The Ultimate Guide to Instructional Bellydance With Jillina – Level 1

The Ultimate Guide to Instructional Bellydance With Jillina – Level 1

In this detailed guide to Instructional Bellydance With Jillina Level 1, you will find all you need for you home practice – the DVD contents with time marks, all combinations and choreography recorded in tables for easiers memorization, practice tips and music used on the DVD.

Even though the Instructional Bellydance With Jillina Level 1 DVD is aimed at beginners, it’s great even for more experienced dancers. It features a choreography to the first part of Alf Leyla Wa Leyla by Cairo Orchestra.

The DVD provides a lot of material for your own practice. Remember, there is a huge difference between “I know this chorography” and I can perform this choreography with precision, exact timing and expression like Jillina does.

Instructional Bellydance With Jillina – Level 1

Music – Alf Leyla Wa Leyla

Alf Leyla Wa Leyla is a beautiful traditional song. You can find dozens of different versions but this one by Cairo Orchestra is my favourite.

Alf Leyla Wa Leyla by Cairo Orchestra is over 6 minutes long! Jillina uses only the first part of the song so if you want to perform it, you will need to edit the music on your computer.

The song is amazing because it features various middle-eastern rhythms. This may cause a little confusion when counting because you simply can’t count at the same speed all the time. Sometimes you need to count slower, sometimes faster according to the current rhythm and tempo. You can learn more about it in Alf Leyla Wa Leyla – musical analysis for belly dancers.

DVD Contents:

You can buy a separated DVD Instructional Bellydance With Jillina – Level 1 or a box set Instructional Bellydance with Jillina Levels 1 , 2 & 3. I happend to have the latter so the time markers in the DVD content below might vary a little for the other version.

How to understand the dance notes

With the exception of using Labanotation, I found recording belly dance notes into tables the most effective. There can be several columns in the table – time marks to help you find the exact section of the song, counts, steps and body movements and arms.

Body and arm movements on the same line happen at the same time. Arm position applies across multiple rows until it changes into another arm position.

Abbreviations

  • + – movements happen simultaniously
  • , – movemets follow each other
  • L – left
  • R – right
  • db – downbeat
  • cw – clockwise
  • ccw – counter clockwise

Technique Music

Violin Solo

Sahra Saeeda CD Cover

Combinations

Combination 1

Music: Yaho

Vocabulary:

  • hip side accent
  • horizontal pelvic figure eight front to back
  • vertical pelvic figure eight down to up

Combination:

Counts: Steps, body Arms
1-4 hip accent side R, L, R, hold arms side
5-8 vertical pelvic figure eight up R, L
1-4 hip accent side L, R, L, hold
5-8 vertical pelvic figure eight up L, R
1-4 hip accent side R, L, R, hold
5-8 horizontal pelvic figure eight front to back L, R
1-4 hip accent side L, R, L, hold
5-8 horizontal pelvic figure eight front to back R, L
1-4 hip accent side R, R, R, hold
5-8 hip accent side L, L, L, hold

Practice tips:

  • start the vertical figure eight on the weighted leg, lift the heel to emphasise the movement, engage iliopsoas muscle especially during the inner half of the circle
  • horizontal figure eight starts on the side, first twist the hip back on weighted leg, then transfer the weight diagonally on the opposite foot
  • for each of the triple hip side accents make sure you have most of your weight on the same leg, bend your knee before each hip side accent, point the accents diagonally towards the corner
  • to make hip side accents sharper, contract glut with each accent

Combination 2

Music: Dahakteni

Vocabulary:

  • Egyptian shimmy
  • shoulder shimmy
  • vertical pelvic figure eight down to up
  • Arabic step
  • 3-step turn

Combination:

Counts Steps, body Arms
1-4 Egyptian shimmy arms side
5-8 Arabic step L, R, L, R + shoulder shimmy
1-4 2x step side L + vertical figure up db R L arm up, R arm side down
5-8 3-step turn L, R, L, R arms close and open
1-4 Egyptian shimmy arms side
5-8 Arabic step R, L, R, L + shoulder shimmy
1-4 2x step side R + vertical figure up db L R arm up, L arm side down
5-8 3-step turn R, L, R, L arms close and open

Practice tips:

  • Vertical figure eight while walking side is not even with R and L hip. The first half will be large, the second one small. You can think of doing a one hip vertical circle instead.
  • As a preparation for Egyptian shimmy you can add a little heel tap to emphasise the downbeat.
  • Carefully observe the arms transitions and try to implement it to achieve fluency. There is a small wrist circle forward between Egyptian shimmy and shoulder shimmy. Watch how Jillina closes and opens her arms during transition between shoulder shimmy and figure eights. As a preparation for 3-step turn, the leading arm goes front across the body.

Combination 3

Music: Talakik

Vocabulary:

  • hip bounce
  • camel
  • snake arms
  • Egyptian shimmy

Combination:

Counts Steps, body Arms
1-4 R foot on the ball + 4x hip bounce db down L arm up, R arm down
5-8 2x camel diagonally R arms frame hips
1-4 L foot forward on the ball + 4x hip bounce db down L R arm up, L arm down
5-8 step with full weight on L foot snake arms L, R
1-2 step back R + camel arms side
3-4 step back L + camel
5-8 step back R, step forward L, step forward R, step forward L (close feet together)
1-8 Egyptian shimmy

Practice tips:

  • Weight shifts in this combination can be challenging. Go several times through breakdown before dancing with music.
  • During snake arms make sure you stand on L foot for 4 counts.
  • Step back with camels step takes two counts. On the first count you move the foot back, on the second count you transfer you whole weight on it.
  • As a preparation for Egyptian shimmy you can add a little heel tap to emphasise the downbeat.

Combination 4

Music: Saharony Ellil

Vocabulary:

  • horizontal pelvic circle
  • camel
  • Egyptian shimmy
  • 3-step turn

Combination:

Counts Steps, body Arms
1-8 4x camel diagonally L, R, L, R arms frame hips, then side
1-4 2x side step L + pelvic circle ccw arms side
5-8 3-step turn L, R, L, R
1-8 Egyptian shimmy

Practice tips:

  • For the first two camels arms frame the hips, during the next two camels gradually lift the arms to the side (second) position.
  • As a preparation for 3-step turn, left arm goes forward and across the body.

Combination 5

Music: Nar El Ghera

Vocabulary:

  • vertical pelvic figure eight up
  • camel
  • chassé

Combination:

Counts Steps, body Arms
1-4 large step R, keep L foot in place, R foot step back in + vertical hip figure eight up R, L, R arms side
5-6 chassé R
7-8 L foot step back + quarter turn ccw + camel, step on R foot + quarter turn cw
1-4 large step L, keep R foot in place, L foot step back in + vertical hip figure eight up L, R, L arms side
5-6 chassé L
7-8 R foot step back + quarter turn ccw + camel, step on L foot + quarter turn cw

Practice tips:

  • Perform chassé on the balls of your feet.
  • When adding a camel, shift your weight fully on the back leg (flat footed).
  • After count 8 make sure you don’t put the foot down on the floor. It goes from back position straight into the large step side!

Combination 6

Music: Elly Etmanetoh

Vocabulary:

  • camel
  • 3-step turn
  • Egyptian shimmy
  • heel tap

Combination:

Counts Steps, body Arms
1-4 R foot step diagonally forward right, 2x camel arms side
5-8 L foot step diagonally forward left, 2x camel
1-4 R foot step back + camel, L foot step back + camel
5-8 R foot step back, 3-step turn L, R, L arms close and open
1-4 heel tap, Egyptian shimmy
5-8 heel tap, Egyptian shimmy

Practice tips:

  • For heel tap keep your knees straight, lift the heels slightly on upbeat and heel tap on downbeat (one).
  • After 3-step turn close the feet on one with the heel tap.

Combination 7

Music: Talakik

Vocabulary:

  • hip lift
  • hip drop
  • 3-step turn

Combination:

Counts Steps, body Arms
1-2 L foot step out + hip lift, L foot step in arms side
3-4 R foot step out + hip lift, R foot step in
5-6 L foot forward on the ball + hip lift, L foot step in
7-8 R foot back on the ball + hip lift
1-4 4x R hip lift hands together in front of your body
5-8 3-step turn R, L, R, L foot on ball diagonally front left arms close and open
1-4 4x L hip drop R arm up + L arm frame the hip
5-8 3-step turn L, R, L, R arms close and open

Practice tips:

  • Make hip accents sharper by engaging the glut muscle with each accent.
  • For hip lifts and drops with the foot on the ball, make sure you keep your heel up and steady. Bend and straighten your knee with each hip lift or drop but the heel doesn’t move!

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Choreography

Combination 1 Variation (0:00 – 0:22)

Counts Steps, body Arms
1-4 hip accent side R, L, R, hold arms side
5-8 vertical pelvic figure eight up R, L
1-4 hip accent side L, R, L, hold
5-8 vertical pelvic figure eight up L, R
1-4 hip accent side R, L, R, hold
5-8 horizontal pelvic figure eight front to back L, R
1-4 hip accent side L, R, L, hold
5-8 horizontal pelvic figure eight front to back R, L
1-4 hip accent side R, R, R, hold
5-8 2x camel arms frame the hips
1-4 hip accent side L, L, L, hold arms side
5-8 2x camel

Combination 2 (0:22 – 0:36)

Counts: Steps, body Arms
1-4 Egyptian shimmy arms side
5-8 Arabic step L, R, L, R + shoulder shimmy
1-4 2x step side L + vertical figure up db R L arm up, R arm side down
5-8 3-step turn L, R, L, R arms close and open
1-4 Egyptian shimmy arms side
5-8 Arabic step R, L, R, L + shoulder shimmy
1-4 2x step side R + vertical figure up db L R arm up, L arm side down
5-8 3-step turn R, L, R, L arms close and open

Combination 3 Variation (0:36 – 0:52)

Counts Steps, body Arms
1-2 R foot on the ball + 2x hip bounce db down L arm up, R arm down
3-4 2x camel diagonally R arms frame hips
5-6 L foot forward on the ball + 2x hip bounce db down L R arm up, L arm down
7-8 step with full weight on L foot snake arms L, R
1-2 step back R + camel arms side
3-4 step back L + camel
5-8 step back R, step forward L, step forward R, step forward L (close feet together)
1-2 horizontal pelvic figure eight front to back L, R
3-4 R foot step diagonally back left + camel
5-6 horizontal pelvic figure eight front to back R, L
7-8 L foot step diagonally back right + camel

Practice tips:

  • During the quick horizontal figure eights (Jillina says twist step), you need to quickly transfer your weight from foot to foot. The first time, transfer your weight L, R, L (with the R foot stepping back), the second time R, L, R (with the L foot stepping back).

Combination 4 Variation (0:52 – 1:10)

Counts Steps, body Arms
1-4 2x camel diagonally L, R arms frame hips, then side
5-6 1x side step L + pelvic circle ccw arms side
7-8 3-step turn L, R, L, point the R foot diagonally back arms close and open
2x camel diagonally left, belly pop (in-out-in) arms frame the hips then side
5x camel diagonally right, belly pop (in-out-in) arms frame the hips then side

Practice tips:

  • The camels are performed to taxeem (music without rhythm) so counting can’t help you. You need to listen to the melody and follow it with the camel waves and the belly pop.

Combination 5 Variation (1:12 – 1:33)

Counts Steps, body Arms
1 and ½ horizontal pelvic circle ccw, soaz pull, 1 and ½ horizontal pelvic circle cw, soaz pull, arms side
L foot step forward, bend your knees and straighten snake arms
1-4 large step R, keep L foot in place, R foot step back in + vertical hip figure eight up R, L, R arms side
5-6 chassé R
7-8 L foot step back + quarter turn ccw + camel, step on R foot + quarter turn cw
1-4 large step L, keep R foot in place, L foot step back in + vertical hip figure eight up L, R, L arms side
5-6 chassé L
7-8 R foot step back + quarter turn ccw + camel, step on L foot + quarter turn cw

Combination 6 Variation (1:33 – 1:54)

Counts Steps, body Arms
1-4 R foot step diagonally forward right, 2x camel arms side
5-8 L foot step diagonally forward left, 2x camel
1-4 R foot step back + camel, L foot step back + camel
5-8 R foot step back, 3-step turn L, R, L arms close and open
1-4 heel tap, Egyptian shimmy
5-8 quarter turn ccw + heel tap, Egyptian shimmy
1-4 quarter turn ccw + heel tap, Egyptian shimmy
5-8 quarter turn ccw + heel tap, Egyptian shimmy
1-8 quarter turn ccw + heel tap, Egyptian shimmy

Practice tips:

  • Quarter turns start on the upbeat just before 1 so that you can hit one with the heel tap.

Combination 7 Variation (1:54 – 2:13)

Counts Steps, body Arms
1-4 L foot step out + hip lift, L foot step in + Egyptian shimmy arms side
5-8 R foot step out + hip lift, R foot step in + Egyptian shimmy
1-4 L foot forward on the ball + hip lift, L foot step in + Egyptian shimmy
5-8 R foot back on the ball + hip lift, R foot step in + Egyptian shimmy
1-8 heel tap + Egyptian shimmy
1-4 R foot back on the ball + 2x R hip lift hands together in front of your body
5-8 3-step turn R, L, R, L foot on ball diagonally front left arms close and open
1-4 2x L hip drop R arm up + L arm frame the hip
5-8 3-step turn L, R, L, R arms close and open
final pose arms frame the hips

Life Performance Music

As a bonus, Jillina showcases Alf Leyla Wa Leyla on a real performance. She begins with a classical entrance piece Amar El Laily, then performs a variation of the Alf Leyla Wa Leyla choreography and finishes with a drum solo by Issam Houshan.

Amar El Laily

Amar El Laily CD Cover

Drum Solo Wassan Pharaoun

Conclusion

Hope you find the Ultimate Guide to Instructional Bellydance With Jillina Level 1 helpful for your home practice. If you want to get posted about the future belly dance guides, please subscribe for free.

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