Is it all in the hips?

I have a thing about hip work. If you can’t see it, is it belly dance?

Well yes, to be pedantic there are examples of moves and times when hip work is not necessary to the dance BUT I think we can all agree that good, clear hip movement is a worthy thing to aspire to in belly dance. Because of this I recommend to my dancers that they have something to emphasises their hips. Be it a contrasting scarf, coin belt, fringing, tassels… something that increases the swish and gives a good visual of muscle control involved. This goes doubly for anyone that does not have an hour glass or pear shaped figure. I just love the feeling of giving a good hip flick and feeling the beads swish around.

fringed belt
Very fringed belt!

I guess some could argue that with experience it becomes unnecessary but I would argue that even experienced dancers are often more captivating adorned. Suraya Hilal (see pic), for example, is a very experienced dancer that has captivated me in her earlier work (which incorporated hip belts). Her performance though, in .. I think it was ‘Aseel’, was hampered by the fact I couldn’t make out what she was doing. The costume was very austere and she was at the front of the screen  doing a bit of a solo thing that I think had some shimmies or hip work in it but I just couldn’t tell and got bored. I should mention that ‘Hilal’ dance, while originating from belly dance traditions is now an entity unto itself, but I still staunchly maintain that one should avoid costumes that hide the dancing!! (or avoid moves that can’t be seen in the costume).

But every rule is there to be broken and here is one of the rare examples I have come across of someone whose performance isn’t hampered by the lack of fringe, beads, tassels, or coins. Alla Kushnir’s skirt is very sparkly and moves quite a bit which helps but her hip movements are clear. It’s an entertaining piece of dancing, I hope you enjoy it too…

Parent advice: She is a very sexy little thing and her costume doesn’t cover a lot of skin, so keep it in mind if you want to watch it with your kids.

Did you like the performance? Tell me your thoughts below.

Do you agree that most belly dancers look better with a bit of hip ornamentation?

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