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Thread: Shimmy advice

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberry View Post
    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.
    Practice every day is a great idea - but you don't need a DVD for that! Shimmy while you clean your teeth Sometimes a little dip helps you get started again when the shimmy stops. Try and go just 30s more each time. STOP ONCE YOU ARE UNABLE TO SHIMMY CORRECTLY ANY MORE. Otherwise you just teach yourself how not to shimmy.

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    Junior Member magidah's Avatar
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    Default Probably too much information!

    While it is relatively accurate to say that an Egyptian shimmy comes from the knees, what is really happening is the hamstrings are pulling the knees back and forth under the body. Bring the weight of the body forward towards the ball of the foot -- raise yourself onto releve and then come down so that the whole foot is on the ground and relaxed but your weight doesn't shift back into the heels. Reach your ribcage forward and push from under the glutes, where the top of the leg meets the torso in back in order to keep the weight forward; and then drop the tailbone down to soften the knees (this gives you somewhere to move from). From here, pull the knees back-and-back-and-back-and-back in time to the music using the hamstrings to exchange the knees front to back in space. Too often I see a shimmy that is just a vibration, but it should be in time with the rhythm. It also doesn't need to be going a million miles per hour.....only as fast as the music. For example:

    Downbeats are:
    1-2-3-4

    Knees are happening like this:
    1-e-and-a 2-e-and-a 3-e-and-a 4-e-and-a

    So the right hamstring pulls knee back on the 1 & and; the left hamstring pulls knee back on e & a. (there are two complete pulls back right and left for each downbeat in the music). The best song I have ever found for this is actually English Beat's "Mirror in the Bathroom". Follow the chucka-chucka guitar/bass line with one exchange of the knees for each chucka sound.

    Pull energy up through the arches of the feet and up the adductors at the inside of the legs all the way through the pelvic floor, but relax EVERYTHING else. This is the hard part -- the harder you try the less it will work. You have to shake out the tension instead of feeling like you are trying to do something. I have many students tell me that their best shimmies happen in the shower because they are relaxed and their brains haven't turned on yet.

    Happy shimmies!

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    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Celeste Turbo Shimmy will help you develop weak leg as she makes you do it one leg only. At firs when I shimmied with one leg I thought you would have to do it twice as fast, but as your hips are still joined together, you don't!!!!
    Shoulder shimmies you can do whilst ironing or pushing a trolley when supermarket is quiet. Anything you can do whilst keeping your hands still, and you need to practise when your lega are doing different things, starting with walking and moving on to rythmic steps at different speed to arms. I really knew I was getting it when I found myself at the top of the stairs having shimmied up with a cup of tea in my up till then wobbliest hand.
    Adding legs to shoulder shimmies and arms to regular shimmies helps to make them automatic.

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    Do you think its "cheating" to shimmy with slightly lifted heels?

    My teacher told, that it was easier for her to start to learn in that way, however it will take about 2 years of practice to become good at shimmying.

    She also gave some advice that might be useful for some, having problems with shimmy. 1. Start to shimmy first with bent knees and slowly straighten the legs, that way you will find where it is the easiest for you to shimmy. 2. For some it is easier to shimmy by either concentrating only on the movement of the ankles, knees or butt.

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    Senior Member Marya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger Snap View Post
    Hello there! Can anyone offer me some advice on shimmying? From the basics really.

    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!
    This is a common problem, Kashmir's advice is really good. I also tell my students to stand in an open doorway with their arms holding onto the door jamb (edges of the door) and practice shoulder shimmies that way. Keep elbows pointed back, not down.

    It is also important to consciously relax the arms, as contradictory as that sounds, just stay aware of your body and when something starts to tighten, try to relax that area.

    The other thing that helped me is mental. Cassandra Shore says "you can't help but feel a little bit happy when you do shoulder shimmies, so it helps if you smile"

    Marya

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    Member Shamsa's Avatar
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    if you want dvd's Leyla Jouvana's 21 shimmies and 1001 of variations is also good, altough not really for beginners...

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    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    For shoulder shimmies, try doing it in the car while you're driving, your torso can't move cos it's supported by the backrest, so it's just shoulder that can go, go, go!
    Thanks to Renee and Pat from my class for that tip!

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adiemus View Post
    For shoulder shimmies, try doing it in the car while you're driving, your torso can't move cos it's supported by the backrest, so it's just shoulder that can go, go, go!
    Thanks to Renee and Pat from my class for that tip!
    And where did you think they got it? :-) Riding a motorbike is even better as it holds the hands wider.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Letti View Post
    Do you think its "cheating" to shimmy with slightly lifted heels?

    My teacher told, that it was easier for her to start to learn in that way, however it will take about 2 years of practice to become good at shimmying.
    Don't know about "cheating" - unless you are using the heels to create the movement in which case it is definitely nem szabad. Heels must not move up and down with a shimmy - or a rock - otherwise you are using the wrong muscles to do it and it will be almost impossible to layer.

    Actually the shimmy we start with has heels firmly on the ground, knees bent, and is driven by the waist muscles. This produces quite a big loose shimmy rather than the fine modern Egyptian one, but it can be seen by students easily in the mirror and gets people into relaxing everything.

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    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adiemus View Post
    For shoulder shimmies, try doing it in the car while you're driving, your torso can't move cos it's supported by the backrest, so it's just shoulder that can go, go, go!
    Thanks to Renee and Pat from my class for that tip!
    Just shimmied on the A1 at 80 mph. Very scary but the music got me going. didn't keep it up for long though as it is scary. i thnk a supermarket trolly is less scary but equally as good. Don't think I could do a motorbike as any wobbles would be more likely to make you come off.

    don't forget that you also need to practise with shoulders tilted at various angles and whilst walking and stepping. 2 different patterns steps and shoulders; arms and regular shimmies are a must once you get reasonably competent.

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