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5 different ways to use your arms in belly dance

1 – As protagonists of the dance or dance phrase. This is when you perform a specific arm movement such as the “snake”.

2 – To frame another body part or a specific movement. This is when you keep your arms stable in one pose while you move another body part. An example is when you frame your hips to bring attention to your hip accents.

3 – To highlight another movement. This is when you use your arms to accentuate another movement. Highlighting differs from framing because here you move your arms in order to accentuate or amplify another movement. An example is when you sway your arms to the sides during the chassé travelling step or when you use your arms to create a dramatic pose.

4 – To express ideas and words and to communicate with your audience. This is when you use gestures such as waving "hello" or blowing a kiss.

5 - As an integral part of another movement. An example is when you turn and open your arms for balance.


A great way to become aware of the different ways in which you can use your arms during belly dance is by watching other dancers perform. Next time you watch a belly dance performance focus exclusively on the dancers' arms and try to name all the ways in which the dancer uses the arms.






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