This page lists descriptions of how to get down to the floor from a standing position to perform floorwork in bellydance. It also briefly describes getting back up from different positions.
To slide down gracefully to the floor place one foot behind the other at a 45
degree angle (knee should point towards a corner of the room) touching the
top of your foot to the floor (as if you were dragging your toes and top of the
foot). Now bend the standing leg as you slide the other back at an angle and
down till your sliding leg's knee is touching the floor. You should now be
down on one knee. Form this position you can slide back up fairly easily or
you can either go into a kneeling position, by bringing your other knee down
to the floor, or you can go into a lying position, by continuing down into a
sitting position (similar to sitting Native American Indian Style), and then
straighten your legs out to the side. You can also slide your foot straight
back but this can only be used to enter a kneeling position. Angling your
slide on a diagonal gives a greater range of motion allowing you to descend
to a kneeling, sitting, or lying position with minimal noticeable transition.
Down on One Knee (a modified lunge)
Stand in basic position and then step forward with the right foot. Now you
will bend both knees. The left foot (back foot) will be on the ball. As you
bend the knees lowering yourself down your front knee will be in front of
you and your knee should not bend more than 90 degrees and should stay
above the foot. Do not let the knee move forward past the toes keep it at a
nice even straight bend which at it's maximum will be a 90 degree angle. The
back knee will bend and come towrads the floor until your knee touches and
the toes are curled back under the foot. This is a lunge that goes all the way
down to the floor. To come up from this push evenly on the ball of the back
foot and the front foot engaging your leg muscles to push yourself back up.
This drop is usually done after bending forward or by a movement like reaching up and then pulling down and
contracting the whole body. The drop is done simply by falling down to your knees. Lean backwards slightly so that
you actually fall on the fronts of your legs minimiizing the impact on the actual knee. You can do this slowly by
gradually leaning back and increasing the bend in the knee until your close enough to the floor to drop the knees
down. It helps to turn your feet out a little and as you shift weight forward and increase the bend you rotate your
weight to the inside of each foot eventually just before you go down you will be on the inner side of your foot and when
you drop you will naturally rotate the foot so that your final position of the foot will be with the top touching the floor.
To get back up from this position bring one leg in front with the knee up and then come up pushing off the floor.
* Turkish Drop
Practice this slowly at first and if you can practice it with an experienced
dancer. Do not try this move at normal speed until you can execute the
move in slow motion. During practice make sure you are practicing on a
padded area either a mat or pillows on the floor is best but even carpeting
can help coushion if nothing else. Start in basic position with your feet
about two feet apart. Keep your back as straight as possible, slant your
body backwards towards the floor while holding both arms straight out in
front of your body. Keep your chin tucked in. Turn your hand so that the
side of your hand is above the floor, and gradually increasing the degree
of the slant until you can touch the floor with the side of your hand. Use
that extended hand and deliberately control your fall by allowing your
hand and arm to slide behind you, lowering your body to the floor.
Remember these key points: 1. Make sure you have stretched and that
your body is thoroughly warmed up (if you've been dancing chances are
your body is warmed up sufficiently but if your just practicing make sure that you stretch and warm-up first). 2. Tuck
your chin in (for minimal risk of hitting your head). 3. The arm is dropped under hand, not out to the side or over
hand. 4. Practice in slow motion until your body has it embedded in it's muscle memory. 5. Use the side of your hand
and not the palm (for minimal risk of fracturing wrist or fingers). 6. Once your well prepared the less you thinkbout it
the better just relax into it and let it go (remembering of course all your safety tips though) overthinking it can also
lead to injury. When performing this you should do a small hop into the air immediately before the drop but after the
hop the technique is the same. Without the hop and hands guide this is a modified Turkish Drop.
* Modified Turkish Drop
This drop is usually done after or as part of a backbend. The drop is done
simply by falling down to your knees and then allowing the shoulders to fall
back and lying on the floor. Lean backwards slightly bending your knees.
you actually fall on the fronts of your legs minimiizing the impact on the
actual knee. You can do this slowly by gradually leaning back and
increasing the bend in the knee until your close enough to the floor to drop
the knees down. It helps to turn your feet out a little and as you shift weight
forward and increase the bend you rotate your weight to the inside of each
foot eventually just before you go down you will be on the inner side of your
foot and when you drop you will naturally rotate the foot so that your final
position of the foot will be with the top touching the floor. As you bend the
knees. To get back up from this position bring one leg in front with the knee
up and then come up pushing off the floor. This differs from the regular
Turkish drop in that the hands are out to the side instead of one hand guiding
it also lacks the dramatic hop before initiating the drop.
You can descend quickly and gracefully to the floor by performing the splits. Although both side and front splits can
be done the usual preference is with the front. The legs simply slid out in front and behind you. Usually the goal is to
end up with the audience getting a side view of you. This move requires great strength and flexibility in your legs and
Turkish Cengis entertaining in the harem.
* These moves are very dramatic and spectacular however, I do not recommend doing these movements for several reasons: It's bad for your knees, it's bad for your back, you could severely injure yourself, and they are hard to do without hurting your self. Use extreme caution with these if you wish to perform them. You must be extremely strong, flexible, and well-trained in technique this correctly. You will need to work on building strength in your thighs, abdominals, and back as well as flexibility in your legs, hips, and torso. Always make your to tuck your chin in towards your chest. Hitting your head on the ground can result in head and neck injuries including brain injury, paralysis, and in extreme cases even death. Also be careful not to fall directly on the knee, the joint and knee cap are actually quite delicate and falling on them can cause knee injury resulting in lifelong pain. When practicing wear knee pads. If possible try wearing them under cosumes when performing as well. A pair of harem pants under your skirt could hide them easily. These kinds of movements can also reslut in injuroes to your shoulders, back, neck, arms, wrists, hands, ankles, feet, fingers, and toes. Please use caution and be aware of the risks!