Zaghareet! Magazine (May/Jun
by Anthea (Kawakib)
New dancers don’t realize how important foot position and technique really is: not only does it help you dance well, but if you are dancing on a raised stage, the audience has quite a good view of your feet!
Let’s focus on Foot Positions that work well AND look beautiful. As I mentioned in the last article, I didn’t think about feet myself until I read about “bad foot technique”. From then on, I DID “look down” at my feet to see what they were doing. Belly dance is not just from the hips up!
In belly dance, our “working
positions” often double as “static positions” (poses), and carry
some weight on each foot. There are only a few positions where
the weight is ALL carried on one foot.
Below, here are the basic poses I mentioned in the previous article, both right and wrong: Figure One is correct; Figure Two is the awkward-looking “duck feet” pose.
Figure Three below shows a working position best used for moves that turn or twist the torso while changing weight, or for movements that extend the hips past the width of the feet. The toes and knees are angled out slightly, in alignment. At first, think of the toes as pointing straight ahead to avoid too much angle, which is a common mistake.
Just because the feet are flat on the floor in these positions doesn’t mean the weight is static; on the contrary, it’s always moving THROUGH the feet from side to side or front to back. We’re constantly adjusting our balance on top of our feet. As I frequently tell my students, “you have to work as hard to stay still as you do to dance!”
The feel of weight change comes over time, beginners usually aren’t aware of it. Why not develop your awareness now? It’s interesting to feel the flow of energy through your feet (and your body), and any awareness of energy flow is going to heighten your artistic expression.
Did you know so much was going on “down there”? We’ll continue in the next article with more foot positions for better belly dancing.