Belly dance tutorial: How to shimmy on your undulations

By Ishtar Dance on Monday, October, 21st, 2019 in Dance Coaching, Dance Inspiration, Learning, Your Dance Body No Comments

Last month I hosted my first ever Shimmy Challenge and it was a really interesting process for me as well as [I hope] those who took part. The aim was to develop strength, endurance and technique, as well as inspire the participants to start a regular belly dance practise. Something I know a lot of dancers want to do, but struggle to find the time to. I hope to host another Shimmy Challenge in the new year but you can read more about the past one here.

Reviewing the course material as well as comments, the one move that I feel most struggled with was adding a shimmy onto undulations, so I wanted to share my technique video and drill here on the blog so everyone can have a go at practising this over the autumn and winter months – the perfect time to practise shimmies anyway as they really help keep you warm!

Before you get started, please make sure that you are aligned correctly and have warmed up. It’s quite a strenuous move which requires more leg and core power than most people think. If you don’t do the preparations you will not shimmy as well or smoothly so please take the time to get the foundations right. Secondly, if you are suffering from any back issues or prolaps, please do not do this exercise unless you’ve checked with your GP or other health care professional first. The moves and exercise is safe if done correctly, but if you have any weak parts in your back or pelvic floor, you may be using the wrong muscles to create the move and therefore make things worse, so please keep that in mind and don’t do anything you aren’t sure is right for you.

Also, I start the video by saying that I always recommend practising a shimmy on undulations before moving on to camels – and moving with them – but I know everyone is different, so you may prefer to do some camels with shimmies first and then attempt the ‘on the spot’ version afterwards. Not overthinking things is often the best way forwards when dancing, but I still give a lot of explanation and detail for those of you who like that way of learning. If you’re a teaching – this might also help you explain this to your students better.

Finally – don’t forget to breath! I am not joking as this is the one move where I always find people holding their breath because they are concentrating so much. It’s a natural thing to do, but please remind yourself to breath as you go along.

I hope you have fun exploring shimmies on undulations – one of my favourite shimmies.

View the Shimmies on undulations technique video.

View the Shimmy on undulations drill.

Please let me know how you get on by leaving a comment below. If you’ve done this before – does my approach make it any easier or harder for you? If you’re a teacher – do you find this useful? What tips have you got for teaching advanced shimmy layers like this? Let’s keep the knowledge sharing going to keep belly dancing safe and beautiful.

Happy dancing everyone 🙂


Did you miss my last post? Read it here:

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