Step-by-step: how to do the core movements of Belly Dance

By Vintagemode - September 23, 2019

                                                          1.  hip drops
Put your weight on the supporting leg and keep your knees soft. Stay centered (don’t lean back). Then, lift upward the leg of the working hip in order to drop it in a strong, visible move. The upper body should always be steady. Half drops usually accompany a full drop. The technique is the same but the dropping and lifting are subtler. Always drop before lifting and vice versa to accentuate the movements. This movement comes from the knee and the thigh muscles. This move is typical of Egyptian belly dance.
In Turkish and Lebanese belly dance use hip lifts instead of drops. This movement is more exaggerated. The working hip is lifted upward and slightly forward in a very strong movement. They use the muscles of the outer thigh and subtle drops. The closer you are to the ground, the easier it will be to isolate the movements.

2. Chest Drops and Chest Lifts
Stand with your back straight and centered, don’t spread your legs. To do the chest lift, grab air and thrust your ribcage with an accentuated movement upwards. The shoulders also go slightly up (not too much as in reaching your ears. It will lock your upper back). For the drop, release the air and drop your ribcage (also relax the shoulders a bit in order to accentuate the drop). Remember, in order to drop you have to lift first and vice versa.  

3. Hip slide
Place your feet at hipbone-width and lift your arms to the side. Shift your weight from leg to leg. Always straight the supporting knee and flexing the contrary knee. (If you slide your knee to the right, the supporting leg is the right, so you have to flex the left knee and vice versa). 

 4.  Basic shimmy
Stand with your feet at hipbone-width, straight back, arms lifted to the side and feet firmly grounded. Bend your knees and distribute your weight on both feet. Relax your lower body. Straight one knee (to make the hip come up) while the other is bended, and repeat the same movement with the other leg. Also, your heels should always be attached to the ground and your upper body shouldn’t move or shake too much.
You have to breath with the shimmy (if you stop breathing, your shimmy will get locked) and practice since it takes some time to build the necessary muscles to make strong yet feminine movements.
5. Belly roll.
Start with the basic pose (feet at hipbone-width, knees bend, …). Inhale and expand the rib cage, and pull in the lower abs. Then, reverse the movement by relaxing and expanding the lower abs while you pull in the upper abs. The belly roll consists of very isolated movements.
You can also start with the bottom, so instead of pulling the lower abs first, you will relax the low belly and pull in the upper abs.
All you have to do is alternating between the two movements so you can create the undulating wave with your belly. 

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