[Video] Belly Dance Shimmy Tips for New Dancers

Shimmy Tips – Belly dance learning & inspiration tips for new dancers!

This Shimmy Class is brought to you by Mahin’s Bellydance Quickies.

Video Content

Hi everybody,

Here is your Tuesday technique for the daily belly dance quickies.

This is our first DBQ I’m taking brand-new in and we are in the middle of our fourth anniversary.

A huge thank you to everyone who has shown support for the DBQ with a donation or even a really nice thank-you letter (and love both of them) the donations to help to cover studio rental you couldn’t put neat costs and all kinds of things like that.


So without that kind of support, that unique, it just doesn’t come.

Again, thank you to everybody who has shown their support and we’ve got another that week to go in this donation. I hope that you’ll participate.

Trouble with Shimmies

Let’s get on with what we’re doing today and this one is a request actually from Gayle in Missouri.

She was telling me that she’s really having trouble getting her shimmies started.


And just doesn’t feel like it’s coming along. So I would talk a little bit through some emails and I thought that it would share some of the prompts that we use in class to help people get their shimmy going.

When they just feel like it’s not coming in, for new students who are just getting enough of it, getting accustomed to what it’s supposed to feel like.

Getting Started with Shimmies

Let’s show how to get it started.

Enough to be a very frustrating process for some people so I’m going to go through a couple of things here.

First off is checking posture so when you make sure that your feet are not too far apart or too close together.

If your feet are too close together, you don’t give your legs kind of much room to maneuver.

And if it’s too wide then of course it just looks a little bit vulgar and kind of awkward sometimes.

So making sure that our posture has our feet placed directly underneath the joint of our hip.

I like them going straight down.

Remember we’re not talking about flash a compliment where bones are aligned. So straight down from the joint in the hip keeping the knees soft and keeping the pelvis in a neutral position.

So a little bit of engagement, right here just to protect that low back and the ribs up.

The ribs staying up is a really big part of getting your shimmy going because you don’t want these ribs to be kind of weighing down on your hips.

They want all the movement to come from right here.

The first ones start about thinking about where our movement is coming from.

Now of course there’s lots of ways to shimmy.

You know, shimmies, we’ve got shimmmies up here.

And when you start to actually layer things you really need to get your shimmies going from multiple muscle groups.

As you start you kind of move your hips around and do different things.

Your body know the stress on where and which muscle can best dry with shimmy.

At any point in the movement is going to change because it’s just more efficient.

To drive it a little more from the hamstrings, which are a little more firm.

The quads are a little more from up here.

Your glutes helping out so it’s a good exercise for people, to just kind of tap into what’s moving and what’s getting your shimmy going.


And thinking about the different muscle groups and where they are so that’s what we’re going to do first.

Feet parallel, knees soft, pelvis in neutral, get those ribs up.

So for now we’re just going to have our hands up here and keep our chest up nice and tall.


So the first one we’re going to concentrate on is…

I want you to think about your quads so your quads are four muscles.

One a muscle group made of four muscles that are going to run them all across the front of your thigh from your kneecap. And one of them crossing your hip flexor right here.

So as you’re in this position here and your knees are soft, I want you to think about your quads pulling your knees backwards.

So pulling them from that, towards a more straight position but not all the way straight because we don’t want to go into a lock mean position.


That’s rationing so here you’re pulling back, kind of concentrating on those quads here and the knees are going in an alternating fashion.

So I’m going to turn sideways here. This gives us that kind of high modern Egyptian look. Kind of a shimmy right here.

So now I want you to think about your hamstrings. Your hamstrings running back here from behind the knees all the way up attaching back up here.

Now I want you to think about your hamstrings pulling your DS back so here again staying out of the locking position.

Think about those hamstrings pulling back and back and back.

Your hamstrings and your quadriceps on the front.

This is an agonist and antagonist muscle so basically these are working as opposing forces. So the truth when you’re doing this and concentrating on the front and concentrating on the back. You’re pretty much using the same thing but I just don’t want you to put attention body-wise in different places.

So anytime you have your joint, one has to pull forward, the other one has to fold the other way to get it go the other way. Because that’s just the way it works.

Here we’re thinking about these muscles, on the front in the back of our leg so there’s one of your ways to drive your shimmy here now.

Another one that I would like to think about is your adductors and your abductors. It’s just a difference in one letter there.

Your abductors are the ones that you’re led away from your body and these muscles are out here inside of your thighs.

Then your abductors are in here and these are arranged kind of like a fan at the top of the thigh. And kind of coming down here along the inside of the leg.

So one thing that I’ve found for some students. It helps them to think about how they’re supposed to move their knees.

If again checking your posture, feet, knees, pelvis, neutral grave spot.

Now I want you to think about the inside of your thighs. Then once you imagine that you’re kind of going to rub the inside of your thighs together.

Vertically up and down like this so you feel like that. So that also was going to get our knees to slightly flex and extend and give us the same thing just like that.

And here we’re using a little more muscle that’s on the inside of her leg.

And the outside of your leg because again you have to have muscles on both sides of the movement there.


To get it to go one way and then go back again.

So sometimes for some students that helps a little bit now for both of these.

You have to remember not to lock up your gluts.

And all of this because if you lock all this up and you tighten up all of your glute muscles, as you’re trying to get your knees to help drive your shimmy, then really what you’re doing is you’re putting a whole lot of energy here.

And then you’re stopping it here, so we need to let these muscles around here.

We need to let this go a little bit if we want to drive a shimmy with your knees.


They’ll lift the chest up and out of the way.

It would be kind of leafy, like if you have rubbing the gas in your car while you still have the emergency brake on.

You’re not going to go anywhere so this is not a really deal.

Be fighting all the effort that you’re making down here with your knees so that’s here.

And of course the faster you go, the smaller your movement becomes.

That’s when your shimmy will really start to smooth out.

Again making sure you take your ribs up the way so hopefully some of these visualizations has little clues.

Cues that you can use to tap into.

Your body will help one of the things, also before I close this off I know this is getting kind of a long line. To make sure it’s to be aware of the fact that if you’re just getting used to doing this that your knees are not used to.

Firing for it stained a mat sustained amount of time. So a lot of times you’ll find that your shimmy just kind of like freezes and I did tell me needs to stop.

They did so that’s just a matter of normal training and that’s just something that you just stop restart.

Keep going and the length of time that you can shimmy smoothly will improve.


It will get longer if you practice and also your muscles will get more accustomed to doing that for a long period of time.

You won’t get as tired and your sham you will get much extended so that you can do this long.

She means the sections and your type seams and then your drum solos.

Shimmy Soon!

That’s why I have three today, so hopefully some of those things work.

Tell me in the comments down there if you have other things you’d like to share.

Or if something work for you, I’d love to hear that.

Also some very kind of breaking news. I will be in Florida on the weekend of January and I’m there for other reasons.

But I got rolled into doing it a little tiny two-hour workshop while in the Fort Myers area.

So it’s not a lot of information online about it yet.

If you are interested, you’re in the Fort Myers area and you are an instructor.

This is an instructor workshop.

If you would like to participate just go ahead and drop me a line at my website.

You can find that through the youtube channel as well.

So have a wonderful week.

Happy New Year

Everybody again thank you so much for all the support on the DBQ.

It’s very much appreciated.

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