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Thread: Shimmy advice

  1. #1
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    Default Shimmy advice

    Hello there! Can anyone offer me some advice on shimmying? From the basics really.

    The teacher of class I went to a few years back (Egyptian) had perfect tiny little shivers, which she could walk with and turn etc., but I never quite got it. She said these were totally coming from her knees - can anyone explain in detail how? How do you feel your way into this movement? I'm "lucky" (ahem) in that I have plenty of ass, so the teacher was always happy with my shimmies (which were really just wobbles), but I felt that they weren't coming just from my knees at all. I'm pretty much OK with more knee-and-hip based shimmies.

    And then there's the shoulders. For some reason, although my waist and hips are lose and fluid, my shoulders are like a brick! Does anyone have any tips on how to losen these up? When I move them, I seem to be moving my whole upper torso...

    Thanks!

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    shoulders:
    sit on a chair so your butt is imobilized and then practice shoulders. Focus on tight arms and upper back/shoulder blades. This will ensure your arms do not flap about. Picture pushing a drawer closed with each shoulder. Do not involve your ribcage or breasts.
    Shimmies:
    If you are talking about egyptian shimmies that is...get a video of Fifi and copy hers! Always just the knees. But not tiny shivers - that is a different move and will impede your ability to add layers. Knees should be big with lots of steady movement in rhythm. Let the shimmy movement affect your whole body - be relaxed. Do not grip the floor with your feet! You should feel it everywhere. If you have trouble with your shimmies get on the floor with your legs in front of you. Support your upper body with your hands on the floor leaning back. Then shimmy with the knees only. Always start your shimmies with the weakest knee to build strength. Do this for a long time. This will give your shimmy spot on rhythm and killer thigh muscles!
    When you stand up again your shimmies will be looser and more fluid.
    When you add layers take some time moving your hips around while shimmying and get your knees acquainted with how they have to change to accomodate the weight change during layers.
    Good luck!

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    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum Ginger

    I've only been dancing for 2.5 years, but maybe I can still give some advice.
    As for the hip shimmy, I can't really tell because I don't know which shimmy your teacher was doing. Hip shimmies usually get easier when you bend your knees a little more. For shimmies I can walk with, I'm not sure if use only my knees to create them .

    As for the shoulder shimmy, wat helped me was practicing them by sitting down, so you can't move your lower body. Then slowly move your shoulders alternating forward and back. If you imagine you have a pencil in between your breasts (my teacher's words, not mine!), try drawing a horizontal line with that pencil.
    If this works, you can try do speed up the movement. Once you're more comfortable with that, try it while standing still, than while walking slowly etc.
    Good luck!

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    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Shimmies = practice, practice, practice. whenever you have a spare moment practice bending your legs in shimmy mode. I sometimes even do this in school playground when waiting for kids to come out. I use Turbo Shimmy by Celeste to practice as she has 10minute shimmy drills which make you stick to the drilling, and also strength building exercises.

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    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    shimmy whenever you can. They care great for warming you up at a cold bus stop

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    Ditto to all the advice above. I am still learning shimmy basics. My teacher taught us to go slowly at first. Then, increase to a faster shimmy. When you lose it, start slow again and keep practicing. What I find helps too is sitting down on a chair or in the car and practicing shifting your hips from side to side. It seems to have given me more control of just a basic, non-moving shimmy.

  7. #7
    Member PriscillaAdum's Avatar
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    I just posed this same question to a wonderful dancer that I had the priviledge of hosting a workshop for this past week-end and also of attending her performance last night, Sedona from Portland. She has THE most incredible shimmy I have ever seen. I couldn't take my eyes off her hips.
    And I thought I could shimmy. Heh. I asked her this morning before she left...HOW do you shimmy with such power? First thing she said was "Practice! practice! practice!" She told me that she would practice shimmying at every opportunity she had, even while brushing her teeth.
    She also said that it's very important to loosen everything up completely, until you feel that even your bones are loose. She said the even a tiny bit of tension in the legs, hips or glutes will hinder your shimmies.
    So, loosen up and practice! I know I'm going to.

    Regards
    Priscilla

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    I shimmied taking my dog outside, of course I can't walk with my shimmy yet, so everytime I stopped, I tried...(Luckily no neighbors were around to see.) I shimmied doing laundry. I think it is good to shimmy while doing other things...perhaps this makes it easier to start layering your shimmies? Multi-tasking again!

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    This topic is very helpful for me. I feel like my shimmies aren't strong enough. I have one weak knee that seems to stop moving when I try to shimmy for more than a minute.
    What instruction dvds have good shimmy drills? I think it would be very helpful to keep practising shimmys everyday.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Shoulder shimmies - start by just isolating your shoulders - lift each one individully, circles - backwards and forwards (if doing circles is hard start by rotating the whole arm, then bring into just the elbow then the shoulder - look at getting the back as well as the front; slide forward and back - without lifting (the reason why many people lift is they drive the movement from their upper traps - those big muscles up your neck - rather than the little ones in the middle of your back).

    Got the movement - may take a while. Now build control - push one forward and back; now one forward, one back - in the shoulder - not twisting the torso.

    Now smaller and faster.

    If you ride a motorbike - riding is ideal for practice - butt is fixed and so are your hands (usually). Less useful due to the size of most steering wheels is driving a car.

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