It is the hobby of stars like Shakira: belly dancing has become an international hype. And why not? Belly dancing is great exercise and is an art that anyone can practice and even perfect if you have the time and patience. If you want to learn how to belly dance, follow the steps below.
Method 1 of 3: Assume your starting position
Step 1. Start stretching
Warming up before you start dancing will prevent you from spraining an ankle or straining a muscle. Bend forward to touch your toes, roll your neck and shoulders, and straighten your wrists so you feel supple and loose. If you can bend back through your back, do so so that you stretch your abs.
- When you're getting ready to belly dance, let your hair down and wear a tank top or T-shirt. To accentuate your hips, you can tie a triangular scarf around your hips.
- Practice in front of a mirror so you can see what you are doing.
Step 2. Put on Arabic music to get you in the right mood
Choose from music with a solid beat or with a fairytale melody. You can choose a classical piece but an Arabic pop song is also good. Listen to Arabic music often to familiarize yourself with the Arabic rhythms. There are many CDs available on the internet that are specially made for belly dancing. These contain drum solos and pieces with a dramatic opening, a gripping middle and spectacular ending. As you progress you will learn which movements to make to the right music and rhythms. Arabic music also teaches you to understand and master the emotions of belly dancing.
Step 3. Assume your starting position
Start with a position where your upper body is straight. Don't arch your back and don't lean forward too much. Keep your buttocks in so that your buttocks make a straight line with your back. Bend your knees just a little bit, never lock them. Your feet are parallel and hip-width apart. Your chin points a little bit up and your shoulders are down and a little bit back.
Step 4. Keep your arms up and contract your left and then right glutes so that your hip goes up
Stand straight so that your back stays straight and doesn't arch. Alternate left and right sides by alternately contracting your right and left buttocks. Stay straight and keep your arms up. Your hands and arms go along with your hip, which moves to the right and left. You can do this softly and slowly or quickly and strongly, depending on the music. This exercise makes your hips move left and right. If you increase the tempo you do the hip shimmy.
Method 2 of 3: Learn to master the technique
Step 1. Learn to control the side movement and the forward movement
To move sideways, lower your left hip to raise your right hip, then lower your right hip to raise your left. Start slowly until you have perfect control of this move, then speed up until you shake your hips. Back-to-front movement simply moves your hips back and forth, using the center of your pelvis to make the move look gracious.
- Hold your arms overhead at a 90-degree angle. Let your fingers gently move with the movement so that you frame your movements nicely.
- To move sideways, first lift your right foot, especially your heel, until only your toes touch the floor. Use this move to raise your right hip for a count of two, then lower it lower than normal for a count of two. Repeat this move with your left leg and hip. You do this faster and faster until you can walk to the side in staccato.
- Use your knees, not your hips, to create momentum and movement.
- In order to learn belly dancing properly, it is very important to pay attention to the isolation of the different body parts. Try to keep your upper body still when you make your hip movements and try to keep one half of your body still when you make a movement with the other side. You can cut your body in half lengthwise.
Step 2. Make small circular movements with one hip at a time, the hip wheel
Try drawing small circles one hip at a time in the air. Don't forget to practice both sides. It is normal for one side to be easier or stronger than the other. This has to do with left or right handedness. Keep your arms up at your hips or to the side as you exercise. There is a smile on your face and your fingers are gracefully together and subtly move with your arms.
Step 3. Combine the moves
You don't have to repeat the same movement over and over. Once you have mastered a few techniques, you can start varying. Do the left hip wheel, right hip wheel, left hip wheel twice, then right hip wheel twice. Or do African shimmy or the belly accent and let this transition into a hip drop. Make sure that you exert your buttocks and stomach at the right time so that your hips move in the right direction.
Method 3 of 3: Learning the camel
Step 1. To learn the camel, move your hips forward and back
In the middle, contract your abs so that your hips move back better. You bend your knees slightly and you keep your upper body straight so that you look elegant. You use three muscles with the camel: (1) a sickle-shaped muscle above your pubic area; (2) the area between your first muscle and below your belly button; (3) just above your belly button up to your ribs (the muscle that hurts when you laugh really long and hard).
Step 2. Try to tighten and relax each muscle group individually
In this way isolate the first group, the second group and then the third group. Once you can isolate you are well on your way to learning the camel. Practice the isolation, the whole movement and this movement in combination with the other movements.
- Start with bare feet or sneakers. No heels.
- Try not to be self-conscious. The smile on your face is the most important thing. Feel confident, have fun and feel beautiful and sexy!
- Arm movements look better if you keep your fingers right: your thumb inwards and your middle and ring fingers together.
- Keep your head straight as you move. Occasionally, you can look at your hips to draw attention to them.
- You can leave your belly exposed so that you can see the movements extra well.
- Put on music you like. If you like Shakira you can put that on too and try to imitate her. Even though she dances fast, you can still imitate the movements slowly and learn it that way. You can look up the videos on YouTube and imitate so that you can easily pause the videos.
- You can put on anklets and bracelets to divert attention from the fact that you are a novice.
- Dance in front of a large mirror. Buying a full-length mirror is not an unnecessary luxury. You can also buy some belly dance instruction DVDs from the internet such as from Veena & Neena or Amira.
- Try quick hip drops where you shake your hips quickly. Stay upright and don't lean to one side.
- Go take classes. Keep in mind that there are different styles of belly dancing, ranging from tribal to folklore and classical raqs sharki. Ask your teacher what he or she teaches. Look on Youtube for different dancers and styles so that you become familiar with belly dancing.
- Dance on flat feet unless you're tiptoeing to the side. as you progress you will dance on your toes more and more.
- This looks fabulous in hipsters!
- Take lessons if you can. It's a completely different (and better) experience than videos or articles.
- Put on a hip scarf with coins or bells. The sound of it helps you to get the right feeling. Some accessories such as belly dance belts already have the coins or bells on them.
- Always warm up before you start and cool down when you are done.
- Don't force anything, be careful with stretching and stretching.
- Start slow, don't move your hips too fast at first.
- Before enrolling in a course, orient yourself with various teachers. Take trial lessons so that you eventually do the course that suits you.
- Don't lock your knees.
- Don't step on your heels.
- In these types of stores, they will usually advertise local classes if they support them. It can be painful if you just want to learn to dance and keep going, as instructions don't physically improve the look of the dance, or help with techniques, etc.