What is contemporary oriental dance? A question that all of my students ask me the day we meet for the first time. It is a unique blend of oriental and contemporary dance with some influence of tribal. In my classes, I include hardcore workout to strengthen the body, basic ballet exercises to add technique, various oriental dance moves to build the base, and advanced separations and isolations to teach control. Without one of these pieces, the whole puzzle will be incomplete.
Warm-up exercises are extremely important as they build muscles, which are then used to do the movements in a controlled way. Without muscles, you will have a hard time improving your technique. In my classes, I include especially exercises for the muscles commonly used in oriental dance – abs, obliques, and back muscles are a focus of most exercises. Moreover, warm-up is a very important part of a dance routine. Without properly warming up, you expose yourself to a high risk of injury. Therefore, take at least 30 min to warm up nicely in order to protect yourself. This time could vary in the warmer days, where the muscles are already warmed-up slightly, but I do not recommend it to be shorter than 20 min.
The ballet exercises are very important in creating a strong technique. They teach grace, strength, and control. We will focus on getting that turnout just right and being aware of the correct position. In addition, we will work on strengthening the core and improving the balance. Note, that the exercises will not be as strict as a ballet class, since our goal is not perfection, but awareness. We will take just what is needed to add to the oriental style.
Of course, there is no oriental dance without oriental moves. We will go through many basic oriental dance moves, taking a close look at each one. Note, that each person has their own way of learning – some people prefer learning by watching and trying, others prefer discussing the muscles that are needed to perform the movement, and others just need to explore by themselves. If the method I am using to explain a move does not work for you, let me know and tell me how you learn so that I could find a better way to provide an explanation for you. Feel free to always contact me so we can work together in improving your skills.
Finally, once you have gained control over your body, you can start playing around. This should be done through self-exploration – just play some music and see where it takes you. I will be showing some tips of how to separate and isolate movements, but these are tricky. I strongly recommend that you watch the videos and try patiently by yourself; then, find a nice song, close your eyes and try the new movements.
Additionally to all of this, I will provide for you some tips and tricks that would improve your awareness in dance.
In case there is something specific you would like me to do, please let me know!