Hi I'm Sadie today I'm going to start you with a warm-up that will get you thoroughly stretched out and then I'm going to take you into a series of motions that will introduce you to the technique we're going to work on later on in the video and then at the very end I'm going to have a surprise for you as a fun mini choreography so let's go ahead and get started we're going to take a nice inhale and exhale down keep. Those knees over the toes and press back inhale up and on this last one we're going to clasp the hands reach up and take it back stretching out the abdominals bringing those shoulder blades together in the back we're going to release the hands drop it forward keeping the New Year straight we really want to press into those hamstrings nice flat back keeping those muscles along the spine engaged so we have a strong back shoulders are lifted and we don't want to bend the knees when we do the stretcher we lose that stretch we want new hamstrings and we're going to take it down to the floor and over time you. Really want to work this stretch if you're up here now release each time you work with this video try to get yourself down a little bit lower and keep those knees straight we're going to take a slow plie down bending the knees rolling it up one vertebrae at a time we're going to take that same flat back stretch over the right leg we reach with on straight back muscles engaged and those knees are straight we're going to drop it down over the right foot trying to bring the forehead to the knee and we're going to reach up with the right arm make sure to keep the legs straight and now we're going to take it. Down into a lunge on the right side let the left leg extend out you want to keep your right knee right over your heel and we are stretching out the left hip and again over time if you want more of a stretch you can bring it down onto the floor we're going to bring it up keep the toes facing forward and bring it to.
The front we're going to plie down again. We're going to take the elbows place them on to the knees and push back stretching out our inner thigh it's really important we get all these muscles stretched out and that you work on your flexibility roll it up one vertebrae at a time and let's do a nice. Gentle stretch for the neck going.
Counterclockwise and let's search the.
And flat back stretch over the left leg. Reaching out with the on flat fast engaging those muscles along the spine shoulders are lifted and pressing into that left hamstring drop it down over. The left leg bringing the forehead to the knee making. Sure to keep the knees straight and then we're going to reach up with the left hand and now we're going to take it down.
Into a lunge on the Left sliding that back leg out keeping the left knee right over your heel stretching out the right hip again you can take it down onto your forearms and we're going to pull up and bring it.
Front plie down.
And roll it up good job.
Let's continue by getting the arms and the hands nice and warmed up we're going to take the arms up nice and long and bring it down nice and long up energy through the fingertips and bring it down we're going to start with some wrist circles circling the wrists in from the pinky the pinky finger is going to lead the circle up and up now we're going to. Switch the direction and we're going to bring it in leading with the thumb and in and in so the real trick to this one. Is keeping the elbows lifted as we come up notice my elbows stay nice and lifted and down down down and down one more.
Leading it in with the pinky energy through all the fingers and take it down keep those elbows lifted and now we're going to undulate the shoulders back rolling alternating right left right left and if it feels like your chest is wanting to move around with this this is okay this is a very open movement the upper body is moving along with the shoulders roll now we're going to take it to the front with the right left roll roll again we're just trying to get energy flow learning how to really roll them shoulders lift it up and bring it forward and the cue ball to the shoulders back really feel that contraction in the upper back roll up take it back up.
And now we're going to roll it forward take it up and forward so we can track bring it forward contracted in the back row forward contract for when and again let's take a nice stretch up down and up.
Now we're going to start with an undulating arm we are going to let that arm come all the way out to the side and then drop it down and we want to feel resistance here I like to say if you were submerged in a pool of water you want to think about what your arm would naturally do with the weight of the water as we bring the arm up the hand trails and as we bring it down the hand trail can also think of it as you're painting if you were to take the strokes of the paintbrush up and down up and down let's try that on the left side up and down up and down and so also notice.
How my arm stays straight out to the side and then I'm not bringing it in forward this way all the way out let's. Keep that going let's alternate we're going to go right and left right and.
Left so the sequence starts with the. Shoulder elbow wrist and fingers shoulder elbow wrist and fingers shoulder elbow wrist finger shoulder elbow wrist finger and as one arm goes the other one is going to keep trailing so there's never a dead energy both arms are always working at all times and if you notice my ribcage is moving a little bit side to side with the arm and I have energy moving all the way through my fingertips there's always a tension in the finger we don't want dead hands that's not going to make this movement look pretty so keep that energy flowing everywhere now let's go back to the shoulder roll and let's just lift the arms up and take. Them out to the side and that's our undulating arms back to the center so our undulating arm really starts from that shoulder roll it's the first movement and then it's followed by the elbow wrist and fingers good job.
Now let's move to some upper-body isolation I'm going to have you take a second position stance with the feet turn the feet out and we're going to plie down just a little bit and what this is going to do is going to force your quadricep muscles and your leg muscles to really have to work and it's also going to Center your core what we want to do now is we want to isolate the upper body from the lower body we're going to be doing some ribcage slides squares and circles so I want you to think everything from your waist down is completely still nothing is going to be moving we can gently place the hands right here make sure your knees are pressed back the energy of the knee is coming forward over the toe you never want to be in here that's very damaging for the knees and your pelvis is tucked under so we're going to slide to the right really use that flexibility slide.
To the left continue that slide right and left slide right and left I'm really.
Using my oblique muscles to help me make the slide contraction slide and slide I also want to think of keeping your chest horizontal with the floor I like to.
Imagine if you had a piece of string going through your ribcage and somebody was pulling on either side you want the entire ribcage to move over and again keeping everything from the waist down nice and isolated we're going to take that same exercise forward and back so we're going to take the ribcage forward slide it back forward slide it back now. What I don't want you to do is to let the pelvis come loose you want to keep the pelvis tucked under every time we shoot forward with the chest we want to keep that pelvis tucked under and we want to bring it back into the sternum really engaging that upper ab muscle so we're going to slide forward bring it back push forward bring it back forward bring it back push forward bring. It back so we're really contrasting upper back bring it into those ABS upper back abs and again we're seeing horizontal parallel with the floor we're not lifting the chest parallel with the floor keeping that pelvis tucked under we want to feel a nice stretch in that back and now we're going to take it into square we're going to go right front left back right front switch directions take it left front right back left front. Right now circle take it right front left back right front and switch clockwise and left front again take it.
Right and right and make sure to keep the lower body isolated working just the chest and left now we're going to work on lifting the ribcage up release it down so now we're working vertically take it up and down and still plie down into those legs working those quad muscles really important to build those muscles for dancing lift and release I'm.
Really bringing those shoulder blades together but not the shoulders my shoulders stay relaxed they're not going like this just the shoulder blades and again I'm bringing it into the upper abs so lifting and releasing really think of pressing the top of your chest all the way up lift almost as if you were taking a deep breath lift and take it up to speed lift release lift release you can really see my entire ribcage is moving here lift release lift release lift release and now we're going to take that into a vertical square as well as a circle so we're going to move right up left down right up left down right up left down right up.
Left switch left up right down left up.
Right down left up right down one more.
Time really lifting now we're going to circle up left down Circle up left down.
This one sometimes can be a little bit harder than the horizontal right up left down so we slide we lift we slide we drop slide lift slide and release it slide lift slide and drop slide lift. Couple more slide it all the way over lift it and slide and drop slide lift slide and drop sometimes the chest takes a little bit of time to really open it up and get that flexibility going but you did a great job.
Now for the last part of our warm-up we are going to focus on lower body isolations just like we did the upper body we are now going to move just everything below the waist and we're going to start with horizontal movements and then we're going to do vertical movement so first I'm going to have you stand about shoulder width apart I'm going to have you lost your knees into place and then I want you to tuck and pull the pelvis under and this is where I want you to keep your pelvis for the rest of the exercises in our warm-up we're going to hold the arms out to the side and we're going to start with a slide push push push push so now we are.
Moving just the lower body and we're keeping our upper body nice and still making sure to keep that pelvis tucked under push and push push and now let's.
Take it up to speed so slide slide slide slide slide slide really feeling that. Stretch in those obliques over time you.
Get the flexibility you'll gain more flexibility in your hip push and push bring the feet together and now we want to push the hips forward and back same thing keeping the pelvis tucked under push to the front pull it back push to. The front pull it back making sure to keep that pelvis tucked under we don't want to leave this way with a scoop keep it tucked under and push keep it tucked under pull back forward back and up to. Speed push push push push so forward.
Pull it back really notice how I keep my pelvis tucked under my weight is shifting from the front of the foot to the back we're going to put those together into a big exterior pelvic circle starting right going counterclockwise five six here we go push right to the front left back push right to the front left and back notice how I'm still keeping my pelvis kept them there all the way around right front left now switch take it left front right and back really feel that stretch all the way through the midsection the back and the obliques and last front right last one on the.
Right again right front left and which take it left front right and which counterclockwise and switch clockwise.
Now we're going to do twist again we're moving our hips from horizontally and I let you bend the knees just a little bit and I want you to bring the right hip all the way in front of you as if it were to reach 12 o'clock in the o'clock so I want you to imagine that you are in the face of the clock 12 o'clock is in front of you 6 o'clock is behind you we are going to just twist those hips all the way in front of us to 12 o'clock here we go twist release it twist release it right and release left and release right and release left and release twist twist so again of course your hips may not be as flexible as you want them yet to get all the way to 12 o'clock but that's what you're working for forward forward forward releasing back.
To neutral forward neutral forward and forward again really feel that stretch through the obliques forward and notice how I'm keeping my upper body isolated I'm not turning to my whole body with it and keeping it nice and still as I'm twisting my hips forward and forward moving horizontally still keeping my pelvis tucked now right and left right left push push.
Push and push move it forward forward keep the pelvis tap and keep the chest. Stationary twist twist twist twist now.
Let's really warm up those hips right left right left twist but I'm really using my muscles I'm not just letting my hips swing uncontrollably I'm really engaging my core nice and tight using those stomach muscles because you're going to find later on in belly dance when we get to the technique we really have to use the muscles and everything we do twist twist twist twist give me.
One more a count here we go on five six. Seven eight.
And now for our verdict hip movement so I want you to bring the feet together we're going to plie down just a little bit that means bend those knees we don't want them going past the toes we still want to see our toes we want to pull the pelvis under to lift a chest and have you bring the arms just out to the side and I just want you to rock the hip side to side I don't really. Want you to think about muscles or anything involved I just want you to rock those hips side to side notice how we really need that leg strength that I was talking about earlier in the quads keep the pelvis tech bender right left push right and left now we're moving vertically we're bringing those hip bones up up before we were moving out to the side and again I'm keeping my upper body nice and still only moving below the way right left right left right left.
Press press press press so I am weighted.
Equally in both of my feet and I am pushing off the floor but I'm keeping my knees bent you never want to hyperextend the knees back like this keep them always in a plie pelvis touched under. Now we're going to take it up to speed and right left right left just warming up the legs and the hip right left right left later on we're really going to talk about the muscles involved to create ups or downs right now we're just doing vertical hit by solution right left and.
Let's take it up one more not here we go right left right left right left right left.
Right pelvis tucked under knees bent now.
I want you to step back with the right foot your weight is going to be in your right foot you're going to Demi point with the left foot right here and we're just going to frame our body I just want you to lift and release this forward left hip lift and release lift and release so you need to stay weighted in this back right leg lift and release again I really want you to focus on stretching all through the hip keeping that pelvis tucked under lift and release lift and release let's go ahead and bring the right arm up and now we're going to put our accent on the drop so drop drop lift drop lift drop drop drop.
And keep that going drop and drop now.
We're going to add a little flick of the foot with that movement so I'm going to count you down we're going to do eight count and then we're going to release the foot and kick five six going to look like this here we go and drop two three. Four five six seven release the foot on.
Eight one two three four five six seven.
And eight now for four two three release on four one two three release on tour so. You should feel a little burn going on over here on the right side for now on.
To drop release drop release so remember. Your hip assuming your metronome it never stops it's always dropping drop and drop drop drop drop drop.
Every other count the foot list naturally with that hip lift drop lift drop lift and if that's too much just keep the drop going drop and drop let's try that on the other side and get a little butt burn over here on the left so we're going to drop drop drop drop drop drop so now remember you all of.
Your weight should be back here in the left leg your right foot is just gently placed holding you for balance and we're just lifting and releasing the right hip drop drop and let's take it for the countdown of eight four and twos with the kick so one two three four five six.
Seven release it and again two three.
Four five six seven and release four and four drop drop drop.
And release drop drop drop and release.
Last one and we're going to go for two here we go drop please lift drop releases drop releases drop and release good now let's talk about the vertical pelvic tilt we're going to let the pelvis lift and release so we're lifting and dropping lift and drop the pelvis you want to lift the pelvis and drop the pelvis lift and drop I don't want you to squeeze your buttons though to make that happen just think about lifting and dropping lift now take it up to speed here we go lift truly lift really if you did the. Last exercise right you should feel a nice burn back there now we want to take that into our app lift and release lift. And release lift and release notice how I keep my knees bent my level stays the same so I'm not changing my level with it or popping it just knees are bent lift and release my upper body stays isolated it's not moving at all just from the waist down release lift release lift release and take it up to speed go.
Lift release lift release so we want equal emphasis on both the front and the back again this is just for our warm up later on during technique we're really going to break some of these moves down everybody has the natural ability to move their body in all these different motions the hard part is putting them together in the patterns that we're going to do later now we're going to take those four motions the sides inside lifting and the vertical tilt up and back and we're going to create an inferior hip circle earlier we did the big one now we're going to do the little one our hips are going to stay right in our Center spend the knees we're going to take the hip to the right front left and back right front left and back right front black and back just rotating the hips around the base of the spine just let it go sometimes if we think about it too much that actually makes it harder so just try to rotate the hips right front laughs and back we're going counterclockwise right front left back and switch it take it left so now we're. Going to clockwise you're probably going to find one direction that's easier for you and just for fun let's speed it up a little bit left left left left left left.
And switch the reactions take it right right right right right right.
And Switzer erect and take it left left left left now pick your favorite.
Direction whichever one you're good at and really take it up to speed good job.
Now before we get started in the technique section of this video I really want to take a minute or two to break down the body line in the posture as dancers it's the number one key ingredient to making us look poised and graceful so for belly dance our posture is going to be pelvis is almost always going to be tough under unless we're doing some kind of a move that alters that like a the pelvic tilts we did earlier but really that's to protect our spine and it's also to give us the body line to really keep the energy forward there are dance forms where you know we really work the backside more but in belly dance the focal point is always coming forward and in this area so we want to keep that pelvis tucked the other important thing is to remember is to keep the knees in a soft plie at all times this is where we get our range of motion from if our knees aren't bent we can't have that full range of motion all we can do is twist forward so again we want to stay plie down here which is why it's so important to work those quad muscles and our leg muscles in general to build that strength for our stamina to be able to just hold our posture just to be able to stand in the different postures here for several minutes practicing is a big workout in itself so let's talk about that our feet are usually pointed forward and we're going to bend those knees just slightly again we want to be able to see our toes you don't want to bend too far down and hurt the knees and then we want to keep that pelvis tucked under those two are very important what comes next is what's going to give us our grace so we want to lift that chest up and out sometimes different style stylistic choices might bring us to lean back more or something like that but in general you want to think lift up and out again what that does is that really links in the torso makes our torso nice and long and it really puts the emphasis here and it makes us taller than we really are our shoulders we want to keep the shoulders dropped we never want to have our shoulders up in our ears like this shoulders dropped and then we have a whole array of different movements we can do with the arms in the hand I'm just going to take you through a few of them the most basic position is belly down second position which is out here to the side we want to have a soft bend in the elbows we don't want too strong bend in the elbows you want to think of everything we do is upper body in the arms and the fingers as energy extending our energy out to our audience and when we do certain moves that really breaks our energy line this is breaking the energy line unless you're doing a stylistic choice again and you're you've made the conscious decision that you want this look but in general belly down second position elbows are listed softly bent fingertips are up I always say to wiggle the fingers somewhere in there so that you feel that energy coming all the way through let's talk a little bit about the hands on the fingers you want to feel tension in the hands I like to think of pressing out and then bringing that middle and some finger together not necessarily together like this but like they're coming towards each other to extend that energy through the fingers it really opens up the hands again the shoulders are dropped and then we want to think of holding oranges or eggs or whatever it is that you like to visualize in our armpits which means our armpits are also involved in this our shoulders are lifted they're dropped but they're there muscles are tensed and they're working so we don't ever want to be dropped in dead energy here so let's just think elbows up our shoulders we've got we're holding oranges under our shoulders they're in our armpits we have energy coming through the fingers and what about everything else our feet are together our knees are bent our pelvis is tucked and our chest is lifted up and out and then most importantly I always think it's important to practice with a smile or some kind of facial expression because bad habits such as not practicing with that will translate later into your dancing so I always make sure to have some kind of energy coming through and your facial expressions as well so for the rest of this video I really want you to focus on keeping that posture pelvis cocked chest lifted me softly bent smile arms out we can also take it up into fifth position we can move here on a 90 degree angle here we can add some undulating arms we can take it down here into first position we can frame behind we call this a frame down here and you always want to think of framing your body when you're dancing for your audience so if you're my audience I'm going to frame my hip you don't ever want to cut that energy off or anything unless again you know something like this would be nice but let's remember that when we start our technique.
Now let's have some fun with technique we're going to start with figure eight let's take some of those motions that we learned in our warm-up and now apply them to different patterns such as our figure eight we're going to first be moving horizontally with our figure eight we did some horizontal movements in our warm-up so if you remember the slide and. The twist those two motions are the only motions that you need to create your figure eight and so I know you can do it you already did it in your warmup again we want to focus on keeping our hips here nice and parallel with the floor it's a horizontal movement so we're going to start by drawing a figure eight on the floor with our hips we're going to start down beat on the right hip so we're just going to twist that right hip forward to twelve o'clock again and we're going to slide it out to the side and twist it back all of our weight is in the right foot and now we're going to cut through the center shift our weight onto the left foot and now our left hip is in place forward we're going to slide it back and now we're set up again to cut through the center and bring that right hip front to back cut through the center left hip front to back cut through the center right hip front to back cut through the center so if that's a little hard to think about all those different components again just let those hips move and think of drawing that figure eight on the floor starting on the right side so we're going to go right four two three four change six seven eight right hip and left hip.
So we're keeping in mind all those ideas about our posture in our body line that we talked about earlier left so we want.
To go right hip and left hip so now. Let's add some more flexibility in there let's really make that movement bigger you want to push out to the right push out to the left I'm keeping my feet connected to the floor sometimes it feels easier to cheat if we want to lift up the heels but let's keep those heels nice and firmly on the floor right and.
Left moving that figure eight from the front to the back front to back change front to back my way from the right foot and now it's in the left foot I'm bringing it front slide out bring it back cut through front slide out bring it back cut through front slide out bring it back front slide out bring it back you can make these as slower as fast as you want to and bigger as small as you want to I can really take it a little bit faster and make the movement smaller even faster right left right.
Left or we can take it really slow really big big good now let's take that.
Same exact motion but we're going to switch the direction we're going to bring it from the back to the front back to the front keeping it horizontal we're going to stick with the right hip down beat and this time we're going to prepare it to the back and we're going to swing it out to the side front again my weight is in the right foot I'm going to cut through the center shift that weight onto the left bring my hip out to the side in front cut through bring it out to the side front cut through back side front cut through so I'm on the right switch to the left and on the right which to the left so.
We're going to go right and left right left with the weight in the right foot.
To the left foot bringing that hip back to front back to front back to front back to front back front back to front keeping that pelvis tucked under I want you to watch what happens when you don't tuck the pelvis and we don't tuck the pelvis we get all this other stuff extra stuff going on and it changes the look of the horizontal plane that we're working on so we're going to talk a little bit more about the other direction which is vertical but right now I really want you to keep that pelvis tucked under keep your hips working on a horizontal plane parallel to the floor and again you can make these really big and small big small fast or slow and let's move to our vertical hip isolations with the figure eight.
For our vertical figure Eight's the two movements that we're going to need is again that slide the horizontal sliding motion but this is actually a vertical movement so we're going to add in that vertical hip isolation up and down that we did earlier in our warm-up this one is a lot harder because we really have to engage all those muscles of the core it can be a little bit fatiguing also on the legs and the quads so take your time and be patient with this move this is definitely beyond even a beginner move but it's fun to start now so we're going to go ahead plie down bend those knees tuck that pelvis under you want to envision that you're sandwiched in between two walls the only way you can move here is out and up this way we're going to be now drawing our figure eight right in front of us vertically here and we're going to be drawing that shape with our hips we're going to again start down beat on the right so we're going to first crunch that right hip up into our oblique we're going to slide it out and release it down all of our weight on the right side as we release got hip down we're actually preparing over here on the left for the left side so we're already crunched up we're going to slide it out drop it down the most important part of this it's not too hard to go ahead and get that scooping motion or grabbing motion with the hips the hardest part is bringing it through the center through the abdominals so we crunch up we slide out we drop it down and now just like we cut through the center on the horizontal we have to cut through the center but we have to do it this way through our app we bring it up out release it down pull in to the center of the ABS up out down up out down nice and slow just give that movement a try with your hips there we're going to go to the right and to the left right and left we have to keep.
The knees bent on this one if my knees aren't bent I can't go anywhere I can only slide so bend the knees and we're going to lift up out slide it down cut through up outside down tight through the apps up out and down up out and down again we're going to keep that pelvis tucked under because we want to keep our energy forward if I'm back here I lose emphasis off my hips so we go up out and down up out and down on.
The left right and left six seven eight.
Once again notice that my feet are firmly planted on the floor I'm not cheating by using my foot that's a stylistic choice again if you get better at this move you can lift the heels but for now you really want to focus on using that core using those muscles so let's take that up to speed starting right we're going to go right left really bend down into those knees giving you more range of motion to do the movement right and left right this.
Movement is also called Amaya because it's our vertical figure eight down down down down the accent is down and this. One is called a Maya ma y a right and left keep that pelvis tucked under right. And left right and left again you can.
Make these really big really slow really small or really fast let's try it a little faster right left right left right left now let's take that same exact motion we're going to flip it upside down and turn it into a vertical figure eight app which is also known as a sway we're going to start on the right so this time we drop it down bring it out and pull it up and now we pull into the ABS this way from the top left is down out up pull in down out up pull it. Down out up pull in down out up pull it.
Laughs and right and left and right really see.
How my ab muscles are really working here right and left keep that pelvis.
Tucked under keep those knees bent and feeder on the floor my chest is nice and isolated moving just the hip right and left this is our sway bringing that. Vertical figure eight up and let's try it a little faster and good job.
I want you to remember that everybody learns at a different pace and some of these moves that we're going to learn today are more difficult than actually being labeled as just beginning so take your time and rewind a section as much as you need to and work with it as much as you need to and know that everybody is unique in the way that we learn so I have no doubts that you can do it so you just learned your different types of figure-eight movements so I'm going to give you a little bit of a variation on how you can actually turn it more into a dance instead of just drilling the same movement over and over so we're going to go back to our vertical figure eight up which is also that sway to remember we came down the up and we're going to do a three-quarter variation when we call something three-quarter that means we're moving three out of four beats or three out of four counts so instead of going one two three or we're going to do one two three and hold on the floor so we're going to start on the right hip with our sway that's our vertical figure eight bringing it up why don't we just go ahead and warm back up with that for a minute we're going to go down to us bring it up up up I like to think of this one as a scooper you're kind of scooping something up with your hip up up up up up.
Right left right and left and now we're.
Moving to every count let's go into that three-quarter variation it's going to look like this we're going to go right left right drag it out left right left.
And drag it out or hold it right left. Right and hold left right left drag it.
Out so right two three and left two.
Three and right. Two three and the left two three couple.
More times really use those abs you're.
Not feeling some tension in the ABS there you're probably not using those muscles right drag it out so fast fast.
Slow six seven eight fast fast slow six.
Seven eight remember what we talked about before about no dead energy in the hands there's really no dead time in dancing either unless it calls for it in the music we really want to drag that movement out and left right left good.
Let's do that same thing with Amaya which is our figure eight vertical going down on the three-quarter variation five six five six here we go down down down.
Nice and slow down down down nice and.
Slow right left right nice and slow.
Left right left nice and slow keep it going right two three hold before left two three hold.
The floor so it's right left right and.
The left right left good job so I really.
Want you to try to start focusing on those arms move the hands undulate the hands and the arms a little bit with that we're going to do another variation with the horizontals we're going to move in and out alternating we're going to go horizontal right left right left now.
Change back to front back to front back to front change we're going to take it front to back right left right left. Change right so we're always starting on the right just changing back to front back to front back to front change front to back front to back front to back change back to front back to front back to front and front to back front to back. Front to back one more back to front back to front back to front and change front to back front to back front to back.
And now for one of my favorite moves the undulations we have undulations down and undulations up also known as just a regular undulation and a reverse undulation our undulation can also be exterior and interior the exterior is which you just saw me do it's nice and big and really it's a skeletal movement meaning I'm really manipulating the spine and my skeletal structure to help me along with the movement as well as the muscles an interior movement is going to mean I'm just using the muscle so if I were backed up against a wall nothing would be moving except for the muscle which is also known as a tummy roll so I'm going to have you start with an exercise that's going to help to stretch out and open up the back a little bit for our undulation when you have you take your hands and put them gently above your knees and we're going to start with a cat and cow exercise that you might have done before in yoga we're going to start with the cap which is really going to arch up we're going to round out that back and I want you to really feel that you're pulling and stretching and that you're working even beyond a level that you're normally used to here so that we can really open up that back and we're going to take it down into the cow same thing really going to arch in our lower back and then we're going to pull it back up into the cat and bring it back down so I really. Want you working on the flexibility as a sign here when you bring it up into the cat we're really stretching out the upper back we take it down into the cow and we're really stressing out the lower back up down up brings down you can also.
Do this exercise on the floor up and down we can also do it fully standing so we can go here and here here.
Here so we're the cow position cat open.
Open and close open and close good so.
Let's start by breaking down the undulation down which really comes from moving the chest again so I want you to not focus on anything below the waist that's going to come naturally in this movement what we want to do is we want to push forward with the chest lift pull it back and release it to neutral we're making a circle this way I want you to think of your chest as the ferris wheel at a circus and we have to make a full rotation we have to bring it all the way up and around your people are in their seats they paid for their ticket on the ferris wheel and you got to get them all the way around on a smooth drive forward. Up back release forward up back release we're really making this one nice and big push forward lift the chest up bring.
It back and release forward up back and. Release notice how my shoulders are relaxed sometimes there's a tendency to wanna lift the shoulders with this keep the shoulders relaxed if you have to clasp the hands in the back focus on just working the ribcage and once you.
Start to get comfortable with creating that circle full rotation of the ferris wheel then you can start to let the rest of the body travel and move once again in that natural opposition counterbalancing and then I want you to take it a step further and start thinking about adding the muscles so here you might just be really focusing on the chest making a big movement when you release I want you to focus on pulling it into the upper abs and down through the lower ab up upper abs lower abs this could be considered training wheels for your interior undulations or your tummy rolls really work those ABS we pull it back into the upper abs and the lower abs lift really rolling down one vertebrae. At a time good now let's reverse it so we're going to tuck the pelvis roll it up so this is the reverse of what we just did this one's a little bit harder to do because it's not quite as natural of a movement the undulation down can sort of be a movement that feels a little bit more natural and easy to get into that groove this one's a little bit harder so what we need to do is we need to sit and tuck so it's like you're going to take a seat you're going to tuck your pelvis in and you're going to think of a ball of energy which starts here and it's going to travel all the way up and release out and if you release that ball of energy too soon you're going to lose your reverse undulation so we're going to sit and tuck take that ball of energy and contract it and roll it up through the upper abs we're going to push out through our upper back out through the chat so sit tuck roll it up and out.
Sit Tex roll it up push it out sit tuck.
Roll it up push it out this one you really do have to use your abs more than you had to and the other one you can't really get away without using the abs in this one so we sit contract contract push sit tuck contract push lower abs release for.
Abs upper abs push it out let's try it again sit tax tax here sit Tech's here think of this one is a sit-in attack and then we have a crunch like if you were doing just a regular ab crunch sit tuck and roll it up sit tuck.
Roll it up it's still a big movement this is still an exterior movement we're still manipulating with fine with this one it's helping us along sit text roll. It up fit test roll it up sit text roll it up sit text roll it up. So we have our regular undulation or the undulation down we lift bring it down remember the full circle of the ferris wheel with the chest and then we have.
The undulation up or the reverse undulation we're going to start with a tech roll it up we sit back roll it up and out sit tuck up and out holding that ball of energy all the way through sit.
Tuck this is a good one to do in front of a mirror so that you can really watch make sure that you see that undulation sit text roll it up sit tuck roll it up.
Use those ABS and go back to the cat and. Cow exercises if it feels like it's just not coming for you and also you'll have one that's probably better you might be better at this one you might be better at this one good job.
Okay so now that you're a pro at undulations let's give you a little variation and challenge you a little bit more we're going to take that same undulation down and that same undulation up and we're going to add them together so it's going to look like this five six and lift and roll it down tuck.
And roll it up roll it back down three four roll it up seven eight one two three four five six and one continuous motion try it with me pack and roll it up roll it down four four count tuck roll it up four four count one two three four tuck and roll it up seven eight bring it down use those apps lower abs upper abs bring it up roll it down upper abs and pecs upper abs upper back roll it down tuck roll it up roll it down.
Tuck roll it up one more and tuck roll.
It up now you've also probably seen this one or may have heard of this one as a camel where we put one foot in front and we really scoop and we make it big it's the same exact motion you're just now adding a weight change from the front foot to the back foot and if you wanted to you could travel with it why don't we try it in a circle this is our camel we.
Can also change our hand position must be a little cliche and bring them up here and let's take it the other direction right now I have my left foot in front but you could also change and have the right foot in front let's try it out so we're going to go right foot turn to the right up roll it down up roll it down so.
We're still lifting the chest and rolling it down we're just taking a bigger scoop because of the step why.
Don't we try the alternating up - down down - up we're going to go here roll it. Up and here roll it up six seven eight.
So we'll step for the first two roll it up six seven eight step roll it up and.
We'll step roll it up and step roll it.
Up good and for another fun variation we call this one Arabic - I really want you to get the footwork we're going to start with the right foot in front the footwork is going to go flat toe toe toe with the right foot always in front so flat so toe toe flat toe toe toe you're.
Going to add two of your undulations down on top of that footwork and whenever you see Arabic - you're almost always going to see it with those undulations so it looks like this five six five six. Here we go flat so toe toe flat toe toe.
And toe flat toe toe let's bring the.
Arms up on a 90 degree flat so so.
So flat so so chest is going lift roll.
Down lift roll down lift roll down lift.
Roll down lift roll down lift roll down.
You have flat so so let's try it up two.
Feet flat toe toe toe flat toe toe toe.
And you guessed it if you wanted to you could travel with it let's just take a baby scoop step to the right to the left. Toe toe so flat toe toe toe good job.
Now let's revisit our vertical hip isolations if you remember those from our warm-up and we're going to talk about how we apply those to actually dancing in belly dance with those so once again let's get into our posture I want your feet together we're going to softly bend those knees we're going to pull that pelvis under using our abdominal muscles not the glutes we want to keep the glutes free and then we're going to lift that chest up in a way why don't we bring our arms up in a fist position for these exercises so once again I just want you to let the hips go from side to side like we did in our warm-up side side right and left so.
Remember how I said to keep the knees bent which you never want to do is this I'm demonstrating what you never want to do in belly dance which is pumping the knees back always want to keep them in a soft plie something that feels comfortable you don't want to be too bent down but you want to be able to get into that range of motion now I really want you to focus on keeping your core nice and tight getting those abdominal muscles ready to help you out because we're going to take it to the next level and put some intention behind our movement rather than just letting our hips move side to side we're going to add some muscles so each time you bring this right hip up I want you to think of really contracting in the oblique area here really lifting that hip up bringing the hip bone to the ribcage straight up into your own body so what I don't want you to do is to sway those hips way out to the side I want you to stay right in your Center think of bringing the hip bone right here to the rib cage bring it up up same thing here on the left nice tight abdominals and let's. Keep that going check that posture pelvis cuff - knees bent so we're going to take it right left right left right left right left.
Let's speed that up just a little bit so we're going to go right left right left right flap notice how I keep my hips right underneath my Center but I'm isolating only my hips are moving my chest stays nice and still that's the illusion of belly dance we're always moving one area of the body while the other area stays nice and relaxed right left right left and notice I'm. Making nice sharp movements there's a slight pause in between my movements so it's a hit in the hold sharp sharp sharp sharp right left notice my knees I'm.
Keeping them bent my eat my weight is evenly distributed between both feet right now so we're just doing our isolations right left right left now I.
Want you to think let's take it down a notch one more time and adding one more element when we get into layering if you're ever interested in doing intermediate level or advanced level we like to add the glutes in there to give us a little extra control especially for layering and for differentiating movement such as locks so I want you to add a glute squeeze onto your hip we're going to start on the right so we're going to squeeze and hold it squeeze and hold it squeeze and hold it squeeze and hold it what that's going to do is give you a nice sharp lock here in the hip and hold it squeeze and hold it squeeze and hold it so let's practice that exercise squeezing also using those obliques squeeze and squeeze so we're squeezing here in the obliques in the abs and we're squeezing back here in the glute squeeze and squeeze squeeze.
And squeeze take it up to speed we're going to go right left right left so let's really focus on all those different things we have to do to make this movement look so nice we have our knees bent pelvis tap our chest is lifted up and away my shoulders are relaxed my arms are up here my. Elbows are pressed back and now we're squeezing those muscles right we got right squeeze left right glute and left glute then we also have those ab contractions right and left right and left so let's get into that posture and here we go right left right and left squeeze squeeze squeeze squeeze right.
Left nice and tight I really want you to work all those muscles right squeeze left squeeze right please laughs use those obliques tuck that pelvis under there's a lot to think about here I'm going to turn to the side notice how I have a nice flat back right and left my. Chest is lifted up and away and I have my nice posture with the arms my elbows are pressed back and I have energy through the fingers shoulders are relaxed right and left right left we're.
Going to take it up to halftime on the right which means that we're going to hit that right hip every other count we're going to go right left right left right left right left these are bent nice and strong we're using all those muscles the obliques and the glutes squeeze two squeeze two keep.
Those hips right underneath your Center right left and if you notice I started. To march with the movement you don't have to you can stay right here flat on the floor because we're going to break down moving with it in just a minute right last right left right left right left now we're going to take it up even. One more start working into getting into a shimmy I'll let you relax your arms out here to the side and right left right left right left right left right left right left right left right left this is how you build your way up into being able to do is shimmy but you want to be able to have control at all feet so if you don't have control at halftime you're not going to have control at full time which is what we're doing right now so drilling with your favorite music at home getting in front of a mirror and making sure that you can hold that rhythm keeping that downbeat right and.
I'm hitting the right hip every count one two three four five six seven eight checking the posture pelvis tap knees are bent chest is lifted shoulders relaxed energy through the fingers and. Now we're going to shimmy so same exact thing we're doing right now only you're going to take it faster so you're going to have to find what shimmy is comfortable for you there's a whole bunch of different variations of shimmies but as you notice my knees are moving back and forth just like when we were doing this so I'm still alternating the knees using the legs and Ginny this.
One definitely takes some practice it's nice to warm up with the hip isolations like we were just doing get the blood flowing get the muscles warmed up and then you're going to go for your shimmy so let's give that a try again we're going to start at halftime down beat on the right one two three four five six seven eight and now we're going to shimmy let's try that again one two.
Three four five six seven eight shimmy.
And again on five six here we go one two.
Three four five six seven eight and shimmy one two three four five six seven eight. Shiney one two three four five six seven eight. And shimmy let's go one and two and.
Three and four five and six and seven and eight and shimmy so we took it up a notch and one and two and three four five six.
And seven and eight tens all those muscles in the legs get into that shimmy one and two and three and four five and six and seven and eight and shimmy really got to squeeze one and two three four and remember when we go into those. Single isolations we're working all those muscles one two three four six eight shimmy and hold the shimmy keep it.
On let's bring our arms back up into fists and let's take them down practice moving those arms take you here and switch and.
Let's frame the hip now let's get you.
Moving with the hips.
Now that you've had some time to get comfortable with those hips isolations let's add them with the feet we're dancers so we like to travel right we don't want to stay in place all the time so we're going to take those hip isolations that we just did right here and we're going to start to march with that moving the feet this is going to create either an up or a down we start to determine whether we're doing an up or down based on where our feet are and what our hips is doing when we are weighted on that foot so we're going to start with up meaning that each time we step that same corresponding hip is going to move up okay so I just want you to right here get into place with the hips that we were doing earlier right left right left knees are bent we're using those muscles the obliques and the glute right and left right and left now.
I want you to start to feel your weight shift side to side right and left right.
And left it when you comfortably start to feel the weight shift I want you to even pick up the other foot right and left you're keeping the knees bent and every time you step you're pushing off the floor that hip is coming up up up step step right foot left foot right. Foot left foot use those muscles squeeze contracting the obliques squeeze the glute right and left right and left.
So feeling that weight shift marching with the feet right left right and left next step is you're going to want to take some step forward take it back eight count five six seven and forward two three four five six seven take it back and forward and back and forward.
These are up back so each time I step.
That hip comes up forward and back let's.
Try it on releve up on the tippy toes five six seven take it back two three four five six steps forward forward forward forward take it back back back. Back make sure to check your posture pelvis tuck chest lifted energy through the arms and hands now let's try that a little bit faster down here flat foot we're going to go right left right left right so even though our right is.
Keeping the time we want to keep equal emphasis on both hips sometimes the inclination is because we're working this side with the temple of the music we want to push that side harder we want to keep it even right. Left right left use those muscles keep the knees bent don't let this happen don't hyperextend the knees keep them down here in plie pal this pack chest lifted forward two three four five six take it back and.
Forward and back let's try a frame take.
It forward two three four and back.
Forward and back and up on releve right.
Left right left take it back use the.
Muscle and back now let's break down.
Down you're probably going to want to practice the up several times rewind this section keep drilling that till you feel comfortable that each time you step that hip goes it's simultaneous as soon as you step the hip goes so you don't want to delay you don't want to step and then hip and then step in then hip hit it all at the same time bam bam sharp controlled now we're going to talk about down same exact concept as soon as you step that hip is going to drop down instead of lifting up this one is a little bit harder to execute take some time so we're going to step with the right foot and we're going to let that right hips drop down this is very unnatural to the way that we walk the ups are much more natural which is why it's easier so right here I want you to put your weight into the right foot you can lift the left foot and Emmy point for balance and we're just going to drop that hip down release it down really down release down release down.
Release and you can feel how odd that is to the body you really want to make sure you drop that hip down release it down back to me down down down down let's try it on the.
Left side all your weight is in the left foot we're going to drop that left hip down remember to keep the pops your pelvis tucked under knees are bent we're going to hold balance with the right foot and drop the hip down bring it up down bring it up drop it down drop it.
Down bring it up down bring it up drop bring it up you might start to get the groove of that here in place the hard part is going to be making sure that hips drop down when you step on that foot drop bring the hips down this why.
We call it it down our weight is on the left foot our hip drops down down and. Down and down and down all right let's.
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