The Return of the Weekly Challenge!

If you kept up with my webpage in its previous incarnation, you may know that I used to do weekly belly dance challenges!  They kind of fell by the wayside when I got into the webpage redesign.  So, now that the new design is set and I’ve managed to catch up with everything else, let’s get back to the challenges!!

Here’s how it works: every week, I’ll throw down a challenge for three levels of belly dancers (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).  Your challenge is to try it EVERY DAY.  Yes, every day.  Of course this does not mean that by the end of the week you’ll have mastered whatever move, idea, etc. that I throw at you.  But it puts you into the habit of not only practicing every day, but challenging yourself every day.  You can’t get better if you only practice the moves you already do well.

Feel free to comment on your progress, moan about the challenge, or ask for helpful advice!

So here’s this week’s Belly Dancing Challenge:

Put a shimmy on it!

Beginner: You may not have mastered a shimmy yet, and that’s okay.  This week, try to master one form of hip shimmy.  It doesn’t matter which one, just pick a shimmy you have been taught in class and DO IT.  No excuses!

Tips:

  • Pick a fun song and shimmy for the entire duration
  • Make sure your weight stays even on both feet (for now)
  • Keep a slower speed so that you can not only keep it up for an entire song but also that you don’t lose the timing.  Remember, a fast shimmy isn’t always the best shimmy.
  • Keep the shimmy timed to the music.  Your hips should be moving to the beat of the music, not just randomly twitching.
  • And, the most important tip for loose and relaxed shimmies: LOOSE GLUTES.

Intermediate: Can you walk and shimmy at the same time?  Try either a 3/4 shimmy or a 4/4 shimmy (whichever is HARDER for you right now) and walk with it.

Tips:

  • Make sure your steps are on the beat, either full time or half time, depending on how fast your music is and how much space you have.
  • Time your shimmies to your steps, it will make it easier.
  • LOOSE GLUTES.
  • Keep a slower speed so that you don’t lose the timing.  Remember, a fast shimmy isn’t always the best shimmy.  You can always speed it up later, once you are used to the movements.
  • Make sure your posture stays intact, and SMILE.  Remember your face needs practice just as much as your body.  Practice with a frown or with your tongue sticking out, and you might just do that on stage!!

Advanced: We’re really going to walk, talk, and chew bubble gum at the same time!  Pick a shimmy, pick a song,  pick a movement, and then WALK with it.  For instance, you can walk with a hip figure 8, adding a shimmy as you go.  Or, you can walk, shimmy, and do chest circles.  But make sure it looks good.  Some combinations may not work well, so check yourself in a mirror before practicing too much.

Tips:

  • Make sure everything is on time.  It won’t work if you are stepping at off times while concentrating on your movements.  Your walking steps should be on time, your shimmies should work with the music, and your movement should make sense.
  • Make sure your walk looks nice.  Don’t just wave a foot around until the beat.
  • Play around with timing if you can, but still maintain the beat.

Happy dancing, and good luck!

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About Kamrah

Kamrah is a belly dancer in Chicago, IL. They started belly dance as an exercise routine but it turned into a passion for dance that has not lessened, even after more than a decade. They have a powerful presence on the stage, and is particularly known for their amazing shimmies. Kamrah is also known as a very versatile belly dancer, and audiences have come to expect the unexpected from them. Performances can be anything from traditional Egyptian, to tribal fusion, to fantasy cosplay (costume play) pieces.

One response to “The Return of the Weekly Challenge!”

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