Vertical 8 improvisations

By Ishtar Dance on Tuesday, May, 21st, 2019 in Dance Coaching, Dance Inspiration, Learning, Your Dance Body No Comments

Who doesn’t like a snaky vertical figure of 8… Whether going up or down, this is one of my favourite smooth belly dance moves, because you can deconstruct the move and use it in so many ways.

As part of my ‘Improvisation Station’ series, this post is therefore looking at fabulous vertical 8, and how to make it work for smooth, percussive and travelling sections of your music.

You can check out my previous post on improvising with hip drops, and how to get started with improvisation drills.

I used the Masmoudi Soghreer rhythm for my drill simply because that’s the one that came up when I shuffled my playlist. The music used is from the ‘Belly Dance Rhythms for Practise and Performance’ by Joelle Barker, who is an amazing female drummer living in the UK. She has also taught on the JWAAD music course, and I love working with her live, because I find the dynamics of working with a female drummer totally different.

Also spelt Masmoudi Saghir/sohir the rhythm is a variation of the Saidi rhythm and often referred to as the ‘Baladi’. It goes: Dum Dum – Tak Dum – Tak – Dum Dum – Tak Dum – Tak –

The video is a one take wonder – because I wanted to show truthfully how I work when I improvise, which also means that this is not a polished choreography in any way. In fact there are several things about this clip that I don’t like and would like to do different, but with improvisation videos that will always be the case – and that is exactly why you should try this too.

Watch the vertical 8s improvisations video here. 

So put your favourite song on, or select one blind that I did, and film yourself dancing to it using only one or max 3 different moves. Then go back and review it as if you were watching your friend dance, and don’t start criticising yourself! Look as objectively as you can on the technique and the combinations your come up with. You might just invent your new signature move or amazing combination for your next choreography.

I hope you have fun improvising with vertical figures of 8. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below so I know how you’re getting on. Happy dancing – always..


Did you miss my last post? Read it here:

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