» Encyclopedic Dictionary
From Bal Anat dancer to legendary American performer and teacher
- The D-U-H method;
- Let your Feet be your guide.
- Do not drop your pelvis.
- Be precise when practicing.
Aida Al Adawi was an early student of Jamila Salimpour and performer with Bal Anat who went on to become a legendary dancer and musician in her own right. She is still an active teacher and troupe director, doing dance coaching and workshops around the US.
Aida sees her special talent as a mentor to be her ability to break down movements and reconstruct them in the most efficient, powerful and healthful manner.
Her D-U-H method stands for:
From a workshop handout:
- Do every movement with the same precision;
- Understand the whys and hows that produce each kind of technique;
- Have the courage to savor the process and perfect your own personal skills.
Any art is only as good as the precision and technique that makes it up . . . you need to practice doing your steps the same way every time until your muscle memory takes over . . . Take the time to study and learn your craft.
Aida starts with the feet and builds from there: Feet and Knees are Cause, Hips are Effect. Spending a few hours with Aida concentrating on the feet gives valuable insight into how rewarding doing the 'simple' things right can be.
- Keep your FEET on the beat, not your hip.
- Slightly bent knees will automatically dip the hip as you move your feet.
- When the heel goes up, your hip goes up. When the heel goes down, your hip comes down. Do NOT lift your hip beyond what stepping will do for you; let stepping on your foot engage the hip.
- Keep weight centered between the feet, with the foot relaxed enough to wiggle the toes.
- Your feet are always under you; turn with feet side by side and under you.
- Stay inside the Body line with feet, arms and hip work.
- Feet together on the Maya.
- When doing floor patterns, imagine the shape of the pattern to be drawn on the floor; then move towards and away from the sides and corners of the imaginary pattern instead of towards and away from your previous movements.
Shimmies and Choo-choo shimmies
- Pivot on the ball of one foot, with the heel lifted slightly, the ball of the lifted foot directly under the hip joint. Both knees are bent and both feet are side by side.
- Hands up and near the body when spinning.
- Do not drop your pelvis. Dropped pelvis = Rotation = loss of power.
- Pull your pubic muscle in and tuck under for a powerful shimmy. NO rotation.
- Toes should be dragging or shuffling - do not lift them or you'll tighten your muscles.
- Sneak on the balls of your feet (lift heel a bit).
Maura Enright, Proprietor
Author: Maura Enright
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