Blackthorn Bellydance

Level Two Moves

Here are the moves that are covered in the first 6 weeks of Level Two:

  • Walking Bodywave
  • Walking Taxeem
  • Reverse Turn
  • Turkish Shimmy
  • Turkish Shimmy with Half Turn
  • Turkish Shimmy with Quarter Turn
  • Reach and Sit
  • Chorus (formation)
  • Propeller Turn
  • Corkscrew Turn
  • Arabic Hip Twist
  • AHT w/Half Turn
  • Camel
  • Reverse Floreo

The following moves are introduced in the second 6 weeks of Level Two:

  • Double Bump
  • Single Bump
  • Single Bump Half Turn
  • Ribcage Rotation
  • Arc Arms
  • Up2 Down3
  • Military zil pattern
  • Arabic Shimmy
  • Arabic Shimmy w/Arms and Turn (ASWAT)
  • Shoulder Shimmy
  • Ghawazee Shimmy Combo
  • Reverse Taxeem
  • Head Slides

Level Two Resources

Here are some additional resources for Level Two students.

Videos

Reading

ATS Blogs

More Resources

Evaluations

Level Two FAQs

Do you have any tips for
practicing at home?

I do! I know that it can be difficult to practice at home; once the music is on, it's easy to dance to a song or two, but then get distracted. It's easier to practice when you have a focus. Here are some ideas:

  • Practice with a DVD. There are a few ways to do this. First, choose a few moves, and then find them on the DVD and follow along with the breakdown and drill, and then repeat several times. You can also practice along with the whole DVD, skipping any moves we haven't covered in class yet. Finally, try following along with the performance at the end as much as you can, practicing each move in the context of a dance (and watching for cues!).
  • Start a collection of ATS flash cards. Use one colour of cards for slow moves, and another for fast. Shuffle your cards and pull out 3 or 4. Practice each move with music on its own, and then try dancing them together in the order you pulled them out; finding new combinations. Focus on the transitions between the movements, as well as the moves themselves.
  • Find a practice buddy (or two!). Dancing with someone else can keep you motivated and focused. Try practicing both of your favourite moves, and then least favourites, together. You don't need much space: a living room with some furniture moved aside, or even the backyard (when it's warm enough!) should work.

No matter how you practice, make sure to warm up and cool down, too. I also recommend keeping a dance journal, where you can jot down combinations of moves you like, things you need to work on, or questions to follow up on in class.

What should I work on my 2nd/3rd/etc. session in the class?

There are always more skills to work on in Level Two (and Level One!) no matter how many times you have completed a session. Here are a few ideas.

  • Posture. Especially: is your low belly engaged? chest lifted? shoulders relaxed? Pay close attention to these points as we practice any move, especially while dancing in groups.
  • Smiling. Remember to show the joy you feel while dancing to fast songs, and keep a relaxed smile on your face through slow songs.
  • Angles. Are you keeping your torso forward and hips turned to the left at all times, even when dancing in a circle to change the lead? Make sure to keep your dance angle, and know where you are in your personal box, for all 1/2 and 1/4 turns.
  • Flock of Birds. Pay close attention to keeping your angles and pace aligned with the rest of the group during turning moves.
  • Elbows! Engaged, elegant elbows: EEE! Don't let them droop. Keep your arms strong. Rotate from the shoulder, keeping a softness in the shape of the elbow wherever your ams are in space.
  • Zilling. If you're already happily zilling with triplets and all of your L2 moves, try out the military pattern for a class or two.
  • Music. Start listening for your measures of eight and phrases of 32 (4 sets of 8 counts) within each song we dance to. Try to match your dance transitions to changes in the music.

When am I ready for Level Three?

Level Three class includes the rest of the moves in the ATS vocabulary, additional formations, one more zilling pattern, and performance skills. Level Three students must commit to attending Level Three and Level Two weekly for at least one year. The more you give to the dance, the more you can gain from it.

A student's readiness for Level Three depends on several factors, including: near-perfect attendance; demonstrated committment to learning ATS®; clearly cueing when dancing in the lead; competence with the triplet and military zill patterms while dancing fast moves; body awareness and isolation; responsiveness to directed feedback; skill level; and demonstration of understanding and following the Tribal Code.

A student may be ready for Level Three after three sessions of Level Two, or three years; some students might not be interested in Level Three at all. Please do not ask if/when you can move into Level Three: continue coming to class, working on the elements outlined above, displaying your commitment and understanding of the Tribal Code; when you are ready, you will be invited into Level Three.

When am I ready to perform?

Performance skills are taught in Level Three, so at minimum, a student may be ready for public performance after completing at least 12 weeks in Level Three. There is more to performance than just knowing the moves and how to lead and follow; a performer should also be able to read and anticipate the music, matching her movements to the music; smile while dancing; dance with confidence; and choose moves that ensure a varied and engaging set. It takes awhile to build up enough costuming and jewelry for a performance, too! (Check out the article from Wendy Allen linked to on the left about performance readiness, too!)

However, we all enjoy dancing together outside of class, and getting a chance to dress up, too. Blackthorn Bellydance holds haflas (bellydance parties) twice a year to give all students a chance to dance outside of the classroom and spend some time with each other socially, too.

Do you have another question to add to the FAQs? Send me an email and I'll add it here!