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Raks Sharki Belly Dance Combinations

Section B: combinations for slow tempos or slow chifti-telli

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These slower combinations are useful for dancing with the Veil, or Sword, or just for contrast and dynamics within your show.

SECTION A: Medium tempo (Masmoudi, Beledi)
SECTION B: (this page)
SECTION C: Taqasim, & Creating Your Own Combinations
SECTION D: Structured Group Improv Combinations

GLOSSARY or LIST of Abbreviations

B=Back
Ct(s).=Count(s)
CCW=Counter Clockwise
CW=Clock Wise
F=Forward or Front
fl=Flat foot
L=Left
LOD=Line of Dance
o=Ball of the foot
o/h=Over Head
(p)=Pause
P=palm(s)
pl=Place
R=Right 
S=Step
t=Touch (not a 'weighted' step)
X=Cross

To slow 4-count or 8-count rhythms

Sequence 1 (snake-like in-place move)

Cts. 1,2: 1 Torso undulation: to L (arms out at sh. level; L wrist circle)
Cts. 3,4,5: 3 Torso undulation: to R,L,R
Cts. 6,7,8: 1 Rib circle starting to L (1 wrist circle on R & L)
Repeat entire combination on same side, or opp. side.

Sequence 2 (another snake-like in-place move)
Cts. 1-4: (Arms out low) 2 Reverse shoulder *rolls (lifting from B to F), letting your weight shift to the opposite foot when each shoulder comes to the F.
Cts. 5-12: Repeat 2 times (3 times in all)
Cts. 13-16: 'Rolling hip' figure-8's as arms cross low in F, move to o/h, separate, and go back to original position to start sequence from the beginning.

Details:
*Time your sh. rolls so that you're at the Front on the downbeat (cts. 1 & 3)

Sequence 3 (side-to-side move using rolling hips with subtle variations)
Cts. 1-4: 'Rolling hip' tush push to R (step RLR); focus (as in, your EYES) on L hip, w/L arm across body Low in F, and R o/h; (p) on ct. 4.
Cts. 5-8: Side-steps to L (L,RXB,L) w/rolling hip figure-8's, w/ focus (yes, your EYES) F, and arms out to sides; (p) on ct. 8.
Repeat entire combination from side to side, and while you're pausing on ct. 4 and ct. 8, let your non-weighted foot swing out in an arc from the F to the side, preparatory to stepping on ct. 1. (You can also add a wrist circle, as arms transition to next position.)

Sequence 4 (travel move, good for sword balancing)
Cts. 1,2: RXF, L t; (arms at shoulder level, L at chest, R out at side; L wrist circle on L t)
Cts. 3,4: repeat on opp. side.
Cts. 5,6,7,8: BS R,L,R (p) (arms come down out F w/ palms up, to hips)
Repeat entire combination to opp. side.

Sequence 5 (veil move & variation)
Cts. 1-4: (veil behind you, legs slightly apart) Swirl veil to low Left, low Right by twisting upper body from side to side and holding arms out low at hip level.
Cts. 5: Swirl to Left again;
Cts. 6,7,8: 3-S-turn to Right w/ veil high.
If you repeat this facing the same direction, you'll keep moving to your Right; you can change where the 3-S-turn goes and end up in a different place. I just used this step in a veil dance, and my 3-S-turns took me around in a square or 'box' floor pattern, so that each time I repeated the combination, I was facing into the box, but on a different 'wall'.

Here's the variation:
Cts. 1-4: Same as above.
Cts. 5,6: Swirl to the Left again, but take two counts instead of one.
Cts. 7,8: 2-S-turn to Right w/ veil high.
Now if you repeat this combination, you'll be starting on the opposite foot, and turning to your left so it doesn't travel as much. You can also just turn 1/2 circle to face the Back.

Sequence 6 (traveling veil move. LOD: large CCW circle)
Cts. 1-2: RS LS, w/veil *swirl towards stepping side (i.e. to R,L)
Cts. 3+4: R S-tog-S, w/veil swirl toward R
Cts. 5,6,7,8: Walk around in small CCW circle w/L R L R; L arm holding veil out in F, R trailing behind.
Repeat to the opposite side (everything reverses), but continuing the CCW LOD.
It's hard to describe this simple but dreamy-feeling travel step. Try to work it out, and do it four times in all. The resulting floor pattern will be a large circle, with four smaller circles (two inside and two outside) spaced out on the larger circle.

Details:
*Swirl with parallel arm action, twisting your upper torso in the same direction

Sequence 7 (in-place move that travels a tiny bit)
Cts. 1-4: S-tog-S t (R-L-R, L) sideways to stage R, w/pelvic 1&1/2-circle CW (to the R, with the downbeat (Cts. 1 & 3) in F (arms down, framing hips)
Cts. 5-8: repeat on opp. side.
Cts. 1-5: (face the LF corner) 3 BS (R L R) with torso undulations each step (3 in all) (L arm up, R down)Ct. 6: (in pose from last step) Pelvic tilt F;
Cts. 7,8: roll up (reverse undulation).
Now you can repeat the whole combination on the opposite side.

Sequence 8 (a repeating step w/turn, travels a little bit. It takes 16 cts., or two chifti-telli rhythms)
Cts. 1,2: *2-Step turn to the R (step R,L); arms in low.
Cts. 3,4: R Back-rock, L pl. (facing F again)
Cts. 5,6,7,8: (going Forward) RS, L hip lift; LS, R hip lift. Arms up like goalposts.
Cts. 1,2,3,4: (going Backward) R, L (Obviously, half-time steps! That is, slow. What's happening on the step is a rolling hip fig.8 while you're stepping Backwards. "Roll" onto your stepping foot.)
Cts. 5,6,7,8: (still going Backwards, and still rolling fig.8) RS, LS, RS, (p).

Now you can repeat everything to the opposite side.

*Details:
You could think of the first four counts as a 3-Step Turn with the 3rd step being a Back-rock
(that's how I think of it).

Sequence 9 (in-place move)
Cts. 1,2,3,4: *fl-o-o-o (R flat, L ball, R ball, L ball)
During the flat step & first ball step, do a small pelvic circle on it (Circle CW to R then B);
the on the last two ball steps, layer a torso undulation on top (ribs go F,up,B).
You can slowly turn CW (small steps!) while doing this combination.

*Details:
The R foot stays a little bit in front of the L, and the thighs stay close together
throughout the step.

Sequence 10 (easy in-place veil move)
Cts. 1,2,3,4: Veil swirl* w/R, L
Cts. 5,6,7,8: Windmill turn CCW

*Details:
The "veil swirl" is a big swooping circle with one arm - as if you're describing a large circle
in front of you (R arm goes down, to left, up, and back to side). To stay in time with the beat,
time the circle so the lowest part hits the downbeat. For the R arm, that's ct.1; for the L arm,
that's ct.3.


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