Belly Dance Moves

Well, this is it.

Ready? 

I'll take it really slowly and really gently.

You take things at your own pace and join in with as much as you want.


Posture

The first place to start is with learning how to prepare your body by standing in the correct posture. It’s pretty easy to get there, the challenge is to maintain it throughout your class.  Practice, practice, practice!

Warm up

Your first moves will involve moving your hips and keeping your head and upper body still. So pretend you have a glass of water on your head and on each of your shoulders. This will help you to isolate the hip movements.

Essential moves

In general, the main challenge of belly dance is that it requires you to isolate different parts of your body, usually your hips, but it could also be your chest, arms, hands or head. This means that you move just one part of your body whilst keeping the rest still. Some people find this easier than others, but everybody can achieve some level of isolation right away. From then on, it’s a matter of practicing your isolation skills in line with what your teacher has taught you and you’ll soon find that it gets easier.

Core movement

Some teachers encourage their students to improvise with the movements. This is because belly dance has a long tradition of being done to live music where the musicians will often improvise.

Basic sequence

Ready to put some of the moves together?

Intermediate moves

And if you're ready to go on, or just want a sneak peak of what your future lessons could hold, have a look at these more intermediate moves.

Cool down and stretch

And don't forget to gently take care of your muscles once your class comes to a close...

Belly dance progression

It’s hard to be precise but as a rough guide, I would say that you will be able to dance a simple routine alongside your teacher after around 10 classes - that's a sensible goal to have. After you’ve been dancing for a year or so you will likely be confident enough to dance a routine with your class but without the teacher. After two+ years of dance classes and practice, many students feel that they could have a go at making up their own routine. Though you can have a go at this as soon as you like!

Movements that usually take longer for belly dance beginners to master are:

  • hip and shoulder shimmies,
  • undulations of the body,
  • the Egyptian walk (also known as a three quarter shimmy).

Your teacher will almost certainly recommend that you practice these movements at home in order to master them. It’s good advice, too, as the repetition really helps your body get used to the unfamiliar movements.

Here is an example of how to practice at home between your first few classes:

  • Always start with some of the warm up stretches that your teacher has shown you in class, or follow along with my warm up here on danceclass.com
  • Drill your hip drops for around a minute and a half by doing 16 on each side and alternating sides.  Remember to keep your shoulders down and chest lifted.
  • Work on your figure of 8s for around 2 minutes by keeping your head still and your knees soft.
  • Shimmy every day for a period of time and gradually increase the time. If you find it hard to keep the rest of the body still try holding onto a counter top or the back of a chair to steady yourself.

TOP TIP:
It helps if you can practice in front of a mirror so you can keep an eye on your isolation.

And finally, you can find out more about me and how you can join my online beginners classes...

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› Belly dance moves