The complex subject of Dance Notation is not usually covered in belly dance classes, so if you haven't studied any formal dance notation systems you'll need to make up your own. That's what I did, and I'll share my shortcuts with you below.
If you get written dance notes from teachers in class or at workshops, you may wonder: why bother to take notes?
Here's why: besides learning
actual body movements, if you listen in class you may hear
This Glossary below is from my Dance Combinations page; and I'll include some graphic symbols I use as well.
F=Forward or Front
LOD=Line of Dance
o=Ball of the foot
t=Touch (not a 'weighted' step)
__x=times (how many: 3x means 'repeat 3 times')
These graphic symbols save time when notating by hand, but if you type your notes later you may have to spell out "pivot" "lift" "drop" and "shimmy" (illustrated in "Figure A' below from left to right) since there's nothing similar on the keyboard, except for the caret (^) used in Example 1 below.
(l-r: pivot; lift; drop; shimmy)
2) fl-o-o-o ; rep. 2x total in-pl.
3) RLR S-tog-S; rep. 4x total in CW LOD (alternate starting foot).
Can you read the notes
above and translate them into movements?
How about these Arm Position notes:
4) Arms out sides, PD.
5) L U, R D, PI.
6) P tog. o/h.
Remember to relate your descriptions to the time frame they cover. For instance, the movement notation below covers an 8-count segment (which could be 2 beledi rhythms; 1 masmoudi; 1 chiftitelli; or 4 ayub, etc.). It's quite important to note the timing of your steps so if you don't understand what that is, ask someone who does; and sign up for some rhythm, drumming, or finger cymbal classes.
8 cts: RS, L hip ^ ; LS, R ^ (cts. 1-4); RS, L^ 3x <pivoting> CW to face B (cts. 5-8).
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