It was so very worth the effort to go to the FCBD classes last night. They were challenging and I learned some new things. The teaching style and class format was very different than what I’m used to, but not so different that I was totally lost. I was barely able to keep up, though.
In both the Beginner Level 1 and Intermediate Level 2 classes, we used zills while doing the fast moves in a basic RLR-RLR- pattern.
In Beginner Level 1, the teacher said it was week 5 (in an 8 week progression).
We did a brief warmup with stretching and then went into taksims as our first slow move, then circle step as a our second move. This one was foreign to me. It’s like a flat Turkish hip circle but the way she taught it was different. Starting in the back and going around on the left, it doesn’t follow through the front, but breaks, and then the circle continues on the right. So, you sort of “skip” the front. The move was done only in the one direction, with left hand up in front and right hand on hip. The left hand turns in a flamenco style with the move.
Then we put the zills on and did some fast moves. The moves themselves weren’t that unfamiliar or challenging for me, but with zills, I struggled to keep up. Most of the moves were only done on the right or in one direction.
- Hip bumps on the right, moving forward and in pivot turns with one arm up and one arm in front, changing arms and switching directions, sometimes doing a fast pivot turn. They called hip bumps moving forward or in one direction “choo-choo.”
- Hip bumps moving forward, and “Egyptian” moving back.
- The Egyptian move is what we call “the FCBD move” back home. When I told the teacher, she was amused. The move is simply alternating hip ups with arms up, and we moved forward and back with it. You move the arms out slightly, one towards the front and one towards the back, then close them on each hip up.
- Lift and sit – this combination was a right hip up with arms held in the motion of lifting a cane up and to the right. The weight is all on the left while the right foot goes out from under you on the down. Hold the arms at shoulder level in front like you are holding a cane parallel to the floor, then lift the arms up and to the right like you are tossing the cane away on the hip up. We also pivot turned with this.
The Intermediate Level 2 class was similar in format. We did not do a warm up. Most of the students in this class had also been there for level 1. We did mostly the same moves as level 1, but added more moves and combinations. We jumped right into following the teacher with slow moves, and then for the next song, put zills on and followed with some fast moves. Then, the teacher stopped to review some of the moves and break them down, afterwhich we broke into small groups of 2-3 to practice group improv. We also did a staggered formation with the whole class. Tip: the leader is the one who can’t see anyone else. That’s the person you follow until you rotate. It was not that difficult to learn the cues and signals for the moves, but add zills and the unfamiliar combinations and I really did look like the newb. But everyone was pretty friendly and welcoming. I didn’t cause any train wrecks or slow the class down.
- We added body waves – undulations. We moved with these, pivot turned, and threw in level changes as well.
- We also did a combo with the circle step, which I still wasn’t quite getting. The combo was: circle step, taksim, circle step with 1/3 pivot turn right, taksim, until facing front again.
- We worked on lead and follow with arms, mostly snake arms and variations. I found it really challenging to follow with the arms. I need to remember to keep my shoulders down.
- Accent moves – there were a few “accent” moves that they sprinkled in. One of which was like a “disco pose.” With left arm up and right arm down, switch arms while extending left leg out straight and bending right knee. They also threw in single pivot turn to the back and pivot turn all the way around with an arm switch.
- We also did chest circles.
- We added double hip ups with arm switching, and pivot turned with this. It’s a double hip bump with foot forward, then double with foot back. With foot forward, the right arm is up and left arm is in front, then switch with foot back.
- Single hip ups – is a single hip bump foot forward, then single bump foot back. The arms are shoulder level and curved forward. We did half turns with this – a fast pivot to the back, then fast pivot to the front.
- We also did shimmies with level change.
The FCBD studio includes a store where you can buy all their merchandise: t-shirts, the choli pattern, their signature zills, etc. and they also had lots of tribal jewelry and clothing for sale. The walls are decorated with tribal textiles from Carolena’s personal collection, which are not for sale, but interesting to look at. I bought a t-shirt, knee pads, and signature zills for myself, and the top that Steffi wanted. Their signature zills are large and they sounded so sweet that I had to have them. I got the brass ones because I thought they sounded deeper and more mellow. The silver ones are louder and higher pitched.
I highly recommend the FCBD classes if you ever have an opportunity to take them!!!