One More Reason You Should Be Bellydancing Right Now

I thought of a another reason you should be bellydancing. It’s the zaghareet…it’s this funny ululation bellydancers make when they want to cheer for something. Let me tell you how to do it, in case you are ever watching a bellydance performance and you hear all these people making this crazy noise and you wonder what that’s all about. Okay, first, just go “Loo loo loo loo loo loo loo!” in your normal voice. If you’re doing this at your desk in your office, do so quietly because you don’t want people thinking you’re some sort of howler monkey. “Loo loo loo loo loo loo loo loo!” Got it? See how your tongue touches the backside of your front teeth? That’s important. Practice that until you get it right. It’s not hard, I know you can do it.

Okay, now that you’ve got “Loo loo loo loo loo loo loo loo!” down, speed it up and do it at a higher pitch, or note, or whatever. You should open your mouth a little more to do this…but you know, still keep it down in case the other forklift operators are trying to concentrate. Now the sound you are making should sound more like “Luhluhluhluhluhluhluhluhluh!” Isn’t this fun? “Luhluhluhluhluhluhluhluhluhluh!” Remember it has to be high pitched and you might want to add a big “Ahhhh!” in the beginning so really it should sound like “Ahhhhhluluhluhluhluhluhluhluhluh!” Okay, and this is important, you need to cover your mouth when you do this because otherwise (you may have noticed this already if you have a mirror by your desk or the docks or the caboose or wherever you work) it looks really, really dirty. Now, obviously, if you just smack your hand over your mouth no one is going to be able to hear you going “Ahhhhhluluhluhluhluhluhluhluhluh!” and that will defeat the whole point and your co-workers are going to think you’re all weird for no reason at all. So what you do is flatten your right hand and stick it over your top lip horizontally and this not only makes the whole thing a lot less pornographic but also makes a little echo chamber to make the zaghareet go further, which the bellydancers will appreciate very much.

So now that you’ve got ululation down, you can also spice up your vocal accompaniments with a couple of other sounds. If you’re dancing in chorus formation and you see the girls who are out in front do something cool, you can go “Aowa!” (It’s pronounced “Aay-oh WA!”) This means something like “You go!” in Arabic, supposedly, but I think dancers just say it because it’s sort of cute. Aowa! You can say it in a couple of tones of voice for maximum effect; either really cute and perky which is more of a “Yay!” feel or more drawn out, like you’re really impressed, like “Aaaayyy-ooohhhhh-waaaaaaaahhhhh” which is more like saying “Damn, girl! You good!” Also you can go “Ya la!” or “Ya habibi!” at any point while people are dancing, again just to show appreciation. You probably should wait until someone does something pretty impressive, like a cool backbend or a crazy full-body shimmy or something like that. Don’t just do it every time someone does a hip circle or something because not only will you lose your voice before the night is through but you will also annoy the dancers. Ululating is a delicate thing. You have to use it appropriately.

Oh, and if a dancer does something really undulative and snaky with her hips or arms or something, you can hiss at her. In a good way. Just go “Tss tsss tsss tsss ssssssssss!” As if you’re some sort of asp or something. That is lots of fun. The dancers, whether you are dancing with them or just watching them, will love it. If you’re the one dancing, don’t forget to do little yells from time to time. I don’t do this much myself unless I’m leading a move that has a vocal cue but that’s mostly because I have to concentrate so hard on the actual moves that I can’t do much embellishment. It’s very cool when dancers get so into what they’re dancing and are having such a good time that they just let loose with “Ayyyyy yooop!” or whatever. Note that this is what tribal dancers do; I have no idea if any of this is appropriate for cabaret dancers. You will just have to take your chances.

[You know, none of what I’m writing about lately is what I’m thinking about mostly these days. Usually I don’t feel comfortable writing about how sad I am in excruciating detail because that’s very boring and how many times and how many ways can you say “I’m sad because I broke up with the love of my life” in your online journal? I’m trying not to dwell and I know it’s going to get better but it’s not better yet and sometimes I have my doubts that I will ever be better. I just feel so empty and I don’t know what to do to fill that emptiness. It doesn’t help that all my friends are married now and can’t empathize with a breakup very well anymore. Which makes sense since I understand one of the whole things about getting married is that you never have to break up again. But still, I feel sort of alone and lonely. I’m trying to keep busy just like you’re supposed to, which is where the bellydance and riding my bike and all that come in. It’s working a little bit in that I’m not crying myself to sleep every night anymore. Which is good. Breakups are sad. Why, then, did I think I was going to get some sort of free pass on this one and not have to grieve? I don’t know. Let’s talk about silly bellydance stuff some more, okay?]

Now, in other bellydance news, I know some of you may have been concerned that I didn’t mention pimp hands in connection with bellydance. You’ll be happy to know there are several tribal moves that approximate pimp hands pretty well, so the possibility of pimpin’ is pretty high. I still haven’t figured out what kind of bellydance music would be best for pimp hands but I’m working on it. If you start dancing or if you’re already dancing and you know how to do pimp hands, maybe you can be the first to incorporate them into tribal bellydance. No, wait, what am I saying. You can be the second to do that, since obviously I am directing all my spare mental energy (and frankly there’s a lot to spare right now) into merging two of my favorite things in the world into a harmonious whole. Pimp hands! Ahhhhhluhluhluhluhluhluh!

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