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  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer TexasRuya's Avatar
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    Pelvic undulation

    I should know how to do this, but as far as I know, I don't. I was never taught just a pelvic undulation, but I can 'camel' & undulate/roll up & down. I tried to figure it out on my own but of course it came out wonky & looked like a bump n grind move..l;,. A while back I saw a dancer do a pelvic undulation while traveling in a tight circle on releve (facing out towards the audience) and with the music, etc., it looked really nice. And of course I've seen dancers like Samia Gamal do it, usually traveling side to side a short distance.

    I'd like to be able to do this in general, as well as add it to a choreo I'm currently planning/playing out in my head. Could someone try to explain it to me? Pretty please? ..g.:
    Last edited by TexasRuya; 03-03-2009 at 12:41 PM.


  2. #2
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. anala's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    Begin with the skeleton. Pelvic scoop. Bend knees, dip pelvis forward and down to scoop the "water" into the "bowl" straighten knees while tilting the pelvis (using the navel to pull (suck it in) backward) to cause the water to move to back of the bowl...repeat.


  3. #3
    Official BHUZzer Kalirah's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    I'm trying to visualize which move you might mean... is it where you do a vertical front/back circle with the pelvis (while walking/traveling)?


  4. #4
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    Here's how I teach it.

    I have students stand sideways to the mirror. We start by practicing tucking/releasing the pelvis, without engaging the glutes.

    Then we practice sliding the pelvis forward and back, without tilting it. The biggest obstacle here is usually maintaining the neutral pelvis while sliding it back (NOT tipping it back). The pelvis should stay level here (if you're wearing a hip scarf, that line stays parallel to the floor).

    Once I'm certain that the students understand both actions and have located the right muscles to control them, we put it together into the pelvic undulation.

    Slide the pelvis forward. Tuck. (often you won't see much tucking, but you'll feel a strong contraction in your lower belly as you lift the pubic bone toward the navel). Slide back staying tucked. This is the biggest sticking point for most students. Do NOT let the booty come out from under you as you slide back -- think 'tail between your legs'. Then, when you reach the back of the movement, return the pelvis to neutral and begin the slide forward again.

    The sliding forward and back are VERY small movements after you've gotten control of this. An inch is fine. It's all about that contraction in the lower belly, really.

    Once we get the drills going, I call out 'Forward, tuck, pull back stay tucked, release." Then I simplify it to 'Push forward, pulllll back' emphasizing that muscular pull through the lower belly.

    A full undulation is the same, but initiates with a chest lift. Lift, push forward, tuck and pull back.

    Again, styaing tucked while pulling back is the #1 issue students have (lack of lower belly strength/control, I think). The #2 issue is making the movement from the knees, and the body bobs up and down. Knees are soft, microbend, but there's almost no perceptible change in them throughout the movement. #3 issue is keeping the chest lifted throughout the move. Again, weakness or lack of isolation in the core muscles will cause the ribcage to be pulled downward during the tuck.

    Done properly, you should feel a contraction starting in the upper abs and sliding down through the abdominal muscles all the way to the pubic bone.


  5. #5
    Advanced BHUZzer elisagamal's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    lauren, you are awesome. what a great explanation. :)

    when I want to do an undulation that is specifically pelvic and not recruiting my torso into the movement, I actually do it the other direction: from neutral pelvis, contract to lift the pubic bone, slide the hips forward slightly, release and slide hips back. that movement always dogged me until I was in a workshop with leila haddad and she told us to simply "roll your pelvis toward the earth."


  6. #6
    Master BHUZzer ANA_bellydancer's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    For me, it's hard to explain... I do it since I was a child, when I didn't even know what bellydance was... But, anyway, I think it has more to do with anatomy than with technique. It's like moving one single ear or one single eyebrow: some people do it easily, some people don't.
    Last edited by ANA_bellydancer; 03-03-2009 at 06:35 PM.


  7. #7
    Advanced BHUZzer AngelaDiCaprio's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    Quote Originally Posted by elisagamal View Post
    lauren, you are awesome. what a great explanation. :)

    when I want to do an undulation that is specifically pelvic and not recruiting my torso into the movement, I actually do it the other direction: from neutral pelvis, contract to lift the pubic bone, slide the hips forward slightly, release and slide hips back. that movement always dogged me until I was in a workshop with leila haddad and she told us to simply "roll your pelvis toward the earth."
    Yep, thats how my instructor taught me.


  8. #8
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    Quote Originally Posted by elisagamal View Post
    lauren, you are awesome. what a great explanation. :)
    garsh. Thanks!

    when I want to do an undulation that is specifically pelvic and not recruiting my torso into the movement, I actually do it the other direction: from neutral pelvis, contract to lift the pubic bone, slide the hips forward slightly, release and slide hips back. that movement always dogged me until I was in a workshop with leila haddad and she told us to simply "roll your pelvis toward the earth."

    I teach that one, too, but call it a 'reverse pelvic undulation.'

    Raqia Hassan just says 'reverse' when she wants that movement (she uses it a lot, usually doubled at the end of a choreography phrase). I think Morocco calls it a 'California Roll.'


  9. #9
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. anala's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    I call it a roll vs a scoop. One is a wheel traveling forward, the other rolls backward. Interesting about the knees..I will have to pay more attention ... I do these to a 4 count usually, so I think I have a tendency to do a level change with them.


  10. #10
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    Quote Originally Posted by anala View Post
    I call it a roll vs a scoop. One is a wheel traveling forward, the other rolls backward. Interesting about the knees..I will have to pay more attention ... I do these to a 4 count usually, so I think I have a tendency to do a level change with them.
    A deliberate level change is another matter, of course. What did David say, make sure your body is ONLY doing what you want it to do? I should find his exact quote and commit it to memory!

    With my beginners, it's not a deliberate level change, they just use their knees too much.

    when taking the pelvic undulation traveling sideways with the 'flat ball ball ball' footwork -- do most of us call this move a camel? -- it's important to have the ability to glide, I think, and only dip deliberately on the first beat.


    I did NOT understand why this move is called a 'camel' until I rode a camel and found myself making this motion involuntarily, by the way. It's not the motion of a camel, but the motion of the person RIDING the camel!!


  11. #11
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. anala's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    Nope...I am pretty sure I am teaching this to beginners this way. I use the knee bend in the froward tilt to give them more of the visual of scooping a liquid and bringing it back to the spine while the leg straightens. It was the way I was taught and maybe I should rethink it.


  12. #12
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    I teach it much the way Lauren does.

    My approach to avoid getting the knees involved is to start the students out just shifting their weight from toes to heels - I refer to it like seaweed drifting forward and back in a gentle tide. Then when they have the "drift" forward and back going on auto-pilot, we start tilting the pelvis in going back and releasing it going forward.


  13. #13
    Advanced BHUZzer TexasRuya's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    Thanks ladies, I've got the idea now how to do it. Now...practice. Then..trying to travel without it turning wonky ..l;,


  14. #14
    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    ZZ calls this a camel and a reverse camel. I, coming from a Turkish/AmCab, background always want to start with the upper body! ARGH!

    It's fun!

    {{{HUGS}}}


  15. #15
    Master BHUZzer aziyade's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post
    I did NOT understand why this move is called a 'camel' until I rode a camel and found myself making this motion involuntarily, by the way. It's not the motion of a camel, but the motion of the person RIDING the camel!!
    ROFL -- you too??! hahaha.

    I think I literally went "ooooh! THAT's a camel step!" when I rode my first one. It made perfect sense if you wanted to actually stay in the seat. too funny...


  16. #16
    Official BHUZzer NahimehJoon's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    Lauren - one of my students (also a Bhuzzer) recently said that she wished that you were her mother...and I'm understanding why, you're awesome! Thank you for the great breakdown!


  17. #17
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    Quote Originally Posted by NahimehJoon View Post
    Lauren - one of my students (also a Bhuzzer) recently said that she wished that you were her mother...and I'm understanding why, you're awesome! Thank you for the great breakdown!
    Oh, my goodness! What a fantastic compliment! My actual kids probably wish I spent less time on Bhuz... ..l;,


  18. #18
    Advanced BHUZzer khalida777's Avatar
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    Re: Pelvic undulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post
    I did NOT understand why this move is called a 'camel' until I rode a camel and found myself making this motion involuntarily, by the way. It's not the motion of a camel, but the motion of the person RIDING the camel!!
    I had the same revelation just over a year ago during my first camel ride, amazing!


    Khalida


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