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  1. #11
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    The question of where shimmies come from and which is "correct" gets asked a LOT. The more I think about this, the more I'm inclined to believe the opinion of many sports and fitness trainers who say that although we CAN focus on just activating one muscle group, in performance or practice, that isolation tends to fade, and we tend to use a combination of muscle groups, depending upon such factors as:

    - where our weight is distributed at any given moment
    - the alignment of the spine at any given moment
    - the movements that occur right before and right after the movement in question
    - existing blood flow and stimulation to muscle groups ("warmer" muscles tend to want to take over for less "warmed" muscles.)
    - velocity of the movement
    - etc.

    I will DRILL shimmies originating in various specifically isolated areas, but when it comes to actual dancing, I just go with the moment, depending upon the "feel" (which translates into the "look" that I'm going for. )

  2. #12
    Member AyaKara's Avatar
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    Thank you, Aziyade! I'll keep that in mind. It seems like the best thing to do is to just go with the flow of the music

  3. #13
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    The first time I did it in class I just did it. Maybe not evenly or elegantly or for long, but it was an up and down hip shimmy, and in my brain was not thinking about knees, it was thinking "wobble yer butt". I can even walk with that.
    Same here. My teacher didn't break down how to do it, so I just did it. I didn't contract & release my abs, glutes, or legs. I just shook my butt! I'm not a physiology person, so I can't tell you which muscles I used.

    When I learned the leg-driven shimmy I thought of it in terms of standing with a relaxed leg (not super straight but without a deliberate bend/squat). I envision moving my hamstrings to the wall behind me but not so much that I lock the knee. You can also practice this sitting on the floor with your legs straight in front of you if it's easier for you. This is also what we would do at the bus stop on cold winter mornings.

    For a slower shimmy I use my legs, but when I need speed I move to the butt wobble ( love that term). Like Aniseteph, that's the way I shimmy if I have to walk with an even down/up shimmy.

    AyaKara, as you can see there are many ways to shimmy. They produce different looks, so experiment away! You might find you only like one way, or you might like them all for different situations.

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