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8/9/07 2:34 P

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I want to add one more:

Habiba's Quickstart to Bellydance.

It's a 2-video set, and it covers the basics of Egyptian style dance. It's not really a beginners video, but it's for people who aren't familiar with Egyptian. The sound is a little muffly, but you can understand her. It's just not crystal clear.

She covers a LOT in these videos. She said it's what she covers in 6 months of classes. Expect to work with them a lot, and rewind a lot! I think they may be available on DVD by now, but I'm not sure.

And if you're in the neighborhood (Louisville, KY) in November, we're having Habiba (of Philly, not of Ohio) in for a workshop on authentic Ghawazee and Andalusian dance.) WHEE!!!!!

Enjoying every single moment I can with my husband and little boy!
8/3/07 10:18 A

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Some videos have a tendency to slip through the cracks. Here are some of my favorite Egyptian style instructional videos that don't get the "airtime" they deserve.

1. Jamila Al Wahid Warmups and Egyptian Combos:
A second-generation dancer, Jamila is cute without being obnoxious. Her teaching style is quick though, without a lot of repetition, so beginner and low intermediate dancers might get confused.

This video starts with a GREAT longish warmup -- a REAL warmup you could use for any kind of fitness program. The movements are grounded in African dance, and really get you WARM quick! I love this warmup and use it for some fitness videos that don't have a good enough warmup for me.

The second section is a bunch of different medium to long "Egyptian Style" combinations. This isn't the really subtle Egyptian style of Mona Said and Dina, but more what you'd see from Sohair Zaki or Nagwa Fouad. I can't remember how many combos are on there -- 8, maybe more? I can check.

It's a short video, but jam packed. She doesn't do a lot of repetition, so that's why it's short. She teaches facing the camera without a mirror behind her.

2. Keti Sharif A-Z Advanced Egyptian style combos:

When I first Australian Keti Sharif's first A-Z dvd on the market, I thought it was a goofy idea. 26 16-count combinations. Whatever. But they work GREAT with Egyptian pop music, and are wonderful tools for teaching.

I was excited about her second DVD since it featured more Egyptian style Raqs Sharqi. The combinations are longer and more complicated, and range from small movements in place to sweeping travelling steps. Most of the steps seem to be borrowed from or based on Golden age dance rather than folk dance or modern dance.

It's tough to keep the combinations straight without the accompanying guide, which lists the combos in order and breaks them down. These are NOT for beginners, and even advanced dancers might want to try the original A-Z dvd if only to get familiar with Keti's terminology, accent, and style of teaching.

3. Zahra Zuhair's Magnificent Moves:
This is a great introduction to Egyptian style, if you're not already familiar with it. Zahra breaks down the most common steps usually associated with Egyptian style and drills you through them. If you've been doing Egyptian, or you have any of Zahra's self-produced DVDs you won't learn anything new, but this is a nice intro to the subject.

4. Shareen el Safy Choregraphy DVDs: El Hob Koulu:

I simply adore Shareen. She's one of my favorite teachers and I just love her. Her videos are just like her regular classes. Yes, she's talky. And yes, she does spend a LOT of time talking about Egyptian posture. She says posture is 70% of the dance and I believe her.

Shareen has a number of videos out, but this one is most people's favorite. The music is great, with many rhythm changes, and can be found on Amani's Gold album. It's an old classic, updated for this CD. You'll learn a chorography, but that's not really the focus of Shareen's teachings. Pull out the combos she teaches and put them together in your OWN choreography :)

These are just a few of my favorites. If you're a visual learner and can learn just by watching, I love the Magy el Leisy workshop videos from Little Egypt (well, frankly ANY of their vids are USUALLY pretty good, although some are harder to watch than others.)

Also, the Hadia original volume 1,2, and 3 DVDs from her Raqs Esharqi series (done in French, dubbed in English) are a nice addition to anybody's collection, tribal, cabaret or otherwise!

Edited by: AMANDANCES at: 8/3/2007 (10:21)
Enjoying every single moment I can with my husband and little boy!
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