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  1. #1
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Default one shoulder shimmy????

    Just moved and therefore with new teacher trying to get my head round the ne shoulder shimmy (and wondering why) also (wondering why you would teach this when it is still necessary to tell students that their belts shouldn't rattle with shoulder shimmy)

    So am I a wuss or a purist. Do you do the one shoulder - other arm straight up.

    Currently holding glass half full of iced water I can two shoulder without rattling ice but I just can't get the single job (cos I don't want to?)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    I would see it as all part of isolation, but pointless to teach if you can't isolate the shoulders at all. I use it mainly when engaging with an audience member, or as a variation on accenting the music if plain shoulder shimmies seem too repetitive. But I wouldn't normally associate it with having the other arm straight up. Perhaps that's to decrease the possible movement of the shoulder on that side? (ie a clever 'cheat'?)

    Hope you grow to like you new classes. New teachers can be difficult to adjust to.

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    What a good idea! A good way to check you are moving just your shoulders in your shoulder shimmy (rather than blending - or worst just using - a torso twist)

    As far as whether or not it should come before mastering the reflex that makes your butt shake - I'd say earlier one learns to isolate just your shoulders the better. So, yes I might introduce a one shoulder shoulder shimmy quite early. However, it is of limited practical use.

  4. #4
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    or worst just using - a torso twist
    I'm curious about this statement. Because every teacher I've seen teaching the isolated shoulder shimmy shows everyone how to wrench* their shoulders around in the breakdown, and then does the full speed movement using a twisted torso. So when I teach the shoulder shimmy, I teach using the twist method and tell them to 1) keep to the speed limit and 2) direct the energy up.

    This is of course separate from a shoulder accent which is a sharp, percussive movement of the shoulder in isolation, usually with the emphasis on the forward motion.


    *I'm not trying to be inflammatory here, I've had precious few teachers showing the isolated shoulder shimmy move and they have all demonstrated it in a way which caused physical pain in all participants, only to then speed it up to a torso twist with the emphasis on the shoulders.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    I think that's the point. Leaving asise the controversy about boob shimmy - I happen to think that it is Western mealiness that insists that it has nothing to do with the breasts - but as I said I'll leave that aside.

    In a full torso /shoulder shimmy you can stabilise the arms by setting the shoulders in counterpoint to the torso. How do you isolate your arms in a full speed one-shoulder as a dance step?

    PS other arm straight up seems to stop both
    Last edited by jenc; 10-24-2013 at 06:56 AM.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darshiva View Post
    I'm curious about this statement. Because every teacher I've seen teaching the isolated shoulder shimmy shows everyone how to wrench* their shoulders around in the breakdown, and then does the full speed movement using a twisted torso.
    <snip>
    *I'm not trying to be inflammatory here, I've had precious few teachers showing the isolated shoulder shimmy move and they have all demonstrated it in a way which caused physical pain in all participants, only to then speed it up to a torso twist with the emphasis on the shoulders.
    It doesn't have to be that way! I start with a slow, smooth, gentle horizontal slide. No wrenching. We move from there to alternating the slide from side to side (R, L, R, L) - still slow and controlled. Slowly bring in sliding the right forward and the left back and vice versa; making it faster and smaller over weeks (or months).

    Emphasis is on correct technique - no twisting, lifting or jarring and using the muscles under your bra strap rather than the traps.

    The problem I find isn't that people make a painful movement but rather when they move from doing one shoulder at a time - which everyone gets pretty quickly - to moving one shoulder forward while the other slides back they want to lock their perfectly mobile shoulders and twsit through the back.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    I happen to think that it is Western mealiness that insists that it has nothing to do with the breasts - but as I said I'll leave that aside.
    Except it was a move I got from Aida Nour - when she was dancing Orientale. When doing beledi the "shoulder" shimmy is very different. I once spent the best part of 6 hours watching the muscles in her back when too injured to take part in a workshop. Her torso was completely stable and the shoulders moved forward and back on an un-twisting torso. (I believe she got it from Farida Fahmy)
    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    In a full torso /shoulder shimmy you can stabilise the arms by setting the shoulders in counterpoint to the torso. How do you isolate your arms in a full speed one-shoulder as a dance step?
    For me, it is stabilized betweeen the shoulder and elbow - the torso doesn't come into it. Place yours hand on a table with a bent elbow forward of the body. Slide your shoulder forward and back. THe hand rests on the table and doesn't move.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 10-24-2013 at 08:59 PM. Reason: merge

  7. #7
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I've been taught twisting from the back where your bra strap is, shoulders come along for the ride. Just one shoulder is physically impossible with that, so it has to go to an isolated shoulder movement. I think tension in the ribcage stabilises it; maybe raising the opposite arm is supposed to help that.

    I could see using it as a cheeky accent but not more than a couple of shakes/ nudges. OTOH in my TF class I would not be surprised to be challenged with something like that. The little voice starts saying "but why would you want to DO that????".

    Yay, jenc, nice to see a post from you again!

    ETA - just saw Kashmir's post. How cool would it be to pull the orientale version into the shoulders?
    How fast a shimmy is this? (gah, talk about stupid questions to ask on the internet... need a video clip!)
    Last edited by Aniseteph; 10-24-2013 at 08:19 AM.

  8. #8
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    It doesn't have to be that way! I start with a slow, smooth, gentle horizontal slide. No wrenching. We move from there to alternating the slide from side to side (R, L, R, L) - still slow and controlled. Slowly bring in sliding the right forward and the left back and vice versa; making it faster and smaller over weeks (or months).

    Emphasis is on correct technique - no twisting, lifting or jarring and using the muscles under your bra strap rather than the traps.

    The problem I find isn't that people make a painful movement but rather when they move from doing one shoulder at a time - which everyone gets pretty quickly - to moving one shoulder forward while the other slides back they want to lock their perfectly mobile shoulders and twsit through the back.
    I think I have an idea of what you're talking about - I THINK - it'd help if you had a video of what you're talking about so I can make the visual connection (or best yet push & prod me though it but I don't think your arms reach this far lol!)

  9. #9
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    I've seen the one-shoulder shimmy in a music video as kind of a flirty thing; the dancer had her other hand on the side of her head (again, as a flirty kind of thing). Let me dig up the vid, brb...

    EDIT: Here it is. The dancer does a flirty one-shoulder shimmy at about 1:58, and again at about 2:41. I love this dancer!

    Last edited by Farasha Hanem; 10-25-2013 at 08:36 AM.

  10. #10
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    That looks like what I call a shoulder accent (with a bit of speed of course).

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