My 2016 Fall students at Cal-State Fullerton’s Recreation Center are a motivated group of women. My class is made up of students and professionals and they are so willing to be challenged with movements and also learn the intricacies of “behind the scenes”. One unique feature of this class was having the students study movements at home and share a count of eight or more with the class. Thereafter, I took all the movements and formed a unique choreography that fit with Lebanese artist, Nancy Ajram’s song, “Maakoul El Gharam.” This song speaks about how love can affect you so deeply that it prevents you from sleeping! Some movements suggest the notion of sleeping and daydreaming about love.
I taught my students hip mayas, circles, drops and chest undulations, circles, pops and locks. Taking those movements and adding arm movements is quite difficult, as you are doing two things at the same time, and they were up to the challenge! I also reiterated the importance of facial expressions, building muscle strength, and practice. Practice is a common thread sewn into the life of a belly dancer.
I offered an opportunity for them to learn how to sew a costume from scratch and spent many hours on creating a beautiful design. It was rewarding picking out fabrics, jewels, and having the students come together and work on it. The colors of the costumes are blue, purple, and chocolate brown. I am so excited to see their finished products as some of them made embellishments on their own. You can see my costume here.
In December, I am also giving them an opportunity to perform on stage with the dance we created in class. Some of them are up for the challenge of performing a solo dance. Most of the students have never been on a stage before and I think it’s important that they understand the feeling of entertaining an audience, without a mirror in front of them.
I am so proud of this class for having the motivation, determination, courage, and strength to learn the art of belly dance with me, Jacqueline.