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How to Shimmy – A Quick Lesson by Nadia Khastagir

Of course, the best way to learn is to go to a bellydance class, but here’s a quick rundown on how it’s done:

Stand with your feet together and knees slightly bent. Put your weight on your heels and you will feel how your tailbone drops down and your lower back loosensup. Keep this looseness in mind. Now, roll your shoulders back and down and pull up your chest without pulling your shoulders up. This is the standard posture which all moves come from. Pump your knees up and down, first bending the right then the left. Notice how your hips drop and lift with each knee bend. Step on your right foot, straighten and bend your knee so that your hip is moving up or down on each count of 1-2-3 (lift-drop-lift), on the “and,”(the half-beat in between the first and last beats), step on the left foot and repeat the movement on the left, so the count is 1-2-3-and-1-2-3-and_.. This is the shimmy slowed down to half-time. Get used to this stepping on 1, and pushing the hip up with your straightened knee, then dropping the hip (bend the knee), then lifting the hip, shift your weight and step on the other foot. When it starts to feel more natural, put some sass into it – smile! What you’re working towards is a fulltime shimmy, which means each “1-2-3-and” of your hips is speeded up so that it is one beat of a measure – this is when it gets fast! Let your butt and thighs go, let the fat jiggle, keep your knees soft, keep your head level (don’t bounce up and down – the point is to isolate the hips). Soon you will be wow-ing your friends with a sexy, confidant and ancient dance form!

Nadia Khastagir dances with FatChanceBellyDance in San Francisco, CA. You can contact them at (415) 647-6035 or www.fcbd.com for show and class information.