvic rotations/Figure 8’s all become much more soft, natural, and expressive.

It’s great to find out how well your classic belly dance moves work when you are not feeling the effects of gravity so much. A new body awareness can come through this practice, and you can take this into your regular dance.


Alay'nya - author of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey"
Alay’nya – author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey

Very best wishes as you make your dances more fluid and expressive by adding “water play” to your practice!

Yours in dance –

Alay’nya
Author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey
You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus. Become the Jewel!

Founder and Artistic Director, The Alay’nya Studio
Bellydance a courtesan would envy!

Check out Alay’nya’s YouTube Channel
Connect with Alay’nya on Facebook
Follow Unveiling: The Inner Journey on Facebook


From Dr. Nicole Cutts’ Amazon review of “Unveiling: The Inner Journey”: “I love, love, love this book! It is like the g*ddess mother, mentor I never had and always needed. Finally a book that just tells it like it is for women. It is well written, intelligent and enlightening. For any woman who wants to live a life of adventure,joy and love. It is rich with so much wisdom and grounded in thorough research, which I love! I can’t say enough about it. All I can say is read it if you are looking for something new to take you to the next level of womanhood.”

 

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Nicole Cutts, Ph.D., with Alay'nya, at the first private signing of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey"
Nicole Cutts, Ph.D., with Alay’nya, at the first private signing of “Unveiling: The Inner Journey”

P.S. – Are you seeking to revamp and rev up your life? Do you have goals, desires, dreams that seem almost within your reach?

Nicole Cutts, Ph.D., Success Coach and Founder of Vision Quest Retreats, can help you map the strategic plan to achieve your dreams.


Copyright (c) 2013, Alay’nya. All rights reserved.

Related Posts: Water Dancing and Emotional Release Through Belly Dance

Vintage-Style Oriental Dance: Veil Dancing and Floorwork

Alay’nya – Veil Dance and Floorwork – YouTube Link

Alay'nya performing improvisational veil dance with floorwork
Alay’nya performing improvisational veil dance with floorwork, Tiraz Dance Network 7th Annual Belly Dance Convention, Herndon, VA, May 11, 2013.

Improvisational Oriental dance – vintage-style: veil work, moving across the floor, floorwork: Alay’nya in veil dance.


Alay'nya - author of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey"
Alay’nya – author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey

Very best wishes as you use experiment with your own improvisational dance!

Yours in dance –

Alay’nya
Author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey
You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus. Become the Jewel!

Founder and Artistic Director, The Alay’nya Studio
Bellydance a courtesan would envy!

Check out Alay’nya’s YouTube Channel
Connect with Alay’nya on Facebook
Follow Unveiling: The Inner Journey on Facebook