Belly Dance Floor Work

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When learning floor work in belly dancing, be sure to use knee pads until you master the moves. Learn the various ways to incorporate floor work into a belly dancing routine with help from a Middle Eastern dance instructor in this free video on belly dancing.

Part of the Video Series: Belly Dancing Moves & Combinations
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Sahira, and we are here today at the Niamoves studio in Houston, Texas to show you how to belly dance. You don't need to a lot of props to do floor work. You will need a floor, maybe a mirror so you can see what you are doing, perhaps knee pads if your knees tend to bother you or you have knee issues when kneeling. Let's talk just a little bit about costuming for floor work, because it is very important. Floor work is not quite as popular in Egyptian style dance as it might be in Greek or Turkish style. Part of that could be the costume, part of that could be the culture. But if you are going to floor work I highly recommend wearing pantaloons underneath your costume, because of course as you are down on the floor the skirts are going to move around in different ways, and you always want to be sure to keep yourself covered at all times. So just be sure to practice as always in your costume before doing any sort of floor work to make sure you are not exposing anything you don't want to. So let's talk about the kind of movements you can do in floor work. First and most importantly you need to know how to get down, and how to get back up. And ideally you do this as gracefully as possible. I find the easiest way is just to step back with one leg. Everyone has a leg that is slightly stronger you want that one to be in the front. My right leg tends to be a little bit stronger so I use that in the front to help me level down. I also tend to do a little bit with my arms to kind of distract from what is going on in my legs in case it is less than graceful. And the arms can help you have some movement to do while you are getting down on the floor. Once you are here you can do a lot of your basic belly dance movements. The trick is though if you do anything that has an up and a down in it you are going to have to kneel back just a little bit. You are going to have to lean back with your thighs, and that is going to take a lot of thigh strength here in order to make these movements happen. Because if you do them while straight up and down you don't have any leeway for the hips to come up and down. Of course while you are straight up and down you could do flat movements like a hip circle, a hip slide. But if you want to do anything that snakes up and down you have got to bring your legs down a little bit. So that is something fun that you can play with leveling back and forth with the movements. Of course you want to always keep a straight line from your hips to head so you don't ever want to lean forward here or lean back too much. Keep a nice straight line. So you can do a lot of movements in this position or you can also get down into another position. You can slide over onto your hip, onto your right hip or onto your left hip, and extend the legs out. I call this the Kodak moment. It is a very beautiful position to be photographed in. It is also a good position to do arm movement or belly movement. It is very pretty here. Another great place to do belly movement is to roll over onto your back more, lift up with your back hands, use your thigh strength, and do belly work here, because it is very visible to your audience from this position. And of course most floor work you want it to be fairly slow, it tends to work really well for the toxeem in your set. And once you are done with floor work so you can do several different position, you can do a lot of different movements from kneeling. To get back up I tend to do it the same way I came back down by leveling up with one leg in front. So you will come back up to the knees, bring the foot out and around if you have skirts it is very important. You can kind of kick around with your skirts to get them out of the way so you are not stepping on them. And then use your arms as a distraction as you level up. Like with anything else graceful floor work takes some practice, a bit of thigh strength, and a little bit of time. So have fun with it. And that is a little bit of information about floor work.


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