Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shimmy Shimmy

My belly dance class has moved on to a concentration in shimmies.

Tuesday night, we first reviewed hip locks, and then were shown a better way to learn downward pulsing hip locks.

Then we moved on to shimmies. That night we covered four types of shimmies: tribal shimmies, Egyptian shimmies, gluteal shimmies and 3/4 shimmies.

First we drilled the tribal shimmies. From proper belly dance posture, the movement comes from slight knee bends and we progressively did those faster. My instructor made a glowing comment to me as she came by: "You could shimmy all night, couldn't you?" "Quite likely," I replied, not missing a beat of the shimmy.

Next we moved on to the Egyptian shimmy. You can find all kinds of videos and different methods for teaching this on the web. We began by sitting on the floor and slapping our knees backward in a regular rhythm to get the feel. Then we proceeded to drill it standing up. For this movement, we broke posture, putting our weight on the balls of our feet, leaning out until you can only see a breast shelf when you look down and proceeding to rythmically pop the knees backward.

The next shimmy is even harder. We sat down on the floor again and proceeded to start squeezing our butt cheeks one at a time. This is the gluteal shimmy. Again we returned to standing position to drill it. It is incredibly hard to isolate my gluteal muscle. I keep engaging my upper thigh just to try to feel the thing.

Finally, we moved on to the 3/4 shimmy. With a pause on every 4th beat, it reminded me of Balboa; but instead of pausing on beats 3 and 7, we paused on beats 4 and 8. We started from a slow tribal shimmy and gradually progressed in speed. Right-left-Right-Pause-Left-Right-Left-Pause-1-2-3-pause-1-2-3-pause. Then we traveled back and forth across the room with. Our instructor showed us what it will look like when we get the count up to about 150 beats per minute. It is absolutely cool, hypnotically arresting the eyes at what looks like sudden slides.

We went through our cool down, and the instructor announced another performance this Saturday. When she personally invited me we no one else was responding, insisting that I was going to like it, I agreed to come, even though I have other plans with someone from work I need to split the time with.
Since the scale now says 208 pounds (and the mirror says I'm trim), I am going to do as many daily practice sessions as I can. Yesterday, before working on taxes, I turned on the radio, stripped down to a bra and shorts, slipped on my tribal belt, and proceeded to shimmy through all the moves, twice--a workout of about a half hour. This morning I feel great!

Hugs and God Bless,


  1. I think your have found your groove, girl. Have a good life.

  2. Kay & Sarah@: Thanks. I hope "Have a good life" doesn't mean you're letting me go.