May 11, 2009, 10:17:08 PM5/11/09
Feeling your insides and getting to know your muscles is the greatest
way to begin to belly dance, because you focus on feeling your self,
which is fun! Belly dance is the sweetest way to love your abs and
build your internal body strength. Belly dance only looks hard because
we are used to focusing on arm and leg moves to understand a movement.
So just shift your focus on your softness, and the SHAPES of the
movements and the belly movements will start to feel right and make
The other reason to focus on FEELING your belly muscles as you begin
the dance is you will look a lot more seductive and alluring. If you
try to do the movements fast when you are just starting out, you tend
to look like you are trying too hard and you look like you are not in
touch with yourself. Belly dance is all about being in touch with
yourself and letting others understand how this feels without you
looking like you are struggling or in pain.
Here are five basic shapes that create beginners belly dance moves:
1. CircleThis is the sexiest and simplest. All you need do is feel the
joints of your hip, the shoulder and make a circle. Keep the ball of
the foot planted on the ground and roll that hip joint, feel the
fullness of that joint and pull it into your self. There are so many
circles to explore in the joints of the body, just make sure you feel
the full circle otherwise you are cheating yourself.
2A. Figure 8 - Hips.This is the toughest but the most hypnotic. Use
your finger to draw the shape of a horizontal figure 8 in front of
you. Have your hips follow your finger - do it SLOW. And SLOW down,
the slower - the more seductive and the more juice you can feel in
2B. Figure 8 - Belly Undulation or Belly Roll.This is the most
confusing but the most satisfying. Start by lifting your heart with a
breath. Exhale and drop the chest and pull in the belly button as if
the wind is taken out of you. Move the belly button into spine and
drop the tail and butt. Tuck the tail under and pull in the lower
belly underneath your belly button. And start the vertical figure8 all
over again by breathing into the heart and lifting the chest.
Exploring different ways you can massage your belly organs with this
roll is the best way to practice the movement as it is intended to be
therapeutic and sensual.
3. The ripple or wave - as used in the "Snake arms". This move is
similar to the "breaking" move used in hip hop but it is like feeling
water flow through your arms. The easiest way is to feel your armpits.
Yes! Lift up one wrist, then the elbow and feel the space created by
the armpit, like there is golden air coming out of your ribs and the
arm is lifted by the golden mist. (Your imagination is everything is
4. Diamond (square or box)The diamond shape or square is how you
accent the front, back and sides of the hips, chest and head. You can
focus on only doing side to side moves, as with the head slide. Or you
can focus on doing front to back moves, as with the hip tucks up and
down. Hip tucks lift the pelvic muscles up (front) and soften and
release them down (back). The chest lift is also an up and down
movement. The focus for the chest lift is feeling the heart lift front
and drop back into the center of the body.
5. The "V"This is the shape used for lifting the heart from the center
of the chest up to one side and down to center and then up to the
other side. The "V" is also the shape used for stepping one foot
forward, then stepping feet together and stepping the other foot
forward to shift weight from one hip to the other.
Exploring with the shapes of belly dance will give you a beginner's
vocabulary for the form of belly dance. To dive deeper into yourself I
always recommend training with a professional belly dancer as they
will give you new ways to explore this ancient art and teach you
combinations of movements that continue to challenge your muscles and