For some, this move is completely instinctual, and for others, it takes work. To do this move successful, it helps to understand the relationship between the glutes, abs and stomach. Stand with feet parallel, shoulder width apart, and simply flex both your glutes, squeezing your bum cheeks together. Note how this pushes the pelvis forward. Now release the glutes, suck in your lower abs just a little, tucking your pelvis under and stick your bum out behind you ever so slightly. Practice this several times. These are the forward and back points of the ‘Belly Roll.’
Next, allow your glutes to relax entirely and stick your stomach out, slightly arching your back and dropping your pelvis. Now suck in your stomach (focusing on tightening your lower abs) and at the same time flex your glutes and tuck your pelvis under. Practice this back and forth several times. These are the up and down points of the ‘Belly Roll.’
And now we attempt to connect the four points! Relax the glutes, tighten the lower abs, gently tucking your pelvis under you and sticking your bum slightly out behind you – this is the back point. Now squeeze your glutes hard so that your pelvis scoops underneath you – this is the up point. Keep the glutes flexed, very slightly release the pelvis to a neutral position, and then move the pelvis slightly forward – this is the forward point. Now completely relax the glutes, drop the pelvis allowing your back to arch slightly, and stick your stomach out – this is the down. Back, up, front, down, back, up, front, down – belly dancing sometimes isn’t always as easy as the Shimmy Dancers make it look!