16 de junho de 2015


Suhaila's format breaks down every movement that the body can do, muscularly. Then she layers on footwork patterns, arms, more moves, etc. It's a very physically intense format that strengthens the whole body and teaches technique from the ground up. Suhaila format includes precise timing and downbeat (where the move starts) as well. 

Jamila's format includes moves that are full out dance steps. For instance, the Basic Egyptian came from Jamila Format, and includes the footwork, and bodywork as one dance move. Her format is more folkloric based. While it can be broken down as much as Suhaila format can, it contains more complete dance moves that stand on their own, rather than being considered "layers" such as the foot pattern being layered over the hipwork, being layered over the upper body movement, as in the Suhaila format. 

Jamila format will also include much of the history of American bellydance. She's owned restaurants, ran troupes, practically invented the dance troupe format at the Renaissance Faire, etc. There's such a rich history in the Jamila format that dancers of any level and style can learn so much from!

I've never studied with Jamila herself, nor met her. I've taken workshops with Suhaila that included Jamila Salimpour format, though, and I love it. I love the way Suhaila and Jamila define and break down the moves that all bellydancers do. It makes it so much easier to learn and teach that way, in my opinion.

I think the Jamila Salimpour format would be a wonderful investment in time and money. She comes from such a rich background of American Bellydance, and it's really a history lesson. The Jamila Salimpour format has helped define what bellydance is in America today, whether people realize it or not. In learning the Jamila format, students will be learning the foundation of bellydance movement, where it came from, why it's done and called that, etc. 

What I often let myself get bothered by is when dancers call themselves "fusion" dancers and do not study the roots and foundation of bellydance. Jamila Salimpour format contains much of the folkloric moves that we do, as well as moves that eventually morphed into the modern ATS movement. 

I think it's a great idea for any dancer, regardless of style, to study the history of bellydance and how it evolved in America, and that significantly includes the Jamila Salimpour format. If I had the time and money, I'd go to California as often as I could to study with Suhaila and Jamila and all they have to offer!

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