How to flip videos to make learning dance choreography easier.

As some of my belly dancers may know, I am currently cast to perform in the Perth version of Bellyqueen’s ‘Journey along the silk road’ production. 🙂 I am super excited!

As I live in a regional area, most of my learning of choreographies for the shows comes from watching videos posted on youtube. Some of the clips are in front of mirrors and shot from behind which makes it easier, but some are not. Flipping the video footage of dances shot face on makes it much easier to get left from right as you can just mirror the dancers in the clip.
It is not only big shows that flipping a movie clip is useful, if you are collaborating with anyone online, this simple trick can be useful. I realised from comments on the shows forums that not everyone knows how to this, so I thought I would share the quick method I use. You can also use video editing programs such as iMovie but it is a bit more fiddly – this way is fast and easy.

STEP 1

  • Go to youtube (or whatever platform you are sharing video clips from) and find the clip, copy the URL.
  • Open another tab and load “youtubeinmp4.com” (if you don’t like this one just do a search for ‘youtube to mp4’, there are several websites that do this – beware of ads, etc when using these sites) belly dance video help
  • Paste the URL into the field and hit ‘download mp4’ , in the case of this program it takes you to another page where you can select other formats you  may want it in. I always use mp4.

Now you have a copy of the clip on your own computer.

 

STEP 2

  • Open QuickTime player (this is available for both Mac and PC) and open the clip (if it didn’t automatically open for you on download of above clip).
  • Go to ‘File’ and ‘Duplicate’ if you want to keep the original view as well. OR skip this and go straight to
  • ‘Edit’ and ‘Flip Horizontal’
    belly dance video turning
  • Next save the clip. This was a bit tricky for me as the name field kept being greyed out BUT if you try and close the clip it offers you the chance to save and re-name it.

And that’s it – your clip is now flipped and you can mirror the moves – just be aware that if the dancers turn around at any time in the clip then following can get confusing 🙂 Happy dancing!Belly dance show in Australia

If you are in Western Australia at the end of the month be sure to catch the fantastic show!

 

Do you have another method of flipping videos for dance? Please comment below.

 

 

How to make a simple steampunk gun for an awesome dance!

Some lovely friends of mine run a steampunk festival in Dorrigo, NSW. Previously I have performed at it and this year I brought a few other dancers to join me. Despite battling nasty coughs, we all had a marvellous time doing some fusion dance pieces. We steampunked our costumes a bit (this year had a gypsy theme) and decided to add a steampunk touch to a shaabi dance with some guns worn on our thighs… we then did a bit of a Charlie’s Angels thing. It got some giggles 😉

Anyway, it was a new years resolution of mine to get better at using video. I am still a way off yet but here is my first attempt at a ‘how to’ video. It is instructions on a super easy steampunk for a cap gun to make something suitable for a dance performance. I had to make 4 guns and (surprisingly) for such a simple concept there was a bit of trial and error before I got a good effect, so I thought I would share the knowledge to save anyone else doing the same thing some time.

4 dancers at steampunked gypsy night

Before performance pose 😉 photo by Evonne Clough

The main learning points were:-

  • Make sure your metallic paint is metallic !!
  • Undercoat in an opaque light colour before using silver and gold acrylic (could be white, cream, or whatever you have handy).
  • I made some fake cogs to save money and show you how to do it in the video.
  • Beware of modern watches!
  • Superglue is not strong enough for cap guns but I found something that works.


If you found the video useful, please like and share.

Have you ever made a how to video? Or maybe danced for a steampunk event? Please tell me about it below.

Life as Dancer in Egypt – documentary

There is a documentary about dancing in Egypt has been making the rounds on social media that is of interest to belly dancers.
It is about Egyptian dancers – not the famous dancers in the 5 star hotels, etc. This is about the dancers that do the rounds of the weddings and clubs that ordinary Egyptians go to.
Some dancers like what they do, others are ashamed.
check it out here
The story is reminiscent of “A Trade Like Any Other – female singers and dancers in Egypt” by Karin van Nieuwkerk

a trade like any other

“In Egypt, singing and dancing are considered essential on happy occasions. Professional entertainers often perform at weddings and other celebrations, and a host family’s prestige rises with the number, expense, and fame of the entertainers they hire. Paradoxically, however, the entertainers themselves are often viewed as disreputable people and are accorded little prestige in Egyptian society.”

The film and the book are well worth watching / reading for those that are wanting to get a better understanding of the cultural nuances involved in the belly dance scene.

Have you watched or read either of these resources? What did you think? Was it a shock to you? Please comment below.

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