How To Flutter – Five Tips
The Belly Dance Flutter is one of the signature moves of Belly Dance that everyone wants to learn right away, but it doesn’t always come easy. For some people, it is easy, like rolling your tongue into a tube shape. Fortunately for those who can’t do it on the first try, it is easier to learn than rolling your tongue, especially if you have some great tips. Let’s count down from five to reach Belly Dance Flutter success!
5 BE A MONSTER
During my research in traditional folkloristic and holistic teaching methods, I have discovered one of the best ways to learn the flutter is to pretend you are a monster. Laughing and crying help too, as you can see in the tutorial. Monsters can be scary, but don’t be afraid to be silly!
When you were a child, did you ever tried to scare your sister, cousin or your turtle acting like a monster? If the answer is “no,” you missed out! But don’t worry, you still have time to play! Whatever age you are, try and feel the taste of ironic horror shaking your bowels. This is excellent practice.
You can do it even when you are waiting at the traffic light with a nice looking guy or girl or space alien stopped next to you and want to impress them. If the alien or guy or girl does not flee from the crazy person next to you, they just might be your special someone. I found my very own monster for life with a similar approach. Now that I think about it, some people might be better off doing the monster in a full parking lot. It could be a good way to get an open space to park in.
How To Do The Monster
First of all, you must think of being a nice little monster. You must identify with yourself in this role in order to be credible in your own eyes. Then you must find your monster’s voice from the depths of your guts. The energy arises from the center of your body. To do this, let’s start…from the starting position.
Inhale, then breathe out all the air from the lungs and close the throat. Stop here, just before inhaling. This is the moment when everything will happen. Try to identify the fleeting momentum a few times and when you’re ready, read on.
Now do the whole thing again and after you exhale, seize the moment and pretend to have the hiccups, recreating the movement. That jolt that makes you bring your stomach in, then the navel toward the spine, widening the rib cage, all at the same time. Keeping the rib cage open, compress your abdomen and feel everything inside lift up.
Reach and hold this position. It is a little like inhaling from the nose, but without taking in air. Keep your throat closed.
If you did everything right, you should have created the vacuum effect. You should feel the low pressure – a kind of vacuum in the abdomen.
Don’t worry, it takes longer to read than to do the monster. You also have the tutorial video. So just take a look and try it.
Having achieved the first position, open your throat slowly and inhale cautiously from your mouth, slowly because your throat is half closed. Try to say a vowel. Remember to keep the chin tucked to protect the throat during the sound’s modulation. This practice must be done with extreme caution in order to feel comfortable in the throat. If you get a little cough or feel a grating in the throat, it means that you did it with too much enthusiasm. Simply take a break. When you are ready, try again with more delicacy and care for your throat. Be gentle with yourself.
This is not a practice to do many reps with. It’s a childhood game to scare each other, and one of the funny ways I usually propose in my classes to help students feel and find the vacuum effect that is the basis of the Flutter technique.
Try and try again with all the vowels, then with words to create real speeches, even without meaning, because you are you playing to be The Mooonsteeeeeer!
4 EXHALE – VACUUM – FLUTTER
Now that we’ve broken the ice with The Monster, we do everything again but we stop before releasing the breath. This time, we will replace it with a series of sobs without making a sound. First, we will make just one, then a couple, then more. We try to do more and more to create a series of repetitions. And here we’ll have our first Flutter.
As Rachel Brice told me once, Carolena Nericcio describes the movement of the belly during the Flutter as being like a curtain moved by the wind.
Indeed, the jolt of the diaphragm creates this sort of reverberation of movement on the relaxed belly that is very reminiscent of curtains moved by the sea breeze during a sunny summer morning. It reminds me of when, as a child, I would shake the tablecloth from the Christmas dinner, eventually ending up inside, all rolled up and trapped in it so thoroughly that Aunt Concettina was never able to help free us from it to get ready for the New Year’s Eve dinner again. I recall the same belly vibration at that time of the year.
3 CHECK YOUR POSTURE
Another fundamental point is the posture. If you have been hanging out on this blog and in our Academy for a while, you already know that posture is always one of the key points that every teacher focuses on. You can correct it, tame it, and distort it in the service of interpretation. It can be our worst enemy and our best friend.
It is always good to check the posture from time to time. For the flutter, keep your legs gently bent, knees pointed forward. I love this way of saying it: I always imagine the kneecaps with the little faces drawn on them. Keep your feet parallel your calcaneus (heel bone) under your hip joint. Keep the hip in neutral alignment and the sacral vertebrae pointed downwards. Keep your shoulders far from the ears, I would suggest some nice shoulder rolls to bring them back to neutral, perhaps in association with a relaxing breath, so inhale and exhale deeply.
2 PLAY WITH COMBOS
Playing with short combinations to start with. This is an easy way to mechanize the Flutter. Consider an example of a simple and optimal combo that allows us to associate each movement with the relative action of the technique: turn, pose and Flutter.
Let’s analyze it in detail, with a turn of your choice.
Preparation for the turn: inhaling.
Exhale during the turn and finish with a pose you love, so your lungs are “empty” now. (Empty in a manner of speaking, because they will be truly empty only when we are dead. There is always a little air left while we are alive.)
Now we have created the vacuum effect with the fake sob – that is, lifting the diaphragm upwards and bringing the stomach inward, as we have seen in The Monster exercise.
Now let’s add the Flutter like there’s no tomorrow!
Finally inhale again as you prepare to turn.
Now repeat everything turning in the opposite direction and doing the mirror image of your first pose.
After the turn, instead of immediately doing the Flutter, you can start with just a single bounce of the diaphragm, and then continue with the combo, repeating it on the other side. This is a warm-up that allows you to internalize the combo by becoming familiar with the timing of the turn.
Regarding the turn, remember to choose a reference point during your preparation and look back to the exact same point as soon as possible as you execute the turn. Let your gaze be the last thing to turn away from the reference point, and the first thing that returns to it during the execution of the turn.
B. Bounce in a Pyramid
Increase the number of bounce repetitions, adding more bounces for each combo made on either side.
Keep the same combo to the left and to the right, but go from one to two repetitions, then to three and so on, until you perform repeated bounces and here you will finally be landed in full Flutter mode.
I would suggest you progress in an orderly symmetrical fashion. Make the same number of bounces on the right and on the left.
Change up your turn. Use a vuelta quebrada, a jazz turn, a corkscrew turn or make up your own turn variation. Anything goes. Experiment freely and have fun. Make your own rules, and then follow them and see where they take you. Don’t be afraid to get whimsy in your rigor, or rigor in your whimsy.
1 KAMA FLUTTER… HAVE FUN!
When we say “There’s a Fantasy between Us” … “Kama Flutter” is the Art of expressing the feeling of sexual love without sex. It is a bit of tongue in cheek poetic license that I invented based on the Kama Sutra when I was making the Belly Roll tutorial. Feel free to check out the Belly Roll tutorial too.
In short, as my grandmother used to say: “Anything could be useful…”, so feel free to use your imagination and all the knowledge you have to find your own way to get the Flutter. If you don’t have a strong background in dance, feel free to ask me. I’ll try my best to help you. If I don’t know what you are looking for, I will consider your question a special gift, a map to guide me towards a key that will open a new door in the magical garden of knowledge that is the collective cultural history of dance. Then I will find the key, open the door, and share what I have discovered with you.
A big hug and have a good dance.