Art/ Dance Academy

  Keep the Culture in Arabic Dance. Open Borders for ALL Movement!


view:  full / summary


Posted by [email protected] on March 19, 2021 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (37)



Make yourself standout!



Covid -19 has made us all look for other ways to share our talents. Have to admit I am not a technician and this stuff scares the daylights out of me. I was using Zoom etc. when nobody had heard of it to keep in touch with my students far and wide. I now have a lot to learn. I envy those you have come to terms with the situation. I only ever used it for coaching. I remember my my first class on Zoom. I learned a lot.


This article though is for those who are performing in shows produced on Zoom or Skype etc. I cannot sit through one more. The people running the shows do the best they can. Most do well. It is the dancers that I worry about. All get a great introduction. After that it is all over. Most just dance to one person the camera. No, no there is not one person there. Why aren't Arabic style dancers taught more in their choreography classes than just steps? I was taught that things done face on were flat. Have no depth whatsoever!. Facing the side has no personality. Use you angles!!!



I think most of the problem is focus. No one knows where to look. Going across the floor means just that. Have energy, unique presence and dynamics. This is called "See and Be Seen"! Focus on really performing the movement. You have to have direction on your look. It demands that you imagine an audience and show them where to look. Do not focus on your self in the camera, really be aware of where you are focusing your eyes. Sustaining warm, friendly eye contact when ever appropriate also lets the audience know your personality. You need to be present and focused. Easy to forget in a virtual realm. Be yourself and and feel you are being seen all around you. Carry yourself accordingly. This is not just your imagination at work.


You are not performing to an empty house. You have to have stage presence. Pretend you are on stage. Envision communicating to a person. Tap into that feeling of performing for others. Have a confident presence. Learn the nuances of your choreography or improvisation not just steps and moves. Really hone in to what is really being offered, it is more than just reproducing a movement or series of moves. Know the phrases of the music. Take ownership of the material and show you understand the musicality. When using improvisation, feel free embrace and respond to the music. Be an artist!



While two dimensional representation onscreen cannot fully show the richness and complexity of your dancing like in person, getting your dynamics can give a more accurate idea of who you are as a performer. The screen flattens us out and we are not fed by the energy in the theater or restaurant. So, it is even more important and imperative to compensate by being highly articulate and dynamic in your movements. Hit a movement a little harder. It turns the volume up in subtlety and nuance. Make the movement clear rhythmically, feel your connection to the music.


Practice is a great idea. Let go of imperfections or technological mishaps as quickly as possible. Keep dancing full out at least as much as you can in your limited space. For anyone who really has no idea what I am saying, give us a call and schedule a coaching session. We can do this, it is really commonsense. But if you do not know we can help you.



Morwenna Assaf, Educator and Choreographer

Arabic Style Dance and Movement

[email protected]

Walid Assaf, Rhythm Master & Musical Director

760-715-2276 Online – In Studio Sessions


"IDEAL" Weight, Myth NOT Fact!

Posted by [email protected] on December 9, 2020 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

"IDEAL" Weight, Myth NOT Fact!

The number on the scale has nothing to do with dancing. Striving for unrealistic low weight while dancing which builds muscle is unrealistic. Not going to happen. The more you attempt to have low weight will only deter your love for dance. When you engage in strength training activities like dance, your weight will naturally be a little higher. It is impossible to build strength while dancing. Muscle weighs more than fat. The number on the scale has nothing to do with your dancing. Body shape and size are very much apparent in the dance art form. Do not let it dictate you. Be realistic.

When food is used only for achieving weight goals and you will lose the experience of eating delicious food. Body fat regulates hormones which support the brain health, skin elasticity, and bone strength. Despite these realities. Yes, the scale offers a measurable outcome. But, it is unhealthy and not a positive solution. The body is wired to survive famine to protect genetically a predetermined weight. So, what is the correct weight for a dancer? A healthy weight is one that can be maintained without dieting. It fuels performance and allows for ALL foods.

If you are struggling with pressure from a director etc to lose weight, seek help from a qualified source like a registered dietician nutritionist who specializes in working with dancers. They will help you make more balanced choices. Today's demanding choreography requires strength and endurance, both are dependent on a strong body and healthy mind. An under fueled dancer on the other hand is drained physically and mentally and at risk of injury. The number on the scale has no connection with a dancer's talent of drive.

Put It Into Practice

1. Ditch The Mirrors: Try taking a break from constantly assessing yourself in the mirrors in class. Think of the mirrors as a tool to rehearse your relationship with your audience rather than always scrutinizing yourself.

2. Drown Out The Noise: Never mind the comments. No one's opinion is as valuable as your own. You need encouragement, give it to yourself without the chatter on the periphery.

3. Do Not Forget Your Strengths: The best dancers are not acknowledged for how much they weigh.Appreciate what your body brings to the floor.

4. Talk About It: Acknowledge that you need help with your confidence, and that you are not alone when it comes to body insecurities. Normalize healthy conversations about self-image with your peers etc. This can help insecurity from turning into something more harmful. You are not alone.


Morwenna Assaf = Author, Choreographer & Educator

Walid Assaf = Percussionist, & Educator

Art/Dance Academy, USA 760-715-2276 [email protected]




Posted by [email protected] on November 27, 2020 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)


The missing ingredient in most dancer's optimal performance is the lack of rest. As many dancers know, repetitive strain on muscles can lead to minor tears in the muscle tissue. If the body does not get a chance to heal, an overuse injury can occur. Rest gives muscles a chance to repair themselves. Most dancers but most dancers do not allow for this in their schedules.

Active relaxation is the tool all dancers need to recover both physically and mentally. Find a way to soften and move with ease is actually calming for our nervous system. Using a set of physical and mental techniques through progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, visualization, and a combination of all of these can help. These can be done as you ready for bed or just grabbing 10 minutes anytime. This prevents soreness, enhances flexibility, reduces stress and boosts immune system.

1. You Have to Breathe: You cannot dance and just be a chest breather. Breathe into the belly and allow the pelvic floor muscles to relax. Shallow breathing can make you feel out of breath. It can make you anxious and tired.Deep breathing into the diaphragm , gives the lungs a chance expand. Doing this releases he shoulders and enhances freedom of movement. It increases oxygen intake and expels carbon dioxide. This increases energy and reduces fatigue. This helps not only in dance but in everyday life.

Work on a several part breath -

A. Sitting or lying down, breathe into the lower part of your lungs, allow the belly to expand.

B.Continue to inhale into the middle part of the chest. Allow your rib cage to expand sideways.

C. Still inhaling let the air come to the top of the lungs and into the space behind the collar bones. Do not let shoulders lift but avoid forcing them down.

D. Exhale completely by emptying the lower, middle and upper part of lungs. Repeat several times. Then feel the sense of calm.


2. Muscle Relaxation: This is progressive too. Focus on one muscle group at a time. This is a great cool down after class or performance.

A. Find a quiet spot to lay down. Slowly inhale, flexing the feet, straighten the knees while flexing the calves, quads and glutes. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale slowly and release the muscles, while thinking go of any tension. Notice he feeling of relaxation.

B. Move to the hands, arms and shoulders. Clench the fists, straighten the arms, tensing biceps and forearms. Count to 5, then release. Notice the tensing up of the muscles and then the relaxing.

C. Repeat the muscles with the abdominal muscles, chest and back. Then facial muscles, squinting eyes, wrinkle forehead, clench the jaw, and finally the scalp and neck.

D. Repeat the entire exercise then lie still for several moments sensing the weight of the body.


3. In Your Mind's Eye: Now try visualization. It will help you relax more fully. After doing this exercise a few times, try going to your happy, peaceful place in your mind any time you feel anxious. It can be a grounding, calming experience when you need it most.

A. Close your eyes and picture in your mind a place where you feel relaxed. eg. the beach, or t he woods etc. See yourself walking toward the area and sitting down. Breathe deeply!

B. Engage all of your senses. eg the sun on your face, the fresh air etc.

C. As you inhale imagine a calming energy is entering your body.

As you exhale, let go of any that is bothering you. All is well.

D. If your thoughts wander, return to the scene in your mind, focus on your breath. Do this for s several minutes. On ending this exercise visualize yourself walking away calmly. Open your eyes.


Morwenna Assaf = Author, Choreographer & Educator

Walid Assaf = Percussionist, & Educator

Art/Dance Academy, USA 760-715-2276 [email protected]




Posted by [email protected] on November 13, 2020 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)


As s instructors we have to help students to hear, understand and show the music when dancing. What does that all mean? Not all dancers are musically inclined. Some dancers even have trouble keeping or even hearing the beat. They need basic training in the music. Most of us did not grow up with an education in Arabic music and dance so we all have to learn. Without a basic understanding of the music those dancers will never understand the what and why of their dancing. But, they can can develop musicality. There are strategies to help students find the beat, recognize the rhythms, and better reflect their dancing.

Teach them how to count the music and where the accents are. This is a basic understanding. Most Arabic music at a student level is counted in 8s. Learn to recognize what a beledi, masmoudi etc rhythms are. There is only so many rhythms we use to dance. Start at the beginning. Always make sure your movements are centered. Always step on the down beat of 1. Using different music in class will help keep students engaged so they do not zone out.

Bring a drummer in. Let them hear the music live. Live music vibrates differently in the body than recorded music. Canned music is predictable as it is always the same but a live musician helps produce the right response to the muscles. As a beginner it is always the rhythm that students have to hook onto. Have students listen and stamp to the music with one foot or clap. I usually start with just one count like #1.

Always count 5,6,7, 8 before going across the floor. Then they know that is a down beat. I also use straight 4/4 music of different speeds. Then I have them practice a short combination. I never teach just steps after an 6 week Intro class. They need to think in terms of music not steps. Make a combination , then count it. They need to understand where the down beat is and that it is stronger than the other beats. If you do not explain it they do not understand it. Listen to the music, it tells you what to do. Learn how to play the derbecki.

Once all this has settled in, the dancer then needs to move into the melody and instrumentation. The melody gives you the feeling. But the instrumentation tells you which part of the body to move and . One simple step can be done in a hundred different ways to evoke the feeling needed. Finally there is staging. Most club dancers do not think of staging as they just play to the audience. But, any other types of setting you need it.

You need to make patterns on the floor for a reason. Otherwise it all becomes mundane. Choreograph a theater piece and you will see what I mean. There has to be a reason in why you are going where you do. You need advanced training. Not just average training. When you choreograph you have to listen to the music. Do a viral show on camera and then critique it. Or better still have someone else, in the know, do it. You cannot just stare at the camera. That is like dancing for 1.

So get with the program. Do your students and yourself a favor. Learn about Arabic music.

Morwenna Assaf = Author, Choreographer & Educator

Walid Assaf = Percussionist, & Educator

Art/Dance Academy, USA 760-715-2276 [email protected]



Posted by [email protected] on October 28, 2020 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)



DANCERS: They spend their whole life aiming for perfection. Now, there is no problem with aiming for perfection as it keeps your ideals at a high standard. Will you ever reach that goal? NO! But, it gives you pwer to be be better all the time.

We all want to have, perfect feet, the perfect body etc. But dance like life is a questionable thing. We fully desire to conquer space and time. We want our dance to be perfect. We are humans after all. The unending refinement of our dance ability is through sustained training and exploration. This is where vitality comes in. It provides us with the opportunity to feed our need for discovery and humility.

CLASS: The real goal is to arrive early for class being prepared to learn. Class is a joy. View in your mind the treasure trove of what you learn Savor the intricacies of each movement. Every gesture is is worthy of your attention. Feel you are getting closer to perfection every day.


TEACHING: Even as an instructor you have the responsibility of shaping students. Do this with the mindset that you are still learning about your art.There is no end. Do not hold back what you teach. That is selfish! Put it all out there to make them great. You are growing as you grow them.


PERFORMING:There is no such thing as a perfect performance. It is a living, breathing reality. There is always a movement that could have been executed cleaner. An interaction that could have been richer. If you felt a performance had reached perfection there would be nothing left to strive for. Aiming for perfection gives an ongoing gift of discovery.

AUDIENCE: What does perfect performing mean to your audience.The magic of a live performance is to see dancers striving for perfection. The average viewer is not a dancer and watches in amazement. The dancers at any level do their best. It means more than just entertainment It is inspiration and consolation. Yes, be the best you can be.

Morwenna Assaf = Author, Choreographer & Educator

Walid Assaf = Percussionist, & Educator

Art/Dance Academy, USA 760-715-2276 [email protected]


Posted by [email protected] on October 15, 2020 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)



Some dancers seem to stand out beyond the others. They have it all. They have mastered what is needed to be a great dancer. What is this? How do you get it? No, it does not happen overnight. It is hard work. Getting someone to coach you is so very important. You need someone to guide you. A general studio teacher can give you a head start but is not necessarily the one who can make your rise to the top. Find a dance coach to help you be it in the studio or as so many are doing today find someone virtually. Do not stop your regular classes as they are important. Invest the time and the money into something special which is you. Here are some hints to help you until you find that special person

Dance Outside Your Comfort Zone: If you love Orientale, fine! Now work on Folklore. Folklore is people. There are so many different styles. You might find you like it. It will had depth and distinction to your dance. Pick dances you find difficult. Learn how to be comfortable there so you can express what the dances mean and be part of that tribe.

Push for Tougher Choreography: Work on dance that is above your level. Work on those extra turns etc. That is what class is all about. Work beyond your comfort zone. Yes, you have to be comfortable when performing. But, in class and practice, if you do not extend yourself you will never grow.

Analyze Every Step: Not only steps but every single movement you make, in every way, shape or form. Make sure you are using the right muscles. This is the way you get longevity in dance. Clean up arm placement, yes. Then look at every step. Look at all the details. Ask yourself am I using my back to support my arms and and overall alignment Then, do this to translate everything you do.

Study your Transitions: This is the space between steps and timing. This helps with technique all the way around. This also helps with timing. Make sure you breathe. Make sure you plie when needed and that when you releve your placement is correct. Make sure your weight is correct when coming out of a turn.

Build Strength with Musicality: Work with the music. When the music swells make that movement juicier, this way your supporting leg will get stronger as you develope the movement. Play with the way you approach your arms. Your arms work with your movements. They are not an added flourish. port de Bras also help with upper body clarity if done correctly. This improves your total carriage and makes a full picture.

Fill In The Blanks On Your Own: If you are struggling with parts of a solo, pay extra attention to particular movements in class. Try working the combination that is giving you trouble on the opposite side. Emotionally connect to your work. Without emotion you have virtually nothing. Research the movement and get a full understanding of the work and of the movement.

Now you have a place for thought. Start here! Work on your own and in class on the above things. Find a dance partner to work with. Hopefully, someone at least on a par with you of better. Help each other. Then search for a coach. We can help you. It is what we do.For the past 20 years or so this is what we have done. We help with not only the movements in both Raks Orientale but also in different regions of Egypt and Lebanon for Folklore but also the musicality, choreography, improvisation and staging required in all forms of Arabic Style Dance. If we do not we can put you in contact with someone who is a leader in the style you want. If you are a teacher who needs help contact us. We can help!

Morwenna Assaf = Author, Choreographer & Educator

Walid Assaf = Percussionist, & Educator

Art/Dance Academy, USA 760-715-2276 [email protected]


Posted by [email protected] on September 24, 2020 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)


Here it is autumn again! A new season for your dance classes. Here are 6 ways to improve your dance as you get back into the studio, be it in person or online. These are corrections teachers give the most, or should be. They are basic things. Set realistic goals and fix them. Make your dance come alive not matter the level of dancer you are. These seven things will at least get you off on the right foot.

1. USE YOUR EYES: Do not get stuck in the mirror. Utilize the mirror when you need to. The head is the heaviest part of the body, so if you direct your eyes your body position will be corrected. Utilize your eyes when using your arms. This helps relate to what happens when you dance.

2. ENGAGE YOUR CORE: Having a strong core helps you move with more stability and faster. Keep it together. Remember the core in Oriental Dance is the solar plexus area of the body. Other dance forms it can be a little lower in the body.

3. DO NOT CHEAT ON TURN PREPARATIONS: For turns, 1. Losing turnout. 2. Doing a double plie. 3. Swinging arm behind body. Weight should be forward. Plie properly to push down so you can go up.. Make sure your mechanics are correct. Do it slowly, Build good muscle memory.

4. BE POSITIVE: Incorporate positive thinking. Do not judge yourself. Be ok with what you do not know. Be willing to receive information. Do not let one problem you are having with an area affect the entire combination. Allow yourself to make mistakes.. Learn from them. Also, do not be a knw it all. There are always those that know more than you.

5. LIFT YOUR ARCHES: When you lift your arches away from the floor you engage muscles in the back of your legs. Make sure all 10 toes are connected with the floor. This prevents rolling forward and putting pressure on your knees. Make sure your feet are fully engaged. This will help with balance, turns and knee health.

6. APPROACH PLIE AS A MOVEMENT: A plie is an action with resistance. Plies, should support what you are doing both rhythmically and technically. Resist going down. Hold upper body up. Do not sink into hips. Push the floor away as you lift up.

These six steps are a place to start. Certainly not everything you need but a good place to start to make all of your learning easier regardless of the style of dance you are learning.

Morwenna Assaf = Author, Choreographer & Educator

Walid Assaf = Percussionist, & Educator

Art/Dance Academy, USA  


[email protected]


Posted by [email protected] on September 9, 2020 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)



This piece is written to help the average dancer at any level understand the use of rhythm and musicality in the dance. Today more than before most dancers learn choreography. But you have to be able to make it yours. You are not a puppet on a string. If you are lucky enough to be able to work with musicians or even work in a club doing long solo shows then you might be doing improvisation. Either way you need this information.


You have to listen to a piece over and over again before you can choreograph or improvise to it. Absorb every piece you want to dance to so you can translate it. Sit sown and let the music be your focus. Try to open a sense of awareness to the sound. Study, the different rhythms that are used and the instrumentation. Is it a keyboard, derbecki, tambourine , tar or tubl beledi giving you the rhythm? If you are unsure of the instrument etc try the following ideas.


1. Find a role model: Look for someone who knows more than you. In class find that person to go across the floor with. Make it a project to improve your timing.

2. Research the score: Do the intellectual work. Who wrote it? Does it have a particular musical form? A 4/4, 6/8, A Beledi, A Masmoudi, Folkloric, Classical, Debke. Which country does it come from?

3. Practice dancing in silence: Find your inherent sense of phrasing is, absent of any influence. This might allow you to hear the phrasing a little differently or at least to get it right. Try it!

4. Now tap into the musicality: Pretend you are in a group, get in sync. See the space you are in. You cannot just look at the audience and hope you are doing it right. Feel the space. Here is where staging gets into the picture. Now work on becoming a more musical dancer.


Musicality like any facet of dance, can be developed and honed over time. This takes dedicated and detailed practice. It is absolutely respect for the music. Music is your partner. Or consider it a marriage. It is an interpretation of the score. It is executing on the right note and with the right accent. If the dancer feels the music, you know it. She also interprets the music with her body. That is probably the first thing you would notice. It is about a dancer's ability to dissect the rhythm.


1. Do not let your back history with music dictate to you: Exercise restraint. Otherwise, you might rush, or just fall to a flat-line beat that you think you hear.

2. Do not over rely on the counts: Try just doing it. It is not just the counts. There is such a thing as movement phrases. Sing or hum the melody to figure out how the phrases fit. This helps you interpret the music.

3. Forget the in-between moments: Ignoring the space in-between would lead to a monotonous quality in your dance. You have to breathe. Find your internal song.

4. Think about musicality last:You cannot add it on later. Has to part and parcel of your piece. You have to start though by listening to the music and paying attention to the rhythm. Now you can work on the musicality.

Morwenna Assaf = Author, Choreographer & Educator

Walid Assaf = Percussionist, & Educator

Art/Dance Academy, USA


[email protected]

Morwenna Assaf = Author, Choreographer & Educator

Walid Assaf = Percussionist, & Educator

Art/Dance Academy, USA


[email protected]


Posted by [email protected] on August 27, 2020 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Consistency In Thinking

The last area to consider is consistency in thinking. Turning pesky negative thoughts into positive ones only takes a bit of practice. As the teacher, it’s your responsibility to create a positive environment for your students where they don’t feel belittled for their mistakes, but encouraged to learn from them. Remind your students that there is always opportunity to improve and refine their ballet technique and that learning ballet is an ongoing process – it’s not just about ticking the boxes! The beauty of the adult ballet experience is that there is always the next class to practice again.

If you can encourage your students to be consistent through all aspects of their ballet class, they will find fulfillment and success.


Consistency is key for building knowledge and improvement in any activity. Encouraging your adult students to be consistent across all aspects of their classes will set them on the path to success.

Consistency In Effort

Consistency in effort can also be very dependent on the emotions of the day, and life outside the studio heavily influences this. It can be great one week and feel less so the next. It can even swing between the two within a single class. So how do you encourage consistency in effort during class?

Ballet is truly an ‘in the moment’ experience, and when the dancing stops, that moment has passed. Ask your students to approach each enchaînement with renewed effort every time, not allowing what has gone before to color their view. Of course it’s important to hold on to the corrections and instructions that you give them, but if something doesn’t work, it’s important they learn from it, and then let it go. This is one of the most challenging aspects of learning ballet, however encouraging your students to find consistency of effort in every moment that they’re dancing will bring clarity to their movements and thoughts.

Consistency In Thinking

The last area to consider is consistency in thinking. Turning pesky negative thoughts into positive ones only takes a bit of practice. As the teacher, it’s your responsibility to create a positive environment for your students where they don’t feel belittled for their mistakes, but encouraged to learn from them. Remind your students that there is always opportunity to improve and refine their ballet technique and that learning ballet is an ongoing process – it’s not just about ticking the boxes! The beauty of the adult ballet experience is that there is always the next class to practice again.

Boost Your Body Confidence

When you are dancer you are being body scrutinized all the time. It is your instrument. When performing people are looking at your body moving. In an audition you are being checked out. Even in the class room you spend hours looking at yourself in the mirrors. It is constant. Yes, this is all true so you have to be able to develop the confidence in you. Be resilient and accept all the judgment that comes with a dance career.

Here is how you do that. This is a good place to start.

1. Name What You Like About You.

Look at yourself in the mirror. See what you have, not what you do not have. Accept the things you are not good at. But, what are your really good qualities. Work on them. A beautiful line in an arabesque or a fantastic shimmy? Small chest, we can fix that in costuming. Be positive.

2. Filter Feedback.

Take advice from well meaning people with a grain of salt. Filter it. Some of it might be worth keeping. Some not. Be realistic. Be strong about your strong points also know your weak points and work on them

3. Focus On How You Feel.

Try not to feel insecure. Wear what makes you feel comfortable. Always enjoy the movement. Relax, do not try to be perfect.

4. Study Other Body Types Like Yours.

Yes, find a body double. Identify movement qualities you admire in these dancers and try to bring those attributes into your own dancing. See how that person makes up for whatever it might be.

5. Be Grateful for What You Can Do.

Remember all the amazing things you can do. Find balance and perspective wit your body image. Use your best skills and make them better.

6. Do Not Pin Your Hopes On What Others Do.

You are more than just a body. Look for a place where you belong. Draw strength from what is going on outside the dance world.


Look at your whole life, not just your body and pursue the project of being a balanced human being.

Morwenna Assaf, Educator and Choreographer

Arabic Style Dance and Movement

[email protected]

:760-715-2276 Online – In Studio Sessions

Walid Assaf, Rhythm Master & Musical Director




Posted by [email protected] on August 14, 2020 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)




Consistency is key for building knowledge and improvement in any activity you undertake. All adult students, and we are all students of something, across all aspects of classes. This will set them apart and put them on a success path. In this article I am referring to dance or movement classes but can be used for anything you are interested in.

ATTENDANCE: - Attendance is the most obvious way that consistency will make a difference in your work. Turning up every day is so important for learning and retaining knowledge. It also means that skills can be continued and be honed, which means you will enjoy your classes or practices so much more.. Being consistent means there is more opportunity for self expression and less scrambling to keep up. Now I am speaking of just dance technique as technique is the basis for dance quality. Having consistency means your technique is constantly being refined. It gives you the freedom to dance your heart out.

APPROACH:- So now you attend every week. Now, we will turn your attention to how you approach your class. This can swing from being very easy on a good day to very difficult on a day you are having a bad day. Often class is the silver lining- to an average day. But, what happens when it is not that simple?

Consistency in approach can help. Promote a routine for when you arrive. This will put you in the right frame of mind for class. This helps your teacher as well. It might be sitting quietly for a few moments, taking a couple of deep breaths to become centered in the space. It might be instigating a related chat before the warm up. However every approach should incorporate a solid warm up. Warming up is physical and mental preparation, and should not be underestimated. If you can achieve this every time you attend class, you will be perfectly prepared for what ever you get in the studio. 363


Do It Right. Borrow a move from ballet for a beautiful lower body. It is no secret we would all love to have well toned buns and inner thighs. Ballet dancers know how to do this. A turned out second position plie. It is a variation on a squat that also works out your inner thighs. This utilizes the muscles of the buttocks, back of thighs, front of thighs, and inner thighs. All of these muscles control the movement of the body. You do not have to overdo the turn-out. Your feet are in a turned out position. The degree of turnout varies with each person. Do not let your feet turn out past your knees. Weight is evenly distributed.

Only lower to the point where your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep abdominal muscles tight and upper back lifted. Go straight down with back in natural curve. Tail bone moves straight down and up. Do not allow weight to sit in butt. Hold weight in mid section. Lower only as far as is comfortable.


Morwenna Assaf, Educator and Choreographer of Arabic Style Dance

[email protected] https://ArtDance

760-715-2276 El Fen = OnLine Studio

Walid Assaf, Rhythm Master, Musical Director