What is the Argentinian style in oriental dance?

Thanks Saya, oriental teacher and professional dancer, for telling us about the Bellydance workshop called "Argentinian style" that she’s recently taught.

What is the program of the workshop entitled "Argentinian style" and what are the particularities of this style?

My workshop "Argentinian Style" is mainly about learning oriental dance choreography. This support allows me to introduce and teach the different characteristics of this style which in the end is not really one. In the years 2000, the great oriental dancer Saïda boomed and influenced the world of Bellydance. It would be more accurate to call this style "Saïda style". Afterwards, many dancers pushed the posture, the typical footwork to make this style evolve. We can notice a very tight arm position, a lot of footwork and movement, and a “tango/latin” posture.

Still rare, how did you find out about it and what made you want to teach it?

Indeed, it’s not widespread in France. I started to take an interest in this universe thanks to the oriental dancer Carla Pedicone (a former student of Saïda) who I particularly loved. Next I attended several workshops with Amir Thaleb (a former teacher of Saïda); and then with Saïda herself. But I really improved with Carla. I find this way of Oriental dancing graceful, elegant, and classy. She also does a lot of work on the posture and the arms (something I personally needed at the time ^^), which is productive for other oriental dances.

Is a specific Bellydance costume necessary to practice this style?

No, not at all. A 2-piece oriental dance costume is perfect.

Similarly, is a kind of music recommended and if so, can you give an example of title?

All routine music, sharqi, fusion, oriental classic and "Argentian baladi" are doable. The composer often associated with this style is Mario Kirlis. He takes another look and composes a lot of music. He clearly contributed to the fact that Saïda's way of dancing became famous and so influential that it became a "way of dancing the Oriental".

What is your background in the world of dance and especially Bellydance?

To be honest I am a former “back row student” in dance. Joking apart, at first my relationship with dance was chaotic. Pushed into the background because of being "too chubby and not flexible enough", and victim of humiliating comments, I first avoided dance classes. It was at the age of 19 that my heart was filled with enthusiasm when I discovered oriental dance in a tryout class. A date between girlfriends turned into a burning passion. Next, I followed a fairly typical path training with famous names in Bellydance and in particular by attending professional training with Momo Kadous. Then, I opened my oriental dance school in 2010. Since then, I have been fortunate to be invited to prestigious stages in France and abroad and trusted by many great students.

What does Bellydance symbolize for you?

It is the dance of the human being! A dance in the service of the person’s uniqueness. You can express your history, experience, and emotions through a technical framework that solicits "deep" muscles. A dance which takes energy from the outside to exploit it inside one’s body and allows us to share our feelings. Bellydance highlights each of us. No matter your body or age, if you have the right technical framework and stage sincerity, this dance will embellish you in the most beautiful way.

What is your best oriental dance memory as well as your worst one?

My best memory is a memory that is the same every year and yet still alive with emotion. It is when I announce the end of our end-of-year show on stage and I see all those smiles, all my students’ positive energies. It's the satisfaction in their eyes, the happiness of having shared something unique. The advantage? I have my fill every year. 

The worst memory being when a big name in this domain, one of my oriental dance teachers made me understand that he would boost my career if I was "nice" to him... I was 21 years old and extremely shocked. Of course, I refused and my place I did it alone. Just to remind you that in our world, unfortunately, this kind of practice also exists although nobody talks about it… #MeToo

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