Get Ready to Dance

How to Belly Dance - sideshowmom,

The only costume a new dancer needs is a hip scarf tied low on the hips and a form-fitting top. After slipping on the costume, dancers need to warm up. Prepare muscles for dancing with slow and steady movement, like walking in place, until the body feels warm, then gently stretch. Loosen muscles with reaching elongating motions, taking care to not hyperextend or overexert them.

Belly Dancing, Step By Step

  1. Begin in an upright position. Dancers should imagine they are hanging from the ceiling by a thread coming out of the top of their head which pulls them up, up, up into proper alignment. While tucking the backside in so that it aligns with the spine, dancers should bend slightly at the knees, tighten their abdominal muscles, and pull their shoulders back while feeling that imaginary thread pulling you up towards the ceiling.
  2. Use the stomach muscles. Abdominals muscles, not lower back muscles, lead the hip movements. Dancers should practice using the abdominal muscles to pull the hips up and down and from side to side. At first these movements may not be noticeable but as the abdominals grow stronger the movements will be more noticeable. Remember to use the “belly” muscles to “belly” dance!
  3. Visualize. Dancers mentally divide their bodies into upper (heavenly) and lower (earthly) halves. In belly dancing the upper body flows with languid, serpentine, graceful movements. The lower body, however, moves in a strong, bold, quick and precise movements. The arms flow and the hips flick. Practice moving the upper body gracefully and the lower body snappily.
  4. Divide. Mentally divide the body into right and left sides. Try to move one side of the pelvis (right hip, for example) up and down while the rest of the body remains perfectly still. Master up and down, then try drawing circles in the air, first in one direction then the other followed by figure 8s. Remember that the stomach muscles, not the back muscles, pull the hips in different directions.
  5. Ripple. Belly dancing’s trademark abdominal undulations are created with ripples. When rippling there are three main muscles used: 1. the crescent shaped muscle just above pubic area, 2. the muscles in the area between the above muscle and the navel, 3. the muscle just above navel that leads up to the ribs. Abdominal ripples are done by clenching each one individually in order (clench 1,2,3 followed by 3,2,1) and then releasing them the same way. When this technique is mastered even beginner dancers can begin to undulate like a pro.

Once the moves are mastered, belly dance students can add music with a good, strong repetitive beat and try matching their movements to the tempo of the music, alternating between the heavenly (upper body, flowing) movements and the earthly (lower body, more forceful) moves. There are many pieces of Arabic music which are written especially for belly dancing; these compositions incorporate musical cues to help the dancer understand when to incorporate each movement. Dancing to middle eastern music is ideal for belly dancing.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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