Steps

SIDE STEP

The easiest travelling step to learn is the simple side step. It is simply step together, step together and so on. This is just a basis for adding other movements to. You can do small circles, figures of eight (horizontal) camels, and add shimmies etc. etc.

GRAPEVINE

This is a step used is many other dance forms. The very popular line dancers are very fond of it. However we are using it on our own, as this is not a line dance. The leading foot is crossed in front and behind the other quite quickly, the other does a similar but smaller step to follow. You will be on the balls of your feet to do this. It is a fast travelling movement. SMILE.

SHUFFLE STEP

This is done diagonally, just step with the right foot flat on the ground and close the left foot up to it. Alternate sides, and do doubles or singles.

LIMPY SIDE WALK. (Lame duck)

Go onto the ball of your right foot, leaving the left flat on the floor and do the step together routine we have already covered. This gives a nice twist to the movement and look most effective.

CHOO CHOO

These are small fast forward steps with a hip shimmy.

ARABESQUES

Taking normal steps to a one, two and three timing, on three point your foot behind and to the side and repeat. You may like to do just a pair of these or several in sequence. There are many other types of arabesque that you will come across on your journey through the world of belly dance. SMILE.

EGYPTIAN WALK

I have heard it said that there as many as fourteen Egyptian walks, there could well be more than that, however for our purposes we are going to learn a very simple one that you can add to as you develop your dancing. Start with a hip drop to each side on the spot, getting the movement as fluid as possible. Then as you gain confidence, step forward as you go. You will find your hip drops have changed into a step wiggle type of movement, as you get more into it, it will get better. You can annoy your family by practicing this as you walk around the house! SMILE.

PIVOT TURNS

In your normal stance, start to do small hip circles, when you are ready cross the right foot on the ball over the left (if your circles are to the left) and push your self around finishing the movement still doing the hip circles. You will find your butt sticks out as you do this properly. It is a fairly difficult movement for some dancers, so take your time and relax into it.

SPINS

You can do spins in any way you like, however you may like to try, as you move across the floor, turning within two 180% steps. So you are back facing the way you started. You can also just push yourself around on the spot.
You are free to find whatever type of spins suit you best. Ballet dancers find to avoid dizziness, if you pick a spot to look at every time you turn, it will help to stop the wobbly feeling. You do get used to it also.

JUMPS

This is something that you may not notice a dancer doing very often, it can be very discreet. Some of may not ever want to do it, regardless this is a way you can use jumps in your dancing. As you are doing a fairly fast walk across the floor, you can suddenly stop, jump and do a small shimmy. Try it sometime. You can also do a small jump barely lifting your feet from the floor to finish a move or series of moves.

STEP HOP

This is done in stick and folk dancing. It is simply an alternating each side, step, hop, step, hop. Your knee will be raised as you do this.

ATTITUDE WALK

As a woman learns to dance, her walk changes, or so my husband tells me. She becomes more graceful and conscious of her movements, and her posture improves. Step out onto the ball of your right foot and gently stroke the floor as you lower your foot. Your left arm should be moving forward as you step on the right foot, if you are just doing a straight walk, be careful not to lift your arms above hip height. Lift your head and put some attitude into this. You are a dancer and proud of it. You may like to do some nice hand and arm movements to accompany this walk, or stop occasionally for a circle or a figure of eight, arabesque, whatever. Experiment and let your imagination take hold. You really do have an occasion to SMILE.

SHOULDER LIFTS

Hold your arms out to the sides, remember the lifting we do when warming up. Lift your shoulders and drop them, keeping your arms raised. You can do them diagonally, you can do doubles or even trebles. Keep your hands open and looking elegant. You can even do these during a turn of the shoulders. You can shift your shoulders from one side to the other as in the chest slides.

FINGER FLICKS AND FLUTTERS

Finger flicks are done by closing the hand into a fist and very quickly letting go, so the fingers go shooting forwards.
Finger flutters, as you do your lovely hand movements, try also with straight fingers to flutter them, you should only need to concentrate on the index and middle fingers and the rest will follow of their own accord. This can add just that little something to what is already a lovely movement. SMILE.

STEPPING EIGHTS

Using very tiny fast steps in a side to side figure of eight.

GIVING GESTURE

Relax, raise your arms slowly, wrists upwards, allowing your chest to ‘open’, take your arms high over your head, then slowly bring them down so your elbows are bent and your hands cover the sides of your head towards the top. (You are now standing with your elbows sticking out at the audience.) Continue to bring your hands down over your chest to your sternum, where they should meet in the middle, your elbows should still be bent, though now they are out to your sides. Relax, look at your audience, wait for the right beat and stretch your hands and arms out, give what you have (the joy of the dance) to your audience. SMILE.

SIDE UNDULATION

This is similar to a camel. You step to the side on the right foot, your knee will bend and lift as your step finishes. The left leg should remain as straight as they ever get when doing this dance. You can make this movement into a full body figure of eight as you move to the side. Keep this movement flowing and undulating. You can make these movements small and fast or long and slow, advanced dancers can also add shimmies. SMILE.