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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Continuity of Movement

By Saqra

 

Table of Contents

 

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What Is Glowing Green Goo?

Okay, this is about the "glowing green goo," for those of you who have had numerous workshops with me. If you haven't, well, here goes....

Put your hands above your head and wiggle your fingers. Imagine that your hands are covered with glowing green goo and that is what makes you move.

  • If you are a "magical energy" kind of person then imagine that this green goo is your magical dance energy and that is what makes your hands move.
  • If you are not a "magical energy" kind of person, get this: you are controlling the audience attention by deliberately moving one thing: your fingers.

If you were in the grocers and just stood there and stuck out your hand and wiggled your fingers where would people look? At your fingers, right? So your imaginary goo is "moving something deliberately to control audience attention."

Magic or no magic, your hands are over your head and your fingers are wiggling, and anyone looking at you is looking at your fingers (where your imaginary goo is).

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michael Baxter, Santa Clara, California.

If you don't like glowing green goo, then go for purple light or golden sparkles or whatever you can use as an imaginary substance to direct your attention.

Saqra

 

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How Do You Use It In Dance?

Let's pretend the goo is a real substance. Now move your hands around in the air dramatically. The eyes will continue to watch your goo, even if you separate them or put all your goo on one hand and hold still the other hand.

Any time you feel like it you can put the goo on your body and the eyes will follow it to its new location. Let's put your goo on your chest and move your chest.

Note: you don't have to literally wipe it on, just get close so the eyes follow to your chest, which takes over making movements. Your goo is now on your chest. From there the goo can ooze to any part. It can ooze through your body from your chest up to your shoulders, or from your chest, down through your torso, and maybe into your hips.

What your goo CAN'T do is, say, jump from your hips to your head.

If you want your goo to go from your hips to your head it is going to either 1) travel up through your body to your head or 2) you have to pick it up with your hand and move it there manually.

So try this:

  • Reach up one hand.
  • Ripple it down to your shoulder.
  • Roll that shoulder.
  • Slide it into a chest circle.
  • Let it slide out to both shoulders in a light shoulder shimmy.
  • Send it out your arms in a ripple to your hands.
  • Fingertip circles coming down to your hips.
  • Horizontal forward hip 8.
  • Reach one hand to your hip and sweep your arm up dramatically.
  • Ripple your hand down to in front of your face.
  • Drop your hand down and do a head slide.

Feel how the audience eyes would easily follow that?

Contrast that with a beginner holding one hand up and out, spinning the hand at the wrist as she does a basic four count type of hip step. "Hey! Look up here! No! look down here! No...."

When I originally learned to belly dance, I learned a bunch of steps. You went here and did snake arms, there and did a step hip, there and did a torso undulation, here and did a hip M. It was a disjointed step recital. Take the same steps and do them in this order: snake arms, torso undulation, hip M, step hip, and in this order it isn't disjointed. Look for the goo!

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michael Baxter, Santa Clara, California.

Saqra

 

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When And How to Break the Rule

"Glowing green goo" is a rule made to be broken. There are times you may want to surprise an audience by moving something they aren't expecting out of the continuity area.

There are also other ways to direct attention to the area desired. One classic is looking at what is moving or is going to move. Or, perhaps you will want to circle a hand high overhead synchronized as you circle your hips.

Make exceptions when it feels right. But, as a general principle and rule of thumb the glowing green goo helps you maintain excellent movement flow and the ability to chain accents without losing or confusing your audience. It is essential for your core movement organization skills.

PHOTO CREDIT: Keith Darkchilde.

Saqra

 

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Where Did the Idea Come From?

Why "glowing green goo"? It actually evolved from my watching the opening of the Simpsons. When the uranium rod bounces into Homer's suit, he picks it up and throws it out the window, and the travel of the rod continues to be the narrative organizing principle (for a short time). We are just oozier in my imagination than a hard rod.

Saqra and Kyra

 

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About the Author

Saqra (Seattle, Washington, USA) is a powerful dance artist and a master instructor. Her fluidity, grace, and technical skill is highlighted by her friendly demeanor and clear joy of the dance. She did not inherit the diva gene.

Saqra won titles in Belly Dance USA (Oregon), Belly Dancer of the Year (California), Belly Dancer of the Universe (California), Wiggles of the West (Nevada), and many other competitions. She was voted "Best Kept Secret of 2005" and "Instructor of the Year 2008" by readers of Zaghareet Magazine.

Saqra's journey in this dance form began in 1977 and has led her to study with many of the best dancers in the world, including in America, Canada, Turkey and Egypt. Saqra continues to travel and study both in the USA and abroad and prides herself on proper research for anything she teaches. Folklore, fakelore, and stage creativity: all three are valuable, and Saqra clearly presents for each what they actually are. Saqra is constantly expanding her expertise in the traditional ethnic forms of the dance, the modern stage variants, and the continuing evolving fusion techniques, all these areas combined keep her material fresh and current.

Saqra is widely known as an event promoter, musician, music and instructional video producer, and a registered hypnotherapist in the state of Washington. That is enough stuff to start explaining what she has been doing in belly dance since 1977. Visit her at www.saqra.net

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michael Baxter, Santa Clara, California. In the photo, Saqra is holding her Teacher of the Year 2008 Award from Zaghareet Magazine.

Saqra with Award

 

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