Free Belly Dance Music

I randomly came across this website offering free mp3 downloads. It has some great Arabic music on the page that’s worth listening too, particularly if you are relatively new to belly dance and haven’t got many Arabic albums in your collection. You can download the songs for free however where they actually got the music from is not mentioned. I suspect it is ripped from youtube clips and possibly without the permission of the artist. You will have to work out the ethics for yourself but if I really like a piece or intend on dancing to it, I always give it my best shot to track down the original music and pay for it. It helps support the artists and it’s hard to be a great dancer without great music to inspire us!!

Here’s the link to mp3truck for your listening pleasure..

Arabic music free

Don’t forget that I post on any free Arabic or belly dance related music I come across so please hit the follow button so you don’t miss a post.

Another popular post I did on free Arabic Music can be found here

or you can just scroll down the page to the Articles heading on the right hand side of the page and hit the music or Arabic drumming categories to see more.

What do you think about all the free video and music popping up on the web? Ethical or unethical? Comment below.

Belly Dance Reality TV

Have you seen the latest episode of Belly Dance reality TV? Last year Michelle Joyce and Lotus Niraja brought all the thrills and spills of a reality show to our beloved dance and the internet. It was successful enough they did it again this year. Episode 3 for season 2 is just about to hit the web (oct 24th or more like oct 25th for us Aussies!). If you haven’t heard of the show or just forgot to tune in don’t despair because you can still access all the episodes from both seasons and now is a good time to tune in because there is still plenty of time left for you to participate and vote for your favourite finalist .

 Q: I hate American reality TV, is it honestly worth watching?

 

I recommend it to all serious belly dancers and keen students (I have no affiliation with cheeky girls nor am not getting paid to say this). Yes the format can rub a bit with the cheesy American voiceovers but that is part and parcel of reality TV.

The dancing is generally excellent and while the contestants get put through a range of challenges, they are not designed to make each other tear each other apart so it’s a bit nicer than standard reality fodder. The challenges are very industry appropriate; music, improvisational skills, instructing skills, performance and costuming skills – these are topics that belly dancers need to master if they are to become successful dancers. You can learn a lot by how the contestants face each obstacle.

Even though it is advertised as ‘the search for America’s next top belly dancer’, there have been international contestants in both seasons (YAY!).

They are competing for awesome prizes so they are bringing their A game.

1 – a starring role in a Cheeky Girls Productions instructional DVD.
2 – be mentored by (and travel with) Aziza on her international workshop tour.
3 – be a judge and workshop instructor at The Belly Dance Nationals.
4 – a free ticket to Cheeky Girls Go Camping as well as a workshop instructor position
5 – A free costume from Maz Couture

Check out the show here. So are you a fan of the show? What do you think about competitions in belly dance? Comment below.

Free online belly dance classes – which ones are worth watching?

Free Belly Dance Classes are springing up everywhere online these days. As a beginner though it’s hard to know what is worth your time. Learning via the computer is much like learning from DVD’s, it is a nice adjunct to your learning but not a substitute to face to face classes if you can possible get to them. See my previous post on tips to get the most from this style of learning. I am not covering the obvious ‘youtube’ in this post – there is enough there alone for a thousand posts and chances are you have already looked there. Instead here are my thoughts on the website based free classes that came up tops in a recent google search for FREE belly dance classes.

Raqs TV

I did another post on this previously discussing the merits of renting DVD’s rather than purchasing them. In this instance I signed up for free and took Ruby Beh’s free class which runs for about 21mins. I hadn’t realised how many other free videos were available. Totally worth signing up for guys! There are free tasters on a number of things including stage make up, interviews and combinations. Also Ahava’s drum solo piece that my students love can be seen here too. I ran the version for those with an ‘average connection’ (internet) and had no troubles. The stage make-up page didn’t run as smoothly unfortunately but I am in a rural area so I guess you have to expect that at times.

Ruby’s video started with approximately 6mins of finger cymbals drills. 1,2,3  1,2,3 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. I think this would feel a bit like the deep end of the pool if you had never used cymbals before but would be just great for those that had mastered a reasonable triples pattern and wanted to try something new. She then does an excellent breakdown of a shoulder shimmy that would be suitable for brand newies or those revising their technique. Next she covered belly rolls and shimmies. Knowing how to shimmy was assumed knowledge and the section went for more than 6mins, so not for the complete novice but great for muscle memory and practice. All followed up by performance from her floorwork dvd. Worth a look. Ruby is a good teacher with clear instructions. She has impressed me in the DVD’s I have of her too.

Freebellydance

Online classes by Giorgia Vanessa. Giorgia teaches in English with a strong but understandable accent, she also has an Italian version. These are not professionally shot so the picture and sound quality is not great but they run quite well on my internet connection. They are more like a casual class format – not slick but I thought the 5min video on vertical figure 8’s was quite good. She can actually do the moves she is teaching (can’t say the same of some teachers on youtube!!!). I have seen figure 8’s broken down in more detail but I think how she explains it is fine and would be ok for beginners and intermediates. She is quite quirky, dancing with a teddy bear on her head in one clip for instance but I liked how the clips were unpretentious. Her style stems from both cabaret and tribal origins. She has more than a dozen clips to choose from.  If grainy video bothers you or you don’t have a quiet environment to watch them in then give this site a miss.

Leyla Najma’s Belly dance Village

Leyla najma is an older American dancer that has trained in Egypt.

You only can see her preview videos if you are not signed up – this is just her doing a before class chat. When I first looked at this site you could have 5 days as a free trial however now it is $1US for 14 days. So it doesn’t fit my free criteria. Also you get billed $17/month after that. That’s cheap rates if you like her stuff but I don’t like getting automatic withdrawals off my credit card so I didn’t trial it out.

bellydancingvideo.com

Had short, glitchy clips with very little or no instruction from clips from Atéa’s Magical Motion™ Bellydance Instruction Video Series. Look elsewhere.

bellydancelessonsonline.com

You have to sign up with a name and email address to get your 5 free classes from Charni. The sound is excellent and so is the video quality. The first 2 ‘classes’ are just chats, one about history and one about what to wear. The 3rd video is 2minutes long and she says it covers hip flicks, shimmies and how to stand!!! Whoa!! But no, it’s actually only posture she covers in the 2 mins. She favours the deep knee bend for basic position that seems to have gone out of fashion in the last few years (in favour of a soft knee but straighter leg). It’s what I was originally taught but not what I was taught in Egypt recently.  All in all, your 5 vids include some chats and about 8mins of tuition including a cool down. She has a lovely manner and clear voice, the site is slick and professional but you don’t get much for free. It’s all kind of one big ad for her $47/month classes.

I hope my students now realise why I pause when they ask whats good online! The content changes all the time and is really variable. What are your favourite free online instructional videos you have found?

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