The Best way for Westerners to get used to different Eastern Rhythms

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Listen…

Just listenย toย theย music,

Often…

I like to play various rhythms, such as Beledi, Chiftitelli, Masmoudi, Sayyadii, & Karsilama repeatedly. That’s before I even think about dancing. I get the songs in my soul & simultaneously visualize movements to them. Next I start improvising to the music.

If you only stick to one type of rhythm, such as Beledi, you may be at a lost on how to dance to diverse sounds & timing patterns are played.

Purchase Arabic dance albums with various artists on the tracks, in addition to a single artist’s album. This will give you a wide variety of rhythmic tunes to practice to.

How do you perfect your ears to eastern rhythms?

 

*picture from Pinterest
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How to Effectively Mix Dance Styles

We’ve all seen how famous dancers throughout the years visit other countries, come back to their own and blend foreign styles with their traditional ones. Samia Gamal added Latin dance to her Belly dance routines, Denishawn complemented their modern pieces with Indian & Oriental dances, and I like to mix Popping with my Oriental dance…

But how do you blend different styles with it looking like it gels together?

I discovered three main keys to mixing up different dance styles so that it doesn’t look like a dance fit on the floor.
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Match the pace~
Different styles of dance are signified by their specific timing of their movements. If you work with two styles, you will need to slow one down or speed one up and match to other. This makes a nice blend with put side by side.
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Look for coherency~
Try to match songs and dances that intermingle well. Although I don’t see Whacking and Ballet being easily done together in the same routine & tune, I wont be surprise if someone pulls it off. Instead, look for styles that can easily pivot off of one another like Hula & Belly or Tinkling & Indian Classical.

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Listen to song changes~
There are key places in the music of the rhythm that change, especially in middle eastern songs. At this transition would be a good time to switch the dance styles. It will look intentional & cohesive.
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Have you blending any dance styles lately, and if so which ones?