After taking so many workshops all over the world, I’ve come to the conclusion that no instructor teaches the mechanics of a shimmy (or exercises leading into it) the same way. I researched the topics for hours on who has the best shimmy and different shimmy styles and all the results kept linking me back to Randa Kamel and Jillina who do the very Egyptian, earthy, Reda style shimmy!
I always thought I had a decent shimmy until I changed up my posture and said “so that’s how that’s supposed to look!” Below are some tips on achieving that same, very relaxed but strong look!
- Strength training is not just for bodybuilders! Dancers are athletes too. To be a GREAT athlete, it takes a lot of perseverance, practice, and of course conditioning! If your shimmy is lackluster or difficult to maintain, a little bit of strength training goes a LONG way! If this statement applies to you, also go check out a post I wrote last year with my very own powerhouse shimmy workout 😉 Also, the Reda style shimmy is largely a hamstring movement. Make sure to pay attention to that particular muscle!
- Posture is key! This may be the magical statement you’ve been waiting for like I have! Most people are aware that Egyptian dancers are famous for their slightly tilted back postere, however, in the USA we interpret that as coming from the waist up (which it should really be stemming from the knees!) So remember that your hips alignment should stay behind your knees!
- Stand up and bend your knees slightly as you normally would
- Take your hips and push them slightly back behind your knees
- Position your chest directly over the knees to keep your alignment
- Tuck your upper abs in and go! Doesn’t that feel better?
- Once you’ve mastered the first two tips, my last point of advice is to practice isolating the shimmy from your upper body. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m one of the people who relaxes too much and the shimmy gets a little lost. Remember to use your legs/hamstrings/knees in a pumping motion, relax your midsection, and keep the upper abs engaged.
Hope that helps some of you as much as it helped me! And thank you to everyone who has ever googled or asked this question in a forum!