A book review by Oriana-book provided and written by Natasa Kocar
Imagine my curiosity when a package from Slovenia appeared in my mailbox. Wondering if I had purchased something in a late night binge again I anxiously open the package like a kid on Christmas morning. I was so excited to see Natasa's book was inside!
Natasa had contacted me months prior to tell me about her new book, 1001 Oriental Dance Moves: A Practical Guide for Learning and Teaching the Basics of Oriental Dance. As an author myself I am fully aware of the lack of written resources Bellydancers have at their disposal. Especially in the realm of instruction; we often find ourselves flipping through YouTube videos and regurgitating what our first teachers taught us with no proof or validation of the correctness of the information. I am always very excited to find new books on Bellydance because I steadfastly believe in documenting and providing reference material.
Natasa's book is beautful inside and out. It is obvious that a lot of thought was put into the design and layout of the book as well as effective illustrations of the movements detailed within. It has always been very difficult to illustrate movement vocabulary; however this book focuses on the beginning and core movements of our Oriental dance and provides simple but effective descriptions to go with each illustration.
Indeed this book reads and is organized as quick go-to manual that could be used even in the middle of class or given to students as practice material to review. Personal anecdotes, teaching prompts, tips on when to proceed to the next movement as well as practice exercises Natasa uses in her own classes all provide insight to the dance instructor on how to create lesson plans for their students. I would have loved to have this book in my possession when I first started teaching! Not only does it help create a flow of movement lessons to instruct but it also effectively creates the methodology to teach these movements in a conscie manner. The very last chapter of the book is dedicated to a proposed timeline of when to introduce movement vocabulary.
1001 Oriental Dance Moves is also culturally appropriate which I deeply appreciate. While not a historical source; it does give relevant information on cultural information as it regards the movements including common variations.
To summarize I believe this is a great addition to any teacher's bookshelf. It is organized and easy to use; a welcome resource for anyone who teaches beginner level classes especially. It is helpful for students as well who would like extra material to practice with especially with so many classes now fully online.
I am thankful to Natasa for creating this excellent and beautiful guide for the community at large! Her book can be purchased on Amazon in both paperback and E-book formats.
Contact Natasa and learn more about her teaching materials, research and dance at http://www.natasakocar.eu/