Resources

Maqam Immersion

Ajam – happy, joyful, victorious, powerful Hijaz – longing, sounds Arabian, snake charming Nahawand: feeling, emotional, often love themed Bayat: powerful, uplifting, uses one-quarter tone, the essence of Arabic music Rast: “the maqam of tarab”, 2 quarter tones, popular with instrumental and vocal soloists. Kurd: airy, spacious, freedom, common in modern Arabic music Sika: youth, strength, used in traditional songs, starts and ends with a quarter tone  Saba: bluesy, sad when played slow, fast is danceable     

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The Most Important Private Lesson You [Probably] Never Take

Here’s how the story usually goes. A dancer comes to me to prepare for an upcoming performance, we have a couple lessons, the dancer does the performance, sends me the video all excited, I see no less than ten things that could improve the performance, but the dancer never asks for a video critique or a follow-up lesson. Let me tell you, this is not the best scenario if you truly want to grow your skill quickly because you might not realize the most important lessons happen after your show.  Don’t get me wrong, preparation is important…

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Turkish Drum Solo Finale Choreography Mini-Workshop

Learn the last section of Anna’s Turkish Drum Solo. Music: Modified version of “Yasarca – Ritim Solo” by Yaşar Akpençe Choreography Notes: 2:45 bumpR-bumpL; bumpR,bumpL,bumpR (w/head turn); during roll (bring L arm over to R hand); drop L hip to accent 2:49 rrr rrr rrrrrrrr L hip shimmies up 2x, quick barrel turn to L 2:53 step rlr (finish facing DSL) kick and flick hair, step lrl and kick toward DSRish 2:56 1 full forward fig-8 w/shimmy st on R 3:01…

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Belly Scootin’ Boogie Line Dance Instructional Video

Learn the steps to a fun belly dance inspired country and western line dance set to Brooks and Dunn’s “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.” Anna created this line dance to celebrate the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in Houston Texas! You can watch her and Ahlam Academy students perform the “Belly Scootin’ Boogie in the video below.  

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How to do Weighted Hip Lifts & Drops

Learn how to do two of the most essential movements in Belly Dance, the weighted hip lift and hip drop with Anna – founder of Ahlam Academy in Houston TX. Anna will start with a breakdown of each move, then she will show you some of the trouble spots many newer dancers have with this fun but challenging set of belly dance moves. As well as, how to correct them. Special attention is given to maintain good posture to perform…

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The Top 13 Essential Belly Dance Movements for Beginners

Learn the 13 most important foundational movements of belly dancing! Once you master these, you will have what it takes to begin creating all the spicy, snakey, silky, smooth moves you see in those amazing belly dancing videos. It won’t be easy, but don’t give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Good dancing takes lots of time and practice. Keep practicing and remember to relax and enjoy the experience. Disclaimer: The videos below can be used as an introduction…

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How to do Belly Dance Shoulder Rolls

Learn to do classic Egyptian style shoulder rolls with Anna from Ahlam Academy in Cy-Fair / Houston TX. The shoulder roll is one of those sensual, dramatic, and sexy moves that can really add a lot of expression and feeling to our dance. Shoulder rolls work great as a transition and to accent a dramatic note or two in the music, and can be done in longer sequence to highlight melodic phrases. They can also be used in a drum…

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How to do Belly Dance Snake Arm PLUS 3 Ways to Initiate It

Learn how to do the basic belly dance snake arm, plus three different ways that you can initiate it. Snake arms are an expressive part of our dance form. They can add a lot of beauty and grace when done properly or they can ruin an otherwise lovely dance if executed poorly. Watch and learn the necessary mechanics to build graceful and strong snake arms. Watch for our video next week where I will talk about 8 things you can…

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