Hops (and other "bouncy" moves)
This page lists descriptions of different hops, bouncy walks, and jumps used in Middle Eastern dance.
Lebanese Lift Hop
To do this you must balance on your standng leg while keeping the left knee lifted, it will make the move a little easier if you lean away from the lifted knee. Now lift the hip of your free leg and at the same time you should jump just enough to slide your standing leg a little bit. This move when performed correctly can be very gracefull and perfect for a litte ethnic flare however, it will probable take a lot of practice. If it looks to you like an elegantly executed move, then you've done it right. If not, practice more. Remember to keep your lifted foot pointed down towards the floor.
This particular move is a little difficult to describe and falls somewhere between a hopping and walking move and so is listed in both categories. It's almost like a folksy jog. The pace and feel is is simmilar to a slow jog. Slowly jog forward but instead of just jogging push off each foot making a little bit of a hop but, keep it even and consistent with a slow jog. I think of if almost as jogging on the moon. Arms should be out but soft. Your arms should swing back and forth just as they would if you were jogging but you need to keep the hands and arms open, soft, and elegant. This movement makes a good entrance but can be used anytime you want to cover more space on the stage. It works especially well in folkloric style dances such as Saidi, Baladi, and Melaya Leff. It also works well with a cane whether being done as a more traditional Saidi cane piece or as a modern Raqs Sharqi style cane piece. For added "bounciness" you can also add small shoulder thrusts to accent the walk. The hips are not emphasized in this walk just let them be loose and natural.
This move is commonly used when dancing with a cane and is also seen in some sword dances. It can be used with any style of bellydance but is most commonly used in folkloric styles such as Saidi or Baladi. It is described here without using a prop. Arms can be held in various positions but for this description we will be holding our arms high overhead as if we were holding a cane. Shoulders should be relaxed. Bend at the knees and then hop up by shifting the weight to the left foot while pushing back with the right foot. You should end up pivoting on the left foot so that your body will end up being on a diaginal to the right. Next hop up shifting the weight to the right foot by pushing back with the left foot, pivoting on the right. You should now be on a diagonal to the left. You can lift and drop the shoulders to create more bounce and involve the whole body. When you complete one side should immediately begin the next, there should be no pause. I personally think "hop right, hop left, hop right, hop left," you can also count it as 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. With each count being the being the beginning of a hop.
The Saeedi Hop is another movement commonly used in folkloric style dances like Saeedi and Baladi and is a commonly used movement when using a cane. Start by standing in basic position with feet parallel and about hip width apart. Knees are soft and pelvis is tucked slightly under you. Chest should be lifted and shoulders should be down and back. For the purpose of this description just keep arms and hands soft and out to the sides. Now put all the weight on your right foot and rest the left on the ball of the foot. Sweep the left foot across in front of you lifting the knee up towards right. Now, bend the right knee a little and then hop up off the floor. Then gently let the left foot swing back down and immediately switch you weight to the left foot and sweep the right foot across in front of you lifting the knee up towards the left hopping on the right foot. Gently bring the right down and continue to alternate this pattern right and left. If you have knee problems and cannot handle the impact on your knee from the hop you can alternativley lift and then drop the heel of the foot instead of pushing off into a hop.