I sincerely apologize for making anyone feel "Wrong" in their dance. This was never my intent and I'll be adjusting my approach in the future. My choice to use the word "wrong" stems from workshops where my instructors jokingly say that the W made with the arms stands for wrong and this is how you can remember it. I now realize not everyone has heard this in it's context and it sounded quite harsh.
For the last five years my teaching approach has been centered around the balance of technique and in how to find your organic movement in the aesthetic of ATS®. Understanding your alignment within the body as we move ensures safe and effective movement that showcases the shape within your unique body. This is why I share technique, anatomy, teach yoga, movement, etc.
Teaching dancers about their unique instrument, the muscles that drive the movement and how to feel them instead of just trying to imitate their favorite dancers is my passion. Hence my courses Discover YOUR ATS® and Alignment of ATS®.
Know that while I am a teacher....I am first and always a student and I learn through experience, being vulnerable and making mistakes. Thank you for the comments (good and otherwise) as they are tools for growth
Like much of our ATS® dance vocabulary, this is movement is a tribute to a folkloric dance, formatted to fit the aesthetic of our dance style. The Ghawazee shimmy is inspired by the Ghawazee (or Ghawazi) dancers of Egypt. You can find an example of the inspiration in this clip of Latcho Drum.
Of course, in ATS® we have an uplifted arm posture, meaning that our arms generally stay at or above shoulder height. Elbows "engaged" meaning the shoulder joint is slightly internally rotating so the elbow joint stays lifted and palms face down and even slightly to the back. Since the Gwahzee shimmy was adapted from a more casual, folkloric dance style, it was decided the relax the arms a little to really accentuate the earthy element. For some reason, the term "relax" or "lower" your arms tends to result in dancers lifting their forearms and creating that W shape we all know is Wrong. So why is this happening and how can we fix it?
Without the support of our back muscles, our body tries to recruit other muscles to assist.
Side note: there is ALWAYS more than one muscle working when there is action in the body, but I'm refer to the prime mover.
Some of those assisting muscles are the biceps. The biceps main action is flexion of the elbow joint. Think about "flexing your arm muscles" like a body builder does...this is the bicep in action.
So how can we correct this?
First, try to keep the back muscles engaged and maintain the internal rotation of the shoulder joint. This will ensure the elbow still stays lifted. We don't want to release the engagement, we simply want to lower the arms slightly
Second, imagine your arms elongating and the hands pressing down while keeping the elbows lifted. This will engage the tricep muscles which are antagonists (work in opposition) to the biceps and will ensure you aren't flexing the elbow joint too much in your arm posture.
Remember to have fun and keep this movement all about the bounce of the hips! Too much angle in the elbow deters from the beauty of the soft, bouncy, earthy hip movement!