Learn Shimmy Secrets From A Belly Dance Master

Learn Shimmy Secrets From A Belly Dance Master

Are you ready to turn your drum solo improvisation into a breathtaking experience for your audience? Here are some tips that will help you add more spice to your performance.

Incorporate as many different shimmy styles into your performance as possible. You have various shimmy styles to choose from:

  • Hip Shimmy
  • Hagalla Shimmy
  • 3/4 Shimmy
  • Ghawazee Shimmy
  • Earthquake Shimmy
  • Vibration Shimmy
  • Rotation Shimmy
  • Egyptian Shimmy
  • Shoulder Shimmy
  • Cairo Shimmy
  • Twist Shimmy
  • Flutter Shimmy
  • Tippy-Toe Shimmy
  • African Shimmy
  • Samba Shimmy
  • Knee Shimmy
  • Hand Shimmy

Prepare for your drum solo by going through these shimmies one at a time for a few moments to increase your stamina. Then practice with a drum solo you like, improvise to it and use as many shimmy style variations as you can. Make sure that the shimmy style you choose suits the rhythm and speed of the music.

  • Combine your shimmies with steps or slow belly dancing movements (e.g. hip circles, belly rolls, figure 8s).

      • Emphasize drum accentuations with pops and locks. You can use your hips and belly to bring more attention to heavier and louder drum accentuations. Lighter or more quiet drum accentuations can be highlighted by using your upper body and shoulders or your diaphragm. To create special effects, you can play along with the drums switching between shoulder pops, upper body pops, belly locks and hip locks.


      • Let your arms, hands – and maybe even your head go along with your shimmies, pops and locks to bring more life to the drum solo improvisation.


    • Follow the mood of the drums while dancing. Move around combining your shimmies with steps when the drums create a wild, passionate mood. When the drums slow down and become more quiet, stand in one place and play with the nuances of the music.

    In case you have read any of my other articles about inspiration for creating your unique belly dance, you will know by now that I am an absolute advocate of learning from the masters. If you want to learn how to create a jaw-dropping drum solo performance, find a belly dancer who excels at it, study her shimmy secrets and model them. Then take what you have learned, add your personal knack to it and develop your individual performance from that.

    One of the great role models I suggest for your drum solo improvisation studies is Egyptian belly dancer Mona El Saaid. She combines playfulness with elegance in a unique way. You will find that Mona’s dance style is absolutely compelling, intensive and intuitive.

    Don’t miss her legendary drum solo…

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