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  1. #1
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    Wink Always ready to shimmy?

    Hello everybody, I would like to ask you for opinions or maybe advice. I guess I learned to shimmy quite well, I can do many kinds of shimmy, and when Im streched I have usually no problem to shimmy in time with music, in various positions and be relaxed. Problem is that when Im tired...( after shift in work, or just without enough energy...or after 2hours dance training )...Im not able to shimmy so well. My knees (? I guess) dont want to work so fast and be relaxed...I have to slow down a lot to get nice shimmies. And if I want to dance to some song with faster shimmy music, all I can do is some little freeze shimmies not even visible on video
    So I was curious if good professional bellydancer ( I would like to be one day ) should be able to shimmy whenever she wants...I mean even after long training or long show? I guess yes, she should...? But how can I learn this? Can you please give me some advice or tip? I would be very grateful to you!

    Nila

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    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Nila* View Post
    So I was curious if good professional bellydancer ( I would like to be one day ) should be able to shimmy whenever she wants...I mean even after long training or long show? I guess yes, she should...? But how can I learn this? Can you please give me some advice or tip? I would be very grateful to you!
    IMO, yes. But to be perfectly honest with you, I know a lot of professional dancers who "lose" their shimmy when they are tired, so it's not like it's the end of the world.

    But to me, it's very important to be able to shimmy well whenever I want no matter what. For me, a shimmy isn't something that I lose when I am tired, it's actually something I can fall back on when I am tired because it's so easy and requires such little energy and effort.

    So if it's important to you, be sure to drill it everyday. It takes time and practice to get to the point where your shimmy is that reliable.

  3. #3
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    So if it's important to you, be sure to drill it everyday. It takes time and practice to get to the point where your shimmy is that reliable.
    I second Yame. Drill your shimmies every day - not only one type, but every type of shimmies to be sure they are there when you need them.

    If you haven't, you'll probably experience that some shimmydays are better or worse than others (which may happen to everyone), but the only way around and to make every shimmyday as even as possible is to shimmy more and drill, drill, drill your shimmies.
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  4. #4
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Nila* View Post
    I can do many kinds of shimmy, and when Im streched I have usually no problem to shimmy in time with music, in various positions and be relaxed. Problem is that when Im tired...( after shift in work, or just without enough energy...or after 2hours dance training )...Im not able to shimmy so well. My knees (? I guess) dont want to work so fast and be relaxed
    Getting a shimmy is the first step - keeping it is harder. Once you have your shimmy start going for length - how long can you shimmy well now? Practice until you can hold it 30 seconds longer. Then push it out again. But also work on layering (not necessarily at the same time)

    Interesting that you said when you are tired your knees don't want to work as well. Very few shimmies use bending and straightening the knees - maybe you could try one of the others when this seems to be a problem.

    Also, fast as you can is not always the aim. You want to about double time the music - and keep it relaxed.

    Next, minor nitpick. You don't want to have stretched in preparation. You want to have warmed up - ie used the big muscles in the legs and arms to raise your internal body temperature. This makes the muscles fire quicker and lubricates the joints.

    And should you be able to shimmy after 2 hours of dancing? In general - yes. Earlier this year a group of us did a 5 hour of drum solo class - shimmying was definitely still needed at the end! How many were still capable? Only the three over 50s (many of the ones flopped against the wall were 20 somethings with great looking bodies) - it's practice and technique rather than raw physical power.
    Last edited by Kashmir; 10-03-2011 at 08:17 PM. Reason: sp

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    And should you be able to shimmy after 2 hours of dancing? In general - yes. Earlier this year a group of us did a 5 hour of drum solo class - shimmying was definitely still needed at the end! How many were still capable? Only the three over 50s (many of the ones flopped against the wall were 20 somethings with great looking bodies) - it's practice and technique rather than raw physical power.
    I second this, although I am in my 20s.

    Because honestly, despite being young I will tell you my stamina isn't all that great and I am definitely not very strong, but I could shimmy for hours on end, it just doesn't tire me out. It's very relaxing, actually.

    A lot of people have this idea that shimmying requires a lot of leg strength and power, you are literally the first person I've seen say it doesn't really (aside from myself, because I think I am living proof of this).

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    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    There does seem to be a culture of 'shimmies = hard' but how many of us 'shake off' our tired muscles?

    Shimmies are what I default to if I'm tired and having to improvise to music I don't know. That's my motto 'when in doubt, shimmy' There's usually one for everything.
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    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    I have real problems with "regular" shimmies when I'm not warmed up - and warmed up well.

    Not so bad when I'm tired.

    But it took me many years to get to this point. Ditto all those who say practice every day...

  8. #8
    Junior Member Piocca's Avatar
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    Recently I attended a workshop with Yasmina of Cairo- it was quite late in the evening and I assume that most of the participants had spent quasi their whole day dancing and learning and so a lot of us were fairly tired. At the end of the workshop Yasmina told us something like that after a long night dancing in (restaurant/club...)shows many dancers usually just shimmy throughout their last songs as a shimmy is the only thing one can still master being tired from dancing so long. So as an ending we just did shimmy-improvisation through "our last song"
    But to be honest I have to admit that I (still having a hard time to get a fast but big and relaxed shimmy immediately when- and wherever I want- especially after eight hours of workshops) wasn't able to shimmy so beautifully and in time with the music as I wanted....(unfortunately).

    I'm a big fan of shimmies and a strong shimmy (whether wobbly and big or fast and powerfull or every other variation) matching the music perfectly is just "WOW" for me. If I see such an intense shimmy on stage it makes me happy and So for me being able to get every shimmy (i'm familiar with) immediately whenever I want it is probably one of my biggest aims concerning dancing at the moment. So practising my shimmy as much as possible is a must for me (and most of the time a joy too, of course) and it gets better and better constantly (and I have to second Daimona's statement that some shimmydays are better or worse- to me this applies totally ).

  9. #9
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default Shimmy can be used for warming up!!

    At the beginning it might not be very quick and intense, but it is perfect for warming up!!especially before performances.

    and it cannot be seen under coats, in winter!!! because shimmy is good for the very cold days...

    practical tip: do practice shimmies every day, at least for 5 minutes. Make sure that you drill shimmies with left and right legs being on the first beat of the music, so that both legs get equal training and the shimmy is balanced. If the shimmy is balanced, then you will not "lose" it, and you will not get tired that easily!

  10. #10
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    First of all, thank you very much for your posts and tips, I really needed this kind of informations Youre all great!

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