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  1. #1
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    Default In Need of Shimmy Advice

    Hello Everyone,

    I have a strange...phenomenon regarding shimmies . I have been reading the threads on shimmy advice. I practice whenever I'm standing. If there's a mirror, I'll practice walking toward or away from it to nail walking shimmies. But here's the thing. I can swivel my hips (twisting my hips forward and back) walking in any direction (left, right, forward, backward) with no problem. I can shimmy in place, even though I sometimes lose it or my knees would take over (and yes, I do find that taking a break and/or bending my knees more and/or starting off small in the movement then gradually going faster helps). I ALWAYS make sure that the movement stays in my glutes and not my knees. However, the strange thing is, I can walk with a shimmy powered from the glutes going left or right, crossing one foot over the other or moving one foot followed by the other next to it, but then I get what I call "hip stupid" when trying to simply walk forward with a shimmy. I lose the shimmy entirely or the movement shifts to my knees and I lose it. I have a spine curvature, so I thought perhaps it's somehow affecting my shimmies, but I have no problem doing them in place.

    By chance on this forum, I saw a clip of Alexandros and his shimmies (, by the way). I watched how he does them and it seems he just shifts his weight from the left leg to the right leg while walking forward. Are leg weight shifts the "proper" way to execute a walking shimmy? I watch those who do tribal and it looks more like a walking 3/4 shimmy, which is the way I've been practicing them, where there's seems to be a slight hip twist to front a bit, followed by the other hip with glute shimmy. Is this correct? Are walking glute shimmies just turbo 3/4 shimmies? Are walking shimmies just that, simply walking while doing a glute shimmy? Are there even instances where shimmying with the knees is warranted i.e. vibration-like shimmies? Maybe I'm confusing shimmy type with dance style with...I don't know what . It can SOOO frustrating because I in my mind's eye, I know how the movement is supposed to go, but my hips don't cooperate for it . Please, ANY advice is appreciated.

    Happy Shimmies,
    edaivs2
    Last edited by edavis2; 09-18-2008 at 04:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Member missanime's Avatar
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    i have problems too w/doing shimmies. granted i'm just a begginer, but i have the moves clearly understood in my head, but then my hips (or whatever) doesn't seem to want to do what i want them to!

    i think i know the differences you're talking about, and i'm guessing they're just 2 different looks. the one where the hips do the 'm&m's front-back while walking i think look pretty. but the other one - where you're doing more vertical or regular shimmying is where you say you lock up while walking? sounds like you may just need to work a little more on that one side. it's perfectly normal to have a favorite side when dancing, we just sometimes need to focus and work on the weaker side a bit more is all

  3. #3
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    There are many different shimmies. some people never use glutes - I can't do that one myself. Many people say that knee driven shimmies are the authentic "egyptian shimmy" and this is usually the most common, (but very difficult to walk with.)

    do you have a teacher? If so ask for some exercises. Or do you, as I suspect, learn just from dvds. There is really no substitute for real live advice.

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Just as there are lots of shimmies so there are lots of walking shimmies - in respect to driving muscles, weight and timing. There is no one "right" shimmy (unless you are doing someone's choreography) - ideally you want a bag of different shimmies for different looks.

    Personally I don't use the glute shimmy much - and never for a walking shimmy. The glutes are part of your stabilization when walking - no wonder you are having difficulties.

    I tend to use "waist" driven shimmies (ie the quadratus lumborum with the internal and external obliques). Two main variations is the 3/4 - which is defined by the timing (ie hip, hip, hip, pause) rather than the twist and the 4/4 (which is an even, constant shimmy with a walk underneath).

    If you want to break down the 4/4, start slow counting on (say) the right hip - up/down/up/down - 1,2,3,4. Then step on the 1. It's a bit like learning zills. The trick is to keep it even. As it becomes automatic you can speed it up a little more (with quicker music) until you have a natural walking speed.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    I have been confused about shimmies too.

    Kashmir, girls,thank you!

  6. #6
    Member trang1808's Avatar
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    oops I have trouble with shimmy too.

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