Middle Eastern Dance
Circles and Turns with Veils
This page lists descriptions of the different circle patterns as well as turns and spins done with the veil.

Envelope Turn
This is an excellent entrance move.  To do this you will want to start by
holding the veil normally.  Now, bring your arms up and your hands
together in front of you.  Next, grab both ends of the veil in one hand.   Your
now free hand is going to slide along the inside of the veil so that the center
of the veil is being held up by the free hand pushing against it.  It is easiest to
use the back of the hand to slide against the veil. While sliding the free hand
out to the side your hand holding the veil will move out to the opposite side.
The veil should be all around you now with your arms up above your head
and your hands approximately shoulder width apart.  You will easily see
why it is called the envelope turn since you are enveloped in it.  It's basically
like the veil is folded in half around your side.  You can now turn, walk, or do hip
isolations.  Something cute that can be done with this is to drop the arms and
pull the opening at the top down to your face letting your hands cause the
opening to reveal your eyes.  This allows you to peak out of the veil, from
where you may choose to do a head slide, look intently somewhere, wink, or raise an eyebrow.

1/2 Airplane Turn
Stand in basic position.  Just turn naturally however you feel comfortable
or use the 1/2 turn or spin if it's easier.  If you are turning clockwise (to the
right) you will be using your left arm.  If you are turning counter-clockwise
you will be using your right arm.  There are two ways to hold your arms, the
first is to hold both up above your head in a soft "v", the second is to put
whatever arm you are not using behind your head (like cupping the nape
of your neck with your hand) and the other arm straight out from your side.
Now you should start facing forward then turn 1/4 of the way around and
drop your arm a little so it is at about a 45 degree angle from your body. 
Now turn another 1/4 of the way around and bring your arm back up to
being straight out from your side.  Turn 1/4 of the way around and lift your
arm up so it's at a 180 degree angle from your body.  Now turn another 1/4
of a turn and lower your arm back down to being straight out from your
side.  To make it simple your arm goes down in front and up in back, it's out
to your side in between.  Lean into the turns.  You may want to add more force when you lower your arm.  It will
appear as though the veil is being thrown ever so gently down in the front.  For heavier veils you may find you need to
use more force to get the air under the veil and cause a nice lift.

Airplane Turn
This is almost the same thing as the 1/2 airplane except you will use both
arms in this,  when your arm is down in front, your other one is up in back
and so on.  You should tilt your torso as opposed to moving your arms. 
Imagine imitating a plane (like when you were a kid) lean to which ever
side's arm is down and straighten it up in between.  Basically you want the
arm to go down or dip in front to the audience.  Start by facing the front now
turn and face left.  Lift the arms straight out to the side and lean into the
right (towards your audience).  The left arm should be up and the right down
as a result of leaning in.  Now turn to the left 1/4 turn so you are facing the
back, straightening up the torso.  You should lift the chest and lean the head
back pulling the shoulder blades back and down.  You will not be doing an
actual back bend here but you should be tilting back.  In this position the
arms are still straight out to the side and are on the same level with no tilting.
Turn again 1/4 turn to the left so you are now facing the right side.  As you
turn you should begin to tilt the body in to the left so that when you are facing the left your right arm is tilted up and
the left down.  Do one more 1/4 turn and you will be facing the front.  As you turn your torso should straighten up and
lean forward a little.  Your arms will be straight out to the side.  This is a very beautiful veil move.  The veil appears to
be swirling all around you and yet never covers your face.  But this move also can cause you to be very dizzy and
disoriented so be sure to use spotting if necessary.  You might also want to plan for some turns in the opposite
direction to bring your inner ear back to  balance either before or after (or both change in direction can add interest). 
The arms can move up and down a little to add emphasis on the veil dipping or rising.

Butterfly Turn
The butterfly turn can be done two ways the first is to bring the veil around
to the front of your body and have it draped across the front of your neck
(you can start with it here, you can toss and pull it back, etc...).  Hold the
ends up with your arms in a soft "V."  Make sure the middle is in front of the
neck and then behind the shoulders.  The veil ends still hang behind you. 
The second variation is to twist the veil in the middle.  With this twist you
can maintain pretty much the same effect as the first variation even without
having the veil around your neck, it can be behind you completely.  If you
accidentally end up with a twisted veil from dropping and recatching or from
grabbing the wrong ends coming out of a wrap or something else then you
can do some turns in this position then catch hold of the right ends
untwisting it.  Once in either of these positions simply turn.  You can have
your arms up in the soft "V" or out to the sides for different effects.  Some
people move their arms up and down with this to simulate flapping butterfly

Basic Turn
For the basic turn hold your veil either in front of you or behind you with arms out to the side or just above head level
and turn.  If your veil is behind you, then you can also lift the veil higher with arms in a soft "V" position but this should
be avoided if it is in front of you since it blocks your face.  You can also change levels with a basic turn to add interest
such as starting in a high "V" then dropping arms down to the sides until your arms are out and down at hip level. 
Some people like to use this level changing spin to discard their veil, dropping it after their arms drop down.  You can
also use it to start low and raise the arms up.  Some people bring their arms together and enter into and envelope turn
or other specialty turns.

Basic Circle
This may seem a little complicated at first however, once you get it, it will be
so simple.  You are going to circle the veil around yourself.  Start by holding
your veil normally and then hold your arms and veil in a soft "v".  We will be
going in a circle to the left (counter-clockwise) with our arms.  First you will
lower your right arm down and out in front while your left arm comes softly
around above and behind your head and then your left elbow will come
down in front of your face and the left hand should be just over the right
shoulder drop the left elbow down so that it is not covering the face.  Now,
the right arm will bend in towards your chest at the elbow, as the left arm
straightens out in front of you (not to straight though remember to keep the
arms soft when working with a veil).    You should eventually end up with
your arms crossing each other at the middle of the forearm centered in front
of you.  The next part will twirl the veil in front of making it possible for you
to bring it back around.  Your arms should be crossed with the left on top of
the right.  Bend the right elbow bringing the arm in towards your body.  At the same time straighten the left arm.  Pull
the right elbow out to the right side while straightening the left arm out in front of you keeping the arm soft and
rounded.  Now, straighten the right arm out so that both your arms are in front of you.  Bend the left elbow and bring
the right forearm in towards your body.  Then bring the  right  arm in and above the left.  Your arms should again be
crossed at mid forearm but reversed with the right arm on top of the left.  Now, slide the right arm up so that the right
hand is just above the left shoulder keeping your elbow down.  When you reach the shoulder lift the right elbow and
arm above the head.  The right arm will be bent over the head now.  Bring the left arm out to the left side.  Now bring
both arms back up into a soft "V."  This can be done clockwise or counter-clockwise.  The movement is about the veil
moving around you but you can also do this while turning around yourself.

Tidal Wave
The tidal wave is similar to the front half of the basic circle.  Instead of a twirl that is mostly on the horizontal plane
this twirl has a vertical emphasis.  To get into the starting position, hold your veil behind you with soft "V" arms.  Now
drop the right arm so that it is straight out to the side.  Next bring the left arm to your head.  Drop the left elbow in
front of the face keeping the veil behind you.  Finally rest the left palm on the right shoulder.  This is the starting point. 
We will now be twirling the veil to the left.  You will need to quickly and forcibly swing the veil upward in an arc
towards the left.  When your right hand is about shoulder level you will then complete a circle by swinging the right
arm in a downward arc in front of your body until the right arm is out to the right again.  At the same time your right
arm is making its downward arc, your left arm will make an upward arc coming off the right shoulder up above the
head in front of you and then out to the left.  Once again your right arm will arc up and over to the left but this time will
come to rest on the left shoulder.  While doing this the left arm will swing under the right arm (not really a complete
arc) and move forward and then straight out to the left.

Tear Drop
Start with your arms in a soft "v".  Drop one of your arms down at your side
to approximately hip level then swing your arm up to chest level, the arm
should be softly bent in towards the chest and the elbow held up and out
evenly.  Lastly, the arm straightens back up so that you have a soft "v" with
your arms again.  Imagine tracing a tear drop or rain drop with your arm.
The fabric ends should come across in front of you face, although most
moves are done so that your face is never hidden this is one of the few which
does cover your face for a few moments.

Toreador Turn
Hold your veil and arms in a soft "V".  Now drop one arm out to your side. 
Take your other arm and curve it over your head, keep the veil behind you and drop the arm down in front of you
resting your palm on the opposite shoulder and keeping the elbow down.  Now spin.  It gets it's name because it looks
similar to a toreador as he fights a bull.

Flutter Turn
Hold your veil and arms in a soft "V".  Now drop your right arm down and out to the side.  You will be turning to the
right (clock-wise), most people would perceive this as turning backwards with your veil fluttering out in front of you. 
Your left arm can can remain up in the air or you may want to put it behind your head cupping the base of your head.

Sail Turn
This is nearly the same as the flutter turn only it goes the opposite way.  Hold your veil and arms in a soft "V".  Now
drop your right arm out to the side.  You are going to turn to the left (counter clockwise), most people would percieve
this as spinning forward or away from the veil and the veil may appear to you as if it is fluttering out behind you.  The
veil almost has the appearance of a sail full of wind, hence the name sail turn.
Desert Dance.
Dasert Dance