Learning to belly dance is like learning a new language!
Karen Barbee believes you must first learn the alphabet – the smallest component of the language. To learn how to belly dance, this equates to the most fundamental isolations and movements. Next is words (combined isolations – hip circles, figure 8’s and rib circles), and then onto phrases (dance combinations). Practicing your new language may take memorizing paragraphs and stories – translated to the art of belly dancing, this is akin to learning a formal khoreography!
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Beginner Short Drum Solo
This dance was created for one of our mother/daughter students at Karavan: Jessica and Cynthia.
Jessica (mom) had been in Beginner classes for a while and had learned the choreography taught in the 6-week Beginner series. I would run this dance with her at the end of her weekly class and she told me that her daughter was showing an interest in belly dance and, after a while, started bringing Cynthia to class with her.
Since I started belly dancing when I was 10 years old, I was SO excited to have someone that age in the class. But then imagine my surprise when, one week, I went to run the 6-week-Beginner dance with mom and Cynthia joined in!!
That was when I decided we needed a short drum solo to append on to the end of that experience. Hence....."A Short Drum Solo".
The music is from "The Magic of John Bilezikjian" CD (just like Jemileh and Geceler) but is cut at the first break (at 1:40).
This fun, up-tempo song was first used at Karavan in 2004. "Allah Alaik Ya Sidi" was a hit by Egyptian singer Ehab Tawfik and is still a favorite in the nightclubs today!
Completing this dance will ensure that you had much practice:
layering shimmies over various other movements (for each of the verses),
coordinating a unique arm gesture with hip drops (for the chorus), and
perfecting the peppy steps that are done to the instrumental section of the dance (which starts with a pose we call “Superman!”)
"Ahlam Tisabig Ahlam" (Dreams Racing Dreams) is one of our calmer choreographies off of Naser Musa's "Arabia" CD which is the soundtrack to that movie of the same name. Smooth and lyrical, this is a great first dance for those coming out of beginner and intermediate classes.
Intermediate Contemporary Drum Solo
This is the Indian/Arabic Drum Solo off of my Mastery and Mystery Double CD (now available on itunes). I do NOT purport to be an expert in Indian dance – having taken only a few classes in my life – so this dance is primarily belly dance movement with some slight acknowledgement of the cross-cultural sound, while keeping our isolations tight and sharp!! This piece will be performed at GBDAC2017.
Intermediate Allah Ya Yehremny Mennak (ALYM)
This is an upbeat, contemporary favorite by one of Egypt’s most popular singers – Amr Diab (same singer that sang “Habibi, Ya Noor Al Ain”.) This dance was first choreographed in 2006 and remains a favorite. This piece will be performed at GBDAC2017.
Advanced Najwa Zils | Mafi Noum
A finger zils choreography to "Mafi Noum", a Najwa Karam piece. This choreography is perfect for advanced belly dancers interested in expanding their expertise.
Intermediate Mani Mani
First released in 2000, Mani Mani “It’s Not Mine” is a song by Diana Haddad – that I have loved since I first heard it... and used for a group choreography for the first time at our 20th annual GBDAC2016. The choreography is sassy and fun and has an optional zil component in select sections! This piece will be performed at GBDAC2017.
Advanced Khaliko Shahadeen
By Nawal al Zogbi (originally by Fayza Ahmed, a contemporary of Warda, Sabah, and Fairuz) - Khaliko Shahadeen “Be My Witness” is a "classic". We will use 2 parts of this 30+ minute song which result in 5 rhythm/mood changes. This piece will be performed at GBDAC2017.
Intermediate Tabaan Men Alkhatya
Tabaan Men Alkhatya “I’m Tired of ‘Sinning” is a "Virtue-like" slow piece with music is by Naser Musa and is from his “Ya Rab” CD. The movements are simple, slow, and deliberate. This class can be used to learn a dance OR to heighten your awareness of timing, movement dynamics, arm/hand positioning, and posture. This piece will be performed at GBDAC2017.
Advanced La Tkhallini
THIS is the Debke song that I keep playing by Joseph Attieh. A mentally/physically demanding class -- be prepared for juice of the long, strong, beautiful mawal followed by tiny, tight isolations, extremely challenging timing, a strong debke vibe with some new experiments to try to make that happen, stronger legs, and slow progress to keep the presentation tight. La Tkhallini “Don’t Let Me Be Tortured (here without you)” will be performed at GBDAC2017.
Interested in Online Belly Dancing Lessons?
Our Karavan Online classes are taught using Karen Barbee’s systematic approach which makes belly dancing video lessons a perfect tool from which to learn.
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New students qualify for this free opportunity to try out our Karavan Online belly dancing videos for 7 days! Check it out and and then subscribe to either our Fitness, Basic, or Premier package -- whichever best meets your current belly dancing objectives.
Karen explains how Karavan Online's Fitness, Basic, and Premier online classes work
“Karen is truly dedicated to this art form. For many years she has committed to the growth of herself as well as her students. Her talent and loyalty to working as an artist shows through.” — Suhaila Salimpour
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