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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    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.
    Yes, I always wanted to get to this point of being able to shimmy whenever I want, but lately I was thinking if this aim is ever possible....if I trained a lot and still have problems with it sometimes... Well, thanks for your replies...now I know shimmy-training never ends

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    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.
    Well, as for my shimmies, if I´m "ok" I have no problem to start shimmying and shimmy with being relaxed till the end of the world So I guess I understand what you meant about shimmy as something as last hope in long performance:-) But I have problem when I´m tired or not ok to even start shimmy...I have to start slowly and after several minutes I´m able to shimmy quite well...as long as I stop...and then I´m not able to start shimmy again...I have to start slowly. So you see I can´t use this while dancing
    As for knees....I´m not 100% sure, but I guess it´s about knees, why I can´t shimmy sometimes... I usually use knee shimmy, I just like it the most, and usually feel I want to use this kind... I prefer egyptian style, maybe it´s the reason.
    I can do twist shimmy easily, or 3/4 shimmy...even when tired.
    Well, I guess I will try hip shimmy when I will be tired...just to know if I have problem with this too...
    As for strechedxwarmed...this is interesting, I didn´t know this... So do you mean that I should warm up for example with running? Something like this?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by walladah View Post
    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!
    Well, right and left leg...this is my problem too Because my left leg is just more lazy then right one...
    I practice shimmy quite often, but not everyday for at least 5minutes ( I don´t count shimmying while teethbrushing, because it´s not 5min ), and I usually practise hip and knee shimmy in various positions and with just right or left leg to make them shimmy the same. Well, so I think I will have to find some time everday to practice and hope I will manage it! Few years back I was telling myself that when I master shimmy I will be able to dance well....still not there and have long journey in front of me...

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    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.

    I can vouch for this part....i'm still on my journey to the endless shimmy, but i realised recently that my shimmy got significantly better after i started a particular workout which is largely based on plyometric cardio and plyo is all about training the muscles to fire off rapidly.

  5. #15
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Nila* View Post
    I have problem when I´m tired or not ok to even start shimmy...I have to start slowly and after several minutes I´m able to shimmy quite well...
    Sounds like your body isn't ready. Effectively a slow start is like a mini-warmup.
    Quote Originally Posted by *Nila* View Post
    I
    As for strechedxwarmed...this is interesting, I didn´t know this... So do you mean that I should warm up for example with running? Something like this?
    Running to class would work In class - yes, I've had teachers that have made us run to warmup - but you can do it in a more dancy way. In my classes we often run through travelling steps that don't use small muscle layers - scissor walks, cross touches, chasses etc. Legs and arms.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Sounds like your body isn't ready. Effectively a slow start is like a mini-warmup.

    Running to class would work In class - yes, I've had teachers that have made us run to warmup - but you can do it in a more dancy way. In my classes we often run through travelling steps that don't use small muscle layers - scissor walks, cross touches, chasses etc. Legs and arms.
    Thanks for tip, I will definetely try this... My training usually starts with streching, then shimmy practice-to made me shimmy well when I go on with practicing choreos or improvizations etc. So I guess I will dissarrange my "schedule" a bit, put portion of travelling steps before shimmies

  7. #17
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Nila* View Post
    my training usually starts with streching, then shimmy practice-to made me shimmy well when I go on with practicing choreos or improvizations etc. So I guess I will dissarrange my "schedule" a bit, put portion of travelling steps before shimmies
    Not sure why many dance classes start with stretches - but it is very common and very wrong. Further, very few belly dancers need to stretch before they dance (but they do need to warmup). If you are stretching to increase your flexibility this is far more effective at the end of a work out when the muscles are able to stretch - trying to stretch on an unprepared body is useless at best and damaging at worst. Think of taking cold chewing gum and trying to pull it out - most likely it'll snap.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Not sure why many dance classes start with stretches - but it is very common and very wrong. Further, very few belly dancers need to stretch before they dance (but they do need to warmup). If you are stretching to increase your flexibility this is far more effective at the end of a work out when the muscles are able to stretch - trying to stretch on an unprepared body is useless at best and damaging at worst. Think of taking cold chewing gum and trying to pull it out - most likely it'll snap.
    Aj, since english isn´t my native language, I´m not sure if we think the same thing. Maybe I used wrong word? I have several belly dance instructional dvds, and there is usually streching?/warm-up at the beginning. And we did it at beginning of majority of workshops I attended.
    And I feel I "need" to strech usually, extend my arms and legs, and sides...( actually I realized than when I sometimes didn´t strech my sides-you know, the part above the hips..I don´t know how to call it in english , I actually had pain there later, because I used the muscles a lot ).
    So did I just use wrong word? or if not, then this is something I didn´t had any idea about...

  9. #19
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Nila* View Post
    Aj, since english isn´t my native language, I´m not sure if we think the same thing. Maybe I used wrong word? I have several belly dance instructional dvds, and there is usually streching?/warm-up at the beginning. And we did it at beginning of majority of workshops I attended.
    The word “stretch” strictly is something which elongates the muscle fibres. This helps dancers and other athletes improve their range of motion which often (but not always) improves performance over the long term ie it takes weeks or months to get increased muscle length by doing a little every couple of days. You do not need to stretch before dancing.

    A looser use is to just move joints through their normal range of motion – but not attempt to elongate muscle fibres. This I often refer to as “mobilization”. When some teachers talk about “stretching” at the start of class – this is what they mean and it is not a problem (but you should still first do something to raise heart rate, temperature first – ie a cardiovascular warm up – but it can be quite short if you then go onto gentle mobilization. (More on this on my blog)

    However, other teachers do attempt “real” stretches. That is they ask their students to attempt to elongate muscles – and hold them – without warming up at all. This is dangerous and counter-productive – you won’t stretch your muscles but you might tear muscles, tendons or ligaments (a fellow dancer tore her Achilles this way and couldn’t dance for months).

    I wonder if this may come from ignorance and/or misunderstanding of a “standard” dance class. When I did jazz we never warmed up in class – but we were expected to do our own warm up in the green room before class. That is, we were meant to arrive 10 or 15 minutes before class, change and warm up. Simply, it is possible that with a DVD the teacher doesn’t think s/he should waste DVD time with warm ups – which could take 5-15 minutes when dancers should know how to do these. I have seen DVDs where the teacher says “Please warm up before starting on this DVD” – but they don’t say how. Like Chinese whispers we now get teachers who think it is okay to start straight in – or worse stretching is a warm up.

    Quote Originally Posted by *Nila* View Post
    And I feel I "need" to strech usually, extend my arms and legs, and sides...( actually I realized than when I sometimes didn´t strech my sides-you know, the part above the hips..I don´t know how to call it in english , I actually had pain there later, because I used the muscles a lot ).
    So did I just use wrong word? or if not, then this is something I didn´t had any idea about...
    To get over this - stretch after class. Warm up - work - stretch - cool down

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    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.
    Mystery explained! I was wondering how you lasted through all the filming for the shimmy DVD with a relaxed smile on your face.

    One chapter is enough to kill me at the moment but I'm hanging in there

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