(Een Nederlandse vertaling volgt)

Term 2 with Greenstone Belly Dance online is starting on Wednesday May 13 and Thursday May 14 with free trial sessions! Join us for a free trial session before the term begins officially on May 27 & 28.

We’re offering a free online, interactive beginner belly dance class on Wednesday May 13 at 18:00, and a free intermediate/advanced belly dance class on Thursday May 14 at 19:15. Keen to join? Register here or read on for more information.

Online Beginner Belly Dance Class Details

If you like learning new things, if you’re looking to strengthen your body, and if you want to step out of your comfort zone – you’ll love belly dance!

You’ll learn how to access and isolate muscles around the hips and torso to create both soft, fluid movements, and stunning sharp hits and locks.
This course covers both technique and choreography, to give you a technical grounding that can be transferred to any belly dance style, and to get you up and dancing straight away.

Join us at 18:00 on Wednesday May 13 to try Beginner Belly Dance online!

Online Intermediate/Advanced Belly Dance Class Details

This class is designed for belly dancers with a minimum of 18 months continuous belly dance experience under their coin belts. We’ll be working on layering, advanced techniques, musicality, emotional expression, and improvisation.

Join us at 19:15 on Thursday May 14 to try Improver Belly Dance online!

Details for Accessing Live Online Classes

Due to extensions on social distancing requirements, and a desire to keep our students and their families safe, this class will take place online! You will need a mobile device or a laptop. After signing up, you’ll receive a link with details on how to join the class via Zoom. For an even better connection, plug your computer or laptop into your ethernet cable.

Questions?

Contact us here.

I wanna join!

Perfect! Register here.

I missed the free online trial classes. Can I still join an online class?

Absolutely! You can drop into any class between May 27 and July 16 for just 15 euro per class. Register here or contact us here with questions.

Informatie in het Nederlands

Greenstone Belly Dance online lessen beginnen weer op woensdag 13 en donderdag 14 mei met gratis proefsessies! Ga met ons mee voor een gratis proefsessie voordat de klassensessie officieel van start gaat op 27 & 28 mei.

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This article was originally written for Greenstone Belly Dance Newsletter recipients in June 2019. Want to receive nerdy new belly dance articles as soon as they’re published? Sign up to our semi-regular newsletter!

As belly dancers, it’s important we work on our musicality so we can better understand and interpret the music that we dance to. If we are not from Middle Eastern or North African countries, this can mean spending a bit of extra time getting used to new sounds! Let’s spend some time learning about some rhythms you’ll often hear in belly dance music. 

Siobhan Camille of Greenstone Belly Dance performing with Middle Eastern Inspired band, The Unfortunate Repercussions, in Dunedin, New Zealand.

The Malfouf / Malfuf Rhythm

2/4 Rhythm: D T T

Rhythm Sample

An Example of Malfouf in a Song

Above is an example of the malfouf rhythm starting at around 1:08 in a version of the famous belly dance composition, Set el Hosen.

Typically, the first part of this famous song (up until ~1:08) is played (either by a live band, or nowadays, on a recording!) without the dancer being present on stage. Malfouf is often described as a travelling rhythm or an entrance rhythm (remember, it means “rolled” in English, so we can think of the rolling feeling of the rhythm), so when this rhythm starts, this is when the dancer would come on stage.

You can see an example of a dancer entering on the malfouf rhythm below:

Maqam world is a great place to learn more about Middle Eastern music! Check out the Malfouf Maqam World Reference.

Dear dancers, friends, and followers,

I hope you’re all doing as well as possible at a time like this. I know it’s an uncertain, scary, time for a lot of us. Maybe this has greatly affected your work. Maybe there are people close to you who have already been diagnosed with this disease. Maybe you’re filled with worry. I’m sorry and I wish I could do more to help you.

What I can do for you is this: I can promise to do my best to keep you dancing at home. I can give you a time to dance and shimmy and remember that there are still pockets of joy in hard times. I can give you a chance to dance in your own home, but not alone, via our online classes.

As you’ll all know, the social distancing measures have been extended by the Dutch Government until at least June 1. This means no in-studio classes until June at the earliest. However, Greenstone Belly Dance has already taken the plunge into live, interactive, online classes. And we are getting better every time! I’m doing my best to research and invest into new technologies to give you fabulous audio, a great picture, and of course, a great time dancing!

I have just announced block of online classes in April (we were due to take a month break in April; however, I now think it’s even more important that we keep moving to look after our brains, our bodies, our minds, and to get a chance to say hi to your classmates from the comfort of your own home). The free trial classes in May will indeed go ahead, but they will be taught online. At least the first portion of each class session will be taught online. If the Dutch Government relaxes restrictions by June, I will gladly look into moving the classes back into the studio.

I’m looking forward to shimmying with you again in person when we can. But for now, let’s stay home and do our bit to protect the most vulnerable around us. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, keeping moving as much as possible, stay connected, and look after each other.

Love and strength and shimmies,

Siobhan Camille,
Greenstone Belly Dance

In case you missed it: An article by Greenstone Belly Dance founder, Siobhan Camille, was featured in the January 2020 edition of Zameena magazine! Read on below for a sneak peek, and check out the full article here.

The New Year is upon us!

And for 2020, I’d like to propose a different sort of New Year’s Resolution.
One that doesn’t focus on the size of our bodies, or on avoiding certain foods. One that doesn’t focus on how our bodies look in a bikini, but rather, one that focuses on how our bodies function and feel during dance and life.

Dance allows us an outlet to express ourselves whilst keeping active at the same time. However, too often as dancers we spend all our time loving the dance, and neglecting to maintain the condition and strength of our bodies to keep up with our graceful, strong, and at times athletic movements.

I’ve met many young dancers who are secretly nursing niggly injuries that they try to ignore, and older professional belly dancers who tell me they wish they had taken better care of their bodies when they were younger. Whether you’re a professional dancer, or just dancing for fun, you can help reduce your injury risk (and improve your dance stamina and technique) if you put some time into looking after your body.

As part of my work, I conducted the first ever scientific study examining injury incidence in belly dancers. From the results of this, and combined with almost a decade of experience working in injury rehabilitation and athletic performance, I have some ideas on what we, as dancers, can do to look after our bodies.

To ensure you’re dancing strongly into 2020 and beyond, here are my 4 quick tips for happier, healthier bodies!

  1. Be active outside of belly dance

In our study of 118 female belly dancers, participation in non-dance-related exercise was associated with a significant decrease in injury rate.[1]

This may come as no surprise to some of you, as it’s well known that training in other types of exercise has been found to reduce injury in professional dancers of other styles.[2]

Working on your strength (think bodyweight exercises like squats and push ups, or using weights or resistance bands), and aerobic fitness (with activities like swimming, cycling or jogging), can be beneficial as it can help make your body more resilient, and better able to deal with the demands of dance.[3],[4]

My personal motto is that I always want to be stronger and fitter than my performance or teaching schedule actually requires, so I’m less likely to experience injury.

Be easy on yourself if this is your first time incorporating non-dance exercise into your schedule. If you’re not exercising at all during the week apart from belly dance, jumping into 5 days of training will be both unrealistic for your motivation, and perhaps even lead to an injury from such a sudden change in your training load!

Start low, progress slow: Aim to add in just one 20 minute strength session per week, or start getting off the bus or train a stop earlier to work and take a brisk walk the rest of the way. Look for places to sneak in just 10 minutes of continuous exercise into your day, then build from there.

Want to read the other 3 tips? Check out the full article here in Zameena magazine!

References:

  1. Milner SC, Gray A, Bussey M. A Retrospective Study Investigating Injury Incidence and Factors Associated with Injury Among Belly Dancers. J. Dance Med. Sci. 2019 Mar 15;23(1):26-33.
  2. Bronner S, Ojofeitimi S, Rose D. Injuries in a modern dance company: effect of comprehensive management on injury incidence and time loss. Am J Sports Med. 2003 May-Jun;31(3):365-73.
  3. Koutedakis Y, Pacy P, Sharp NCC, Dick F. Is fitness necessary for dancers? Dance Res. 1996 Oct;14(2):105-18.
  4. Koutedakis Y, Jamurtas A. The dancer as a performing athlete: physiological considerations. Sports Med. 2004 Aug;34(10):651-61.