Belly Dance Instruction
Swagger Walk (Also known as Egyptian Walk)
Very similar to Egyptian walk. Stepping forward on the right foot, drop the (right) hip as if you are about to sit down, pushing out the opposite hip to accommodate it, and bending both knees at the same time. Just as you come up to lift the left foot for the next step slide the hips from side to side 2 or 3 times quickly in a soft snap movement, and then place your left foot down as the next leading foot. The snap movements should be between each forward step. As you walk, alternate your arms (opposite arm to leading foot) across the body adding a slow shoulder shimmy movement.
A simpler version of the Swagger Walk. Step forwards and as you do so, push out your opposite hip, bending both knees at the same time. Keep your back straight.
This is a movement done facing the front and moving to the side. Step to the right, and immediately lean slightly over to the right, leading with your shoulder. Bring your shoulder down and around back up (in an arc), straightening up and bringing your left foot close up to the right. Arms can be held out to the sides, following the flow of the body and doing a snake arm movement. Reverse the whole sequence for the left. Alternatively you can start your move by stepping out to the side onto the ball of your foot, raising and leading with your hip and as your transfer the weight and lower your heel, straighten up by bringing your same side shoulder and opposite foot in. There should be a slight delay between stepping with your foot and bringing the shoulder into line. This move is very similar to a travelling vertical Fig 8.
Facing the front bring your right leg in an arc towards your left leg and outwards in a small circle back to its original position, As you swing your leg out and around, turn in the direction of the foot and push your chest and torso outwards and forwards slightly, echoing the arc of the foot. Repeat on the left and alternate from side to side. See Brush Circles.
This is a travelling step, which can be used to move in any direction. For a more folky, flatfooted version, start with both feet side by side, and then with your weight on your left foot, kick forwards twisting the hip inwards slightly, with your right heel tilted slightly inwards and upwards. Replace the right foot, then lift and repeat on the same hip & foot. The move can also be done kicking with the left foot. Always kick with the same foot repeatedly moving in one direction, then change over to the other foot when you change direction. This move works well when using zils. For a faster lighter version, come up onto the balls of the feet, and twist both heels in the same direction, lifting one foot off the ground with an inward kick or lift. Make sure both knees are slightly bent. Twist both hips in the same direction as the lifted foot to add extra emphasis. If you are repeatedly lifting and twisting your right foot and hip, travel to the right, and vice versa. For further variations, emphasise the upward/outward movement with an extra lift on the toes, or emphasise the downwards movement with a deeper bend of the knees.
Using the camel movement with the body, take small steps on the balls of the feet, always leading with the same foot. This can also be done facing the front and stepping to the side, one foot stepping behind the other. A variation is to camel using the step-ball-step.
Swerve-Shuffle – A move that uses the swerve action. Starting on the right foot, twist the hips to the left, and at the same time, bend your right knee and lightly kick out foot. Then, twisting your hips and shuffling 1-2-3 (starting on the right foot and moving to the right) then kick out your left foot then shuffle to the left (1-2-3). Repeat on alternate sides. This can either be done on the spot, or can be used to move slowly to the left or right.
This step is used to travel in one direction at a time. Turning to face diagonally to the right corner of the room, step forward onto the right foot. Almost immediately, push off the left ball of the foot with the heel raised, pushing up the hip, bringing the left foot in just behind the right. Keep repeating, keeping the left heel raised up. To travel left, step forward on the left, followed up by the right. Should be an undulating continuous step. Saidi Variation: Step forward as before, but when you bring the back leg in towards the other, bring both legs together with knees level and bend. Then, push off with the back leg at the same time as straightening up and stepping forwards with the front foot. Keep your back straight, and don’t be tempted to bend further than your knees will go comfortably.