In A Woman's Book of Power, Karen Andes outlines a method for practicing belly dance that offers a dancer a creative way to explore aspects of the dance
Belly Dance Practice - Photo by Susan Caplan
Belly Dance Practice - Photo by Susan Caplan


By combining different aspects of body movement and music, a belly dancer opens herself up to the variety and variations within Middle Eastern dance. The formula described below, created by Karen Andes in A Woman’s Book of Power (Berkley Publishing Group, 1998) allows a dancer, both beginner and advanced to explore belly dance from a free form, or right brain aspect of practice.

The Bellydance Shapes

Andes looks at belly dance moves as breaking down into four sacred shapes. While practicing the dance, consider how the movements form distinct groups of shapes. Circles include ovals and half-circles or crescents. Figure 8s consist of two joined circles or ovals, while snakes are open figure 8’s. Her fourth sacred shape is the spiral, which can be and inward turning circle or outward growing circle.

The second part of the formula involves working those four shapes with different body parts – feet, legs, tailbone/hips, spinal column, rib cage, and shoulders/elbows/wrists. Even within these two points – dance shape and body part, there are many variations. Make circles large or small, do half circles, reverse direction, etc. Figure 8s can be made both symmetrical and asymmetrical. Perform snake shapes as a slow undulation and as a shimmy.

Moving within Space as a Dancer

A belly dancer moves her body so she is drawing shapes in the air. Horizontal moves are done parallel to the floor. Movements can also be drawn in front of the dancer, moving in a clockwise or counterclockwise fashion. The dance moves can also be drawn in an imaginary fashion on the wall to the dancer’s side in a sagittal (front-to-back) direction.

Now, take one of the four basic shapes, a body part, and one of the three directions and see what moves come out of this combination. Change one of those elements and different dance moves evolve from that modification. Further change each movement by altering the tempo it is performed – slow, moderate, fast.

And, finally, consider the direction the dancer’s entire body can move in as she travels through her dance space. Travel in a straight line front-to-back or side-to-side, travel in a circle, move in a triangular shape, draw a square on the floor while performing other dance moves. Other shapes a dancer can trace on the floor include a cross, a 5-pointed star, or a 6-pointed star.

Creating a Belly Dance Performance

Whether dancing to the radio at home or performing in public, a dancer can combine these five elements – dance shapes, body parts, direction of the shapes, tempo, and direction in space. With numerous variations and combinations, Karen Andes’ formula for dance allows a wide variety of possibilities. This recipe can add fun to a belly dancers practice, allowing for an exploration of the dance form.


It isn’t necessary for a dancer to think of practicing belly dance as a rote recitation of dance moves. Belly dance is an organic dance that moves the way the way the body moves. This free-form practice can evolve into improvisational performances.

Views: 56

Important (read & understand)

How to Contact us:Preferred Contact point

Skype: Travelingraggyman


Email and Instant Messenger:

TravelerinBDFSM @ aol/aim;  hotmail;; live & yahoo


Travelingraggyman @ gmail and icq ***


Find us on Google+

Please vote for Our Site. You can vote once a day. Thank you for your support. just click on the badge below


10,000 votes - Platinum Award
5,000 votes - Gold Award
2,500 votes - Silver Award
1,000 votes - Bronze Award
300 votes - Pewter Award
100 votes - Copper Award

Member of the Associated  Posting System {APS}

This allows members on various sites to share information between sites and by providing a by line with the original source it credits the author with the creation.

Legal Disclaimer

***************We here at Traveling within the World are not responsible for anything posted by individual members. While the actions of one member do not reflect the intentions of the entire social network or the Network Creator, we do ask that you use good judgment when posting. If something is considered to be inappropriate it will be removed


This site is strictly an artist operational fan publication, no copyright infringement intended

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.

© 2024   Created by Rev. Allen M. Drago ~ Traveler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service