During a moment of, once again, explaining, nagging, cajoling, and harassing my students to keep their knees soft and keep their “butts tucked under” in a neutral position, I had a tiny epiphany….
“It’s called belly dancing for a reason, it’s core-centric!” , I said with a bit of a maniacal look in my eyes.
“It’s not burlesque, it’s not hip hop, it’s not jazz, it’s “Belly” dance! Use your abs to keep your butt in!”, I uttered, possibly with a light red glow to my eyes at that point.
I did not want to go too far into how even the term “Bellydance” bothers some folk and the actual terms of Raks Sharky, Baladi , etc are technically more appropriate… I teach in a community centre to women who enjoy the moves and the friendships, baby steps are good!
So back to this whole ” not sticking your butt out” thing… I have a sway back, I lock my knees when standing around, I don’t always engage my core muscles all the time , but every time I remember, I feel taller, stronger and more aware of what my body is doing.
I hope that little glimmer of the concept of “belly” dancing will settle like fairy dust onto my students and help remind them to engage the centre of their body and being so that they can dance with strength and good technique!