Whatever your reasons, if you aren't finding what you need in the form of local classes and good videos, this article will take you on a tour of web sites and books that may help.
How to Structure Your Study Sessions
I suggest allowing one hour for each study session. This allows time to:
See How to Structure a Belly Dance Study/Practice Session at Home elsewhere on this web site for details on how to do all these things.
When I teach my weekly belly dance classes, they last for one hour and contain all of the above components. In a typical one-hour class, I start with reviewing the ones I taught the previous week, and then I teach no more than 4-5 new moves. I find that most people can't retain more than 4-5 new things from a single class because the brain starts to become fatigued.
Suggested Web Sites
There aren't very many web sites that provide instruction on how to belly dance, and the ones that do provide information don't have a lot of it. It's easy enough to understand why - in the first place, video is a much better tool than a web page for teaching dance because it enables you to see a real human being performing the moves. In the second place, it's very time-consuming to create a web site that explains how to do moves and includes pictures or video clips. Most teachers don't see a lot of value in putting so much time into a lonely activity that won't earn them any money - they'd rather go out and teach classes in person.
Still, for a list of the ones I know about, please see my Links page under the category How to Dance.
"How-To" Books Still in Print
I'm aware of only five books available on the market today that use text and pictures to describe how to do belly dance moves. These include:
"How to Belly Dance" Books No Longer in Print
A number of books written by other dancers that were published in the 1970's and 1980's are no longer in print. Once video became available as a belly dance learning tool, most of these "how to belly dance" books were discontinued because most students prefer video over books.
Here are a couple that you might look for through used-book sources and libraries:
Other Instructional Books
In addition to looking for books that teach dance moves, you may want to look for other books related to belly dancing that provide costuming instructions, finger cymbal instruction, dance history, and information about Middle Eastern culture. Here are some suggestions:
Finger Cymbal Instruction
Take a belly dancing class from a live teacher if you can. But if you find that she doesn't explain things well, then books, videos, and web sites may provide alternative descriptions for the move you're trying to learn, and maybe one of these other resources will prove helpful to you.
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