Middle Eastern Dance
Scimitars Moves
Below you will find tips for using a sword and several movement descriptions for special movements used specifically for sword dances.

Isolations while balancing
You can do any of the isolations normally done in Middle Eastern Dance while balancing a scimitar.  There are some
isolations that are more interesting when you balance the scimitar on other parts of your body.  Try balancing your
scimitar on your head first, try doing shimmies (shoulder and hip), hip lifts, hip circles, undulations, etc... you will find
that the moves are essentially the same, the difference is that you need to keep your head as steady as possible.  If you
don't notice much difficulty balancing the scimitar while doing the moves then you have your isolations down really
well.  Another place to balance your scimitar while doing isolations is on your shoulder, if you lift your arm it will
create a crevice which will help hold the sword.  You can balance the sword on your chest although it will only stay if
your lying down or doing a backbend.  Try balancing your scimitar on your hand, it will balance best if it is placed
below the knuckles on the back of the hand.  Then you can try balancing you scimitar on your hip.  You can balance
the scimitar on the stomach if your lying down or bending way back but never standing.  You can also balance the
scimitar on the top of your thigh if lean back far enough, touching the foot to the floor or if your kneeling down on one
knee.  If you plan ahead of time you can actually apply a little grip cream or liquid latex to the parts of your body
which you will be balancing on and to the part of the sword that will be touching your skin.  This will create friction and
help the sword "stick" in place better instead of sliding around.

Special moves for floor work
Some special things you can do with floor work and a scimitar are... the inch worm balancing the sword on the chest or
stomach, lying on the floor doing flutters or rolls with the sword balanced on your stomach (when doing rolls you can
actually use them to roll the scimitar down your stomach), turning with the sword balanced on your head, hip circle
with sword balanced on head, Cleopatra with sword balanced on the hip, leaning back into an undulation with sword
balanced on the chest, etc...  A common one to see is kneeling in a back band and bringing the sword over head and
back till the blade touches the floor, thus accentuating the curve of the backbend.   Play around with it and you may
find some other interesting moves.

Spinning, Twirling, and Turning
Figure Eight Swing
This is done holding the scimitar in both hands and then swinging it down towards the hip, back around and up
over head, then swinging down towards the other hip, back up and over head.
One Hand Twirl
Start with one arm out in front of you balancing the sword on your hand.  Now while balancing the sword flip your
hand over so that the sword is now in your palm as opposed to the back of your hand.  Now turn the hand inwards
all the way around till you can no longer turn either hand nor arm.  Then, raise the arm and sword around and
over the head (this should naturally cause the arm to un-twist, if it doesn't then your going the wrong way) and
back down the side and around in front.
Balanced On Head Turn
This is actually a lot less complicated then it may seem.  If you have tried turning with a scimitar on your head
you have probably found that it doesn't start the turn at the same time as you do and that usually leads to it
veining or falling off your head.  Well, this will help you to turn much easier.  If you will be turning to your
right(clockwise) you will start with your right arm up.  If you will be turning to your left (counter-clockwise) you
will start with your left arm.  Now most of us at least know some of the basic elements of physics such as "a body in
motion will stay in motion," so when you turn you raise your arm.  This way the sword will get it's little push, so to
speak, so it can "stay" in motion.  After the initial turn you may lower your arm if you want.  When you wish to
stop you simply raise your other arm that way your sword(which is still in motion) will be forced to stop with
Balanced On Shoulder Turn
This is fairly simple, all you do is balance the sword on you shoulder, raise your arm for extra support and you're
ready to turn.  However, you should start the turn slowly to get the sword in motion or it will lose it's balance.
After the initial turn you can speed up.
Basic Egyptian With Scimitar Balanced On Hip
Just balance the scimitar on your hip and do basic Egyptian.  The only catch is, you will have to do it much slower
than usual to keep the sword balanced.
Airplane Turn
This is done by dipping the sword down in the front and lifting up in the back.  You can either hold it with both
hands or in one hand but curving it in.  If doing it one handed you should not point it straight out, away from the
Circle Over Head Turn
With the scimitar in both hands over your head make a horizontal circle keeping it parallel to the floor.  Now you
can turn around yourself doing this.  It will look even better if you can get your body to make hip and/or rib
circles in the opposite direction while doing this.
Helicopter Twirl 1
Simply twirl the sword by it's hilt in a circle above your head like a helicopter blade.  It involves rotating the
Helicopter Twirl 2
This is nearly the same as the above mentioned twirl except in this one you hold the hilt so that the blade comes
down in around you.  It will make a rounded cone like shape as you twirl it.  It involves rotating the wrist and
shifting the grip on the hilt as it comes around full circle.

There are many other things you could do with a scimitar so play around with it and see what you can do but
remember to keep slicing and dicing movements to a bare minimum, audience may feel threatened by such moves, if
you do them, do them at a distance and not directly at anyone.  Some other things that are done with this  prop are
backbends which are done by resting your scimitar on your chest as you lean back or bringing the sword up above the
head and straight back in the same line as your backbend.
Sword Dance at Jericho.
Sword Dance at Jericho