Belly Dance – Warm Up

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 40,464
    Dance expert Dianna Dwyer demonstrates how to warm up before 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.

    To start with we are going to warm up, it's important before you do any exercise like this to warm up your muscles. So, what I want you to do is just relax, and stand, take a big breath, and we will start by warming up. We're just going to step from side to side and just steeply move, good. Now, next we're going to stretch, we're going to push our leg down on to the floor, and stretch our arm up to the ceiling, and this is going to elongate this area in here. So, we do this, the other side, good, good. Now, we're just going to turn from side to side, just let your knee release. We do these for a few, lovely. Now we're going to swing our arms in a figure eight, and really stretch up in here, good.

    Now, what I want you to do is just go down on to the floor and make yourself comfortable with your legs out in front, and cross them, just cross them a bit, so right around in front, whatever is the easiest. We're just going to swing our hips from side to side. Put your legs together, sit, and this is to loosen up our hip muscles. Just do it gently, you are in space. It shouldn't hurt, it should feel comfortable, so just go along with this, great. So, take a big breath in and a big breath out, big breath in and a big breath out, great.

    Now, what I want you to do is tilt your chest up on to this corner, then lift it in the middle, tilt, and then drop. Tilt, lift, tilt, drop, tilt, lift, tilt, drop, tilt, lift, tilt, drop, and this movement should be coming from the middle and behind my shoulder blades here. So, think about in between your shoulder blades, and then we're just going to smooth it out, and this is what we call a chest circle, good. Now we will just stop in the other direction, we will tilt up, tilt down, tilt up, tilt down, tilt up, tilt down. Now, just smooth it out, and do a circle, great. We will do that one more time, it's great. Now, what we're going to do is lift our chest from the center here, just imagine someone is pulling a string and we're going to go one, two, three, and then we're going to drop it two, three, one, two, three, drop two, three. One, two, three, drop two, three, good, one, two, three, drop two, three. Now, the next movement we're going to do, the next chest oscillation is we're going to write a letter M. So, we're going to drop that chest there, we're going to drop it on the middle, we're going to drop it on the side. So, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three. All the time this movement is coming behind my shoulder blades, great. One, two, three, one, two, three, one more time, one, two, three. Take a big breath in and relax, that's great. Now, we're going to scoop, pretend our chest as a scoop, and we're going to scoop forward and bring it back into us, scoop forward and back into us, scoop in and bring it back, great. Scoop in and back, scoop in and back. Now, the next movement we're going to do is we're going to bring our feet out in front of us, and we're going to drop our legs down, keep our heels in the same position, and drop our leg down, and it will give us a vibration on the side, and we use that when we do our shimmy movement. So, this is a little warm up for when we start preparing to do our Middle Eastern belly dance. So, vibrate down, and it should give you a nice little massage. We can do it faster, good, good, lovely. Okay, a couple of more times, and let's get that muscle nice and warm before you start dancing, so good. Okay, now we want to go up onto our knees, and we're going to do like a cat scratch, and this will help our spine stretch out. So, we just have your legs slightly apart, nice straight back, and then arch out like a cat, and then relax down. Hunch up like a cat and down. Okay, one last final stretch, up and then down, and then just come up slowly, let's roll up, great. Now, I want you to stand on one leg, this is good for our balance and for our ankle. So, just do some little ankle rotations, rotate your ankles around, and pop our leg back down, and that concludes this section on our warm up, and we will go next and I will talk about posture, which is very important in belly dance.