Belly Dance – Shimmys

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 21,432
    Dance expert Dianna Dwyer demonstrates how to do shimmys when belly dancing.

    Dianna Dwyer

    Dianna started studying the beautiful art form of middle eastern dance in 1994 and made her first stage appearance in 1996. She has participated in professional shows in Honolulu, New York City as well as Baltimore. She performs five nights a week at Casablanca restaurant in Old Town Alexandria and also at La Kasbah in Reston. Thursday nights she teaches at Fitness First in Tyson's Corner. One of the highlights in her career was winning the title of the duchess of dance and Peoples Choice winner in the 2003 East Coast belly dance classic competition. In 2006 she was selected to attend Hadias 10 day professional training program in Montreal Canada. In 2007 she traveled to Cairo to further her studies. She has also traveled to her home in New Zealand and taught workshops at the annual middle eastern festival. In August 2007 she was on the cover of the Northern Virginia magazine.

    Diana: Hi! My name is Diana, and I am a belly dance instructor and performer in the Northern Virginia area, and I have been doing this for the last ten years, and I am going to do this segment on Shimmy, which takes a little bit of practice but they are an essential part of the dance. So, how we start, I am going to start, I am going to go over Chest Shimmy and I am going to go over Hip Shimmy. So, the beginning of this dance movement is we keep our knees pointed forward and we bend and straighten our knees, so, that drives our hips up and down. Now, when we straighten our knee, it shouldn't be forced back, it should be just nice and relaxed, it should be just to relax position, not really force it back, otherwise you'll end up injuring your knee. So, just straight and forward, straight and forward, straight and forward, straight and forward, and that's just, and that keeps our hips going, and with time, what you do is you increase the speed, and get it smaller, you bring it down smaller, and then you are able to Shimmy, and you relax everything, and you keep your top nice and still, as you see, I am not shaking around the top here, and I am just moving my bottom, my bottom half. So, straight, forward, straight, forward, straight, forward, straight, forward, straight, forward, and this took me quite a while to get, but it's just a matter of practicing and you just keep practicing, and practicing, and eventually, you'll get it. So, straight and forward, straight and forward, and the most, the big key thing with this is to relax, to keep lifted, to keep your posture correct, tucked under, lifted up through your body, and just relax, and then you just speed it up, and you keep in time with the music, and you can move from side to side, you can twist it forward, you can twist it round in a circle, you can do all kinds of things with this, okay. And that is what I call a knee-driven Shimmy, and there's many different kinds of Shimmies, but this is the Shimmy I like to use in my dance. And you just then roll, jiggle, we jiggle in the back, in the sides, and just keep nice and relaxed, keep lifted up here, keep relaxed, good. You go to the side, go round in the circle, good. The next thing I would cover, is vibration, and that's another type of Shimmy, and is a similar principle. I just got my weight on this foot, front leg, and I have this back leg bent slightly, and I just push down onto the ground and let flesh wobble, as you can see, and the important thing here is not to push deep back again, it's just, I am just pushing through ground, to get my flesh to wobble on my bones, and I am nice and relaxed up here, great. And we can do it on the other side; one side is usually easier than the other, good. And this should feel real good, and that is what I call a vibration. And we'll go over Chest Shimmy, which is forward, back, forward, back, forward, back, forward, back, and then movement is coming from in between my chest here, and in between my shoulder blades, and it's just forward, back, forward, back, forward, back, and then you just speed it up. And it's just a matter of practice to get these movements. It takes a little while, just practicing, good, and that's the Chest Shimmy. Then we can do our twisting Shimmy in the front, and that's just forward, back, forward, back, forward, back, forward, back, and that's like a washing machine, good. And then, the other one we can cover very quickly is a Three Quarter Shimmy, which is up, down, and step, up, down, and step, up, down, step, up, down, step, up, down, step, up, down, step, and then what happens as you speed that up and you achieve this effect, but that takes quite a bit of practice, but the best way to do that is to up, down, step, up, down, step, up, down, step, up, down, step, and then you just quicken it up to get a Three Quarter Shimmy effect. Good and that concludes this belly dance section on Shimmies.