In bellydance camels are undulations of the spine made whilst travelling or moving on the spot. They are one of those fluid moves that every dancer needs to drill over and over again in order to truly control and make it look genuinely effortless. But because of it’s flowing nature, many dancers often skip out the most essential part of this move, which allows it to roll of the tailbone, whilst transferring the weight from one foot to the other.
I’ve therefore put a short video together breaking down the technique for a basic camel and undulation of the spine. Use it to re-cap on your own technique, and then play around with the strength and control you have to use in order to create the movement. If you’ve been dancing for a while you may want to drill this lying down, as you can then truly focus on the muscles you have to use – but do remember to breath! Place your palms on your stomach so you can feel the wave you’re creating. Once you have woken up your muscles, try creating a softer and more relaxed wave. This can almost work as a meditation too, but it also a wonderful stretch and workout for your spine in general.
You can watch the video here.
Controlled undulations are also a great way to exercise your stomach muscles in general, and can really tone your ‘six-pack’, although you will have to do a lot more targeted exercise if you’re dreaming of it showing on the outside! But it’s a gentler way than doing lots of stomach crunches on the floor which can result in strained necks and shoulders.
The video only focusses on the undulation travelling down the spine, and a separate video on a re-versed undulation and canal will follow soon.
The video is part of a series I’ve been asked to put together for JWAAD bellydance training, helping dancers to learn and maintain ‘good bellydance technique’. You will therefore also be able to see it, and many more videos like it, on the JWAAD training YouTube channel.
I hope you find it useful, and if you have anything to add, such as ideas for teaching the moves to beginner and improver students, adding arms or your favourite variations, please leave a comment below so we can keep the knowledge sharing going and encourage good quality, safe and beautiful dancing.
Enjoy taming, moving and working with your camels ?
Did you miss my last post? Read it here: How to melt and move with your mayas