Melina's Belly Dance & Circus Arts Private Studio Moody Street Circus in Waltham, MA
Melina's Tips from the Hip (TM) Blog
Now, while we dance
Come here to us
and you, Muses
with lovely hair.
Oriental Dance Teaching Statement
Melina/Melinda Marsh Heywood
I like students to enter the flow of dance right from the start. While technique is a very important aspect of my class and I take time to carefully break down and explain new moves, I find it equally crucial to immerse even beginner students in the stream of those movements, letting their bodies interpret & feel the music & experience the dance in as organic and unselfconscious a way as possible – the way I learned it as a child from my mother. Adjusted for the level of dancers, my classes focus on combining moves and performing them to Middle Eastern, Turkish, North African, or Pop-style Techno-Belly Tunes. Just as I draw on many dance forms and styles in my teaching – from jazz to funk to folk dance -- I also celebrate musical eclecticism.
There is fast work, where shimmies, spins, rapid-fire hip work, flamenco-style stamping and even leaps come into play. There is also the slow, more lyrical snake-like action of the body and its parts. There is absolute stillness. There are spinal undulations and chest and hip isolations which are challenging and require a student’s commitment to mastering dance technique, and there are also moments of letting go and allowing the body’s natural vitality and life-force come out in wild, untamed & self-expressive ways.
How you dance all depends on your goals as a dancer, the music & context of your dance, or your mood. It is my goal to share my enjoyment of this ancient dance form with you. Oriental Dance is a dance that uncovers your most authentic, ecstatic self and taps into your primal wisdom. Carpe-bellyum!
Melina's Oriental Dance Mission Statement.
Melina's personal essay Dancing From the Belly.