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Quick tips for belly dancing: How to improve your shimmy

If you are a beginner, even the most basic belly dancing steps can be a huge obstacle to learn. Looking at the perfect shimmies of advanced dancers or your instructors can make you feel even less confident in your own skills. Mastering a basic shimmy is a matter of confidence and practice. Although this is an activity that requires time, practice and patience, we have a few expert tips from our experienced instructors to   you can do to  improve your shimmy

Add flourishes

Combine your shimmies with other flourishes and steps for graceful belly dancing. Adding in other movements will add a new dimension to your dancing and take attention away from any imperfect shimmying! You can also do pops and locks to the beat of the drum using exaggerated hip movements to bring attention to louder drum accentuations. In the same grain, lighter drum accentuations are usually accompanied by upper body, shoulder and diaphragm movements. You can even create interesting flourishes using a combination of these movements and things like shoulder popping, belly locks, and hip shimmies.

Use your upper body

You can also allow your arms, hands, torso or head to follow the movement of your shimmy. One pro-tip that has a helped our students gain grace in the past is to enjoy the music and literally flow to its mood. When the drums become quiet, your movements become more fluid and subtle,  when the drums pick up a strong tempo, you can exaggerate your hip and arm movements to match the tempo, using shoulder pops to accentuate the stronger beats.

Practice shimmying in place

Stand with your feet a few inches from one another. Relax your knees but do not bend them too much otherwise, your movements will look rigid and unnatural. Then, draw the movement from the backs of your legs to shake your hips in an undulating motion. Practice this motion frequently. Once you get the hang of it, you can learn to walk or move with your hip shimmy.

Walk with grace

Start with a basic hip shimmy. When you get into your groove, very slowly, shift your weight onto one foot while still keeping both feet on the ground to keep your balance. Slowly shift your complete weight onto the weight-bearing foot. Once you master this shift, practice again shifting the weight onto both feet while main ting your shimmying tempo. With the same slow fluid movement,  now shift the weight to the other foot.  Practice standing in place for a while, then shift weight back and forth while maintaining your shimmying tempo. Slowly graduate to lifting each foot while maintaining your shimmy. When you feel brave enough, start with a tiny step forward, then another, then another. Practice frequently, and before long, you will be walking in a seamless shimmy!

Belly dance moves like shimmies can be a challenge to master, but the reward in terms of increased strength, grace, flexibility as well as satisfaction and self-confidence is unmatched. Learn this Middle Eastern folk dance with Dancer’s Gallery. The best Belly Dance Classes in Cooper City and Davie. For more information on different kinds of dance forms, techniques, tips, and tricks – keep checking this blog from time to time.

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