We all know (well, most of us) that the best way to learn to dance is with a live teacher. And there really is no substitute for someone who can guide you in person. But there are some good reasons to use video instruction, and the free dance resources I mention below are perfect for this kind of thing:
1. You want to review a move you learned in class.
2. You didn’t understand your teacher’s explanation, and want to see how another dancer introduces the movement or idea.
3. You want to drill movements, and you’d like some guidance as you do so.
4. You need some inspiration, something fresh to make dance exciting.
5. You don’t have a lot of time, and you just want to incorporate five or ten minutes of dance into your day, maybe even in the office!
6. You’re on the go, and want to watch someone teach a move on your phone or mobile device.
Now, there are some truly bad teachers offering their “services” for free online, and every now and then one of those videos makes the rounds. But the truth is that there is also some good instruction out there. None of these will replace live teaching, and in most cases the free stuff isn’t even as comprehensive as DVDs or longer structured instruction. They can, however, make a wonderful adjunct to your regular classes.
Totally Free, but High Quality Instruction Online
Tiazza Rose: Amazing, amazing, amazing treasure trove of videos. Not only does Tiazza go over many basic movements, but she also has videos featuring veil moves, cane, folkloric moves, about a million small combinations and some longer choreos.
Mahin’s Daily Bellydance Quickies: You have to sign up for the Daily Quickies email list. What you get is not basic instruction, but a potpourri of little daily hints, tips, and lessons in your inbox. One day it’ll be an email with ideas on how to keep your drilling fresh, another day it will be a stretch useful for dancers, and yet another day you’ll get a combination to do with a particular rhythm.
My Bellydance Workout: Coco of Berlin has a variety of basic movement lessons and really useful drills. Everything is filmed clearly in a bright studio.
Bellydance Boulevard: The website connected to this YouTube account is defunct, and I suspect the videos aren’t being updated anymore. But what’s there is really neat. First there is a series of videos on basic bellydance moves taught by a single instructor. Then follows a variety of focused mini-workshops by a variety of teachers around the world. You want Soheir Zaki hips? Here they are!
So, what about you? Have you used any of these programs? Is there a wonderful secret source of free online bellydance teaching I’ve missed?
Reader LadyDeyrdre adds a few more useful contributions, and in looking them up I am reminded (how could I forget?) that Neon also has a series of quickie bellydance move instruction videos on YouTube. So, the additions:
Anthea Kawakib: A short playlist of basic zill instruction on YouTube.
Neon: At latest count forty-two videos, going from basics to traveling moves.
Irina Akulenko: Also a pretty solid series of beginner instructional videos, with some good tips. These are on the Howcast website, but are also available on YouTube.