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Keep facing ahead. Use the muscles behind the neck to slide your head to the right, then the left, keeping it as horizontal as possible. Lovely move when framed with your hands crossing in front of your face, or crossing above the head. Warning: Practice this move very gently, only after a good warm up of the neck muscles to avoid injury. Do not do anything that feels painful. This movement needs only to be very small to be effective, so do not over-extend your self. This move is difficult and takes time to master.

Go easy. The Shimmy Family of Movements. The shimmy will take time and practice to build up the necessary muscles and technique to keep it both strong and lasting yet feminine and soft at the same time. The most beautiful hip shimmies are sensual, seemingly effortless and flowing. The shimmy uses a part of the body that can be blocked energetically.

Belly Dancing and Egyptian Dancing for the complete beginner

If you feel it is jarred do not be disheartened. It took me seven years to feel a joyful shimmy, as my hips were so locked and my pelvis so rigid.

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Imagine this as a course in reclaiming that part of you, your pelvis and the seat of your sexuality. If you have difficulty with the shimmy just know that by practicing shimmying you are opening up a flower, and the petals will unfold in their own sweet time.

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The correct shoulder shimmy will be juicy; as it will open your heart and channel its warm energy outward. The shoulder shimmy is traditionally used when two women dance together facing each other, and they alternate leaning toward and away from each other in unison; a beautiful sight to see.

As with the shoulder roll, it is a movement that requires feeling and a sharing of a joyful moment. It is by no means intended to be a breast thrusting or jiggling exercise!

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So please; keep it small, keep it coming from your heart, and feel the difference! The Twist Family of Movements. Warning: Always keep your knees released and ball of working foot turning on the ground to avoid knee injury. If you lock your working foot into the ground it can injure your working knee.

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Allow your feet to fall into the Earth — pause there. Mother Earth then brings energy in through your feet to your center, your inner body, nourishing you. Imagine your body like a tree, your feet the roots that need to be in the earth connected to it, your body the trunk and the energy you give out from your heart through your hands and fingers are the fruit. With traveling, start small and sllllllooowwww. Take your time, feel your feet and feel the energy coming up through them. The Circle Family of Movements. Same hip movement as the Basic Hip Circle, only it is done in the Classical Pose drawing a smaller circle around one working hip.

As in any Belly Dance movement there are variations based on the plane of movement and the direction of circle i. Experiment and practice all the directions. This symbol is also called a lemniscate, the mathematical symbol for 'eternity'. In ancient calligraphy it has been drawn as a snake with its tail in its mouth - a metaphor for the 'shedding of old skin' and the cyclical nature of life - also linked to woman's menstrual cycle and fertility. Outward Figure 8 - Horizontal. Belly Dance Principle: Move from your centre, from your core.

Remember the flag analogy; a small movement of the pole generating from the base of the pole creates a large visible movement of the flag at the other end of the pole. What people see is the flag, but the energy comes from its base, invisible but very perceptible. Draw your energy from your belly, from your base! It is a difficult move that takes time and practice, but well worth the effort for its mesmerising beauty! The Undulations Family of Movements. Body Undulations A snaky wave that travels down or up the body. Very sensual and fluid, the undulation suits flowing music and Taqsim.

Undulations take time and flexibility, so I usually teach them to my Intermediate students. An Upward Undulation is the reverse of this movement, starting at the pelvis and sending the wave up to the chest. Also and Intermediate level movement. That does it for the core seven movement groups that make up Belly Dancing. Of course there are many more accents such as belly pops and pelvic tilts etc, but they do not belong to the seven main families of movements and are usually taught in later levels. Also, there are Belly Dance travel steps galore, but I will not cover these here.

They are too difficult to explain only in writing, so you will have to ask your teacher to elaborate on the travel steps she chooses to teach you, and it helps to take your own notes in class to remember things at home. To read more and download click here. Video Mini Course. Belly Dancer Teacher Certification by Correspondence. Teacher Directory. Ten Tips for Belly Dance Students. Belly Dance Principles - Lower Body. Belly Dance Principles - Upper Body. Intro to the Different Styles of Belly Dance.

Women's Health Benefits of Bellydance.

Belly Dance; A Journey into Womanhood. Choosing a Belly Dance Teacher. Belly Dance for Birth. Bend the knee to drop the hip, straighten the knee to lift the hip. Always drop before a lift, and lift before a drop to accentuate the movement.

Never lock the knee when straightening, always keep them released. Activate your thigh muscles to either push the hip up, or pull it down. Weight in supporting leg, right foot forward on ball of foot Toe position , knees soft. Lift working hip, in this case the right hip, upward slightly. Drop right hip downward in a strong accented move. Upper body stays steady. On the Upper Body Shoulder Drops The only effort is to bring your shoulders up together, then, let both go.

Shift your weight from leg to leg, straightening supporting knee and releasing the other. Get into the rhythm of this, and then slide your hip out to side as weight transfers into that foot, then back in connecting to your centre and so on. Imagine you have your arms full of groceries and you push the car door shut with your hip!

Variations: Small, isolated. A puppeteer pulls that string to the right, your rib cage moves to the side, independently from your shoulders and hips. Relax lower body, strong thighs, soft and released knees. Weight evenly distributed on both feet, and based in the centre of your soles. Push right knee forward. Then pull right knee back in and push left forward.

Keep this going; keep the movements small in size and medium speed. Use your knees and thighs. Speed up when you feel ready. Keep knees released and soft.