Shimmy-Layered Hip Circle

Oh my goddess, is this move ever difficult!?! So how do we make a tough move easier? Break it down.

So let’s start by reviewing the ‘Cabaret Shimmy’ (not the ‘Village Shimmy’). Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, feet parallel, pelvic tucked under, and most importantly, knees slightly bent. Don’t let your feet move. Now flex your right glute… hard! Did your knee on the right leg straighten? Allow the right knee to straighten slightly and the left knee to bend slightly, but try never to lock either of your knees. Keep them supple at all times. Now do the exact same thing on the left side. Flex left glute − release. Flex right glute − release. Flex left glute − release. Flex right glute − release. Notice how your knees are moving. Now, completely forget what you just read! Forget about the glute completely and just move your knees back and forth as fast as you can. This is the shimmy that you will be layering onto the ‘Hip Circle.’

Now let’s review the ‘Hip Circle’ without even thinking about adding that shimmy. Your glutes are some of the most powerful muscles in your body, so let’s use them to power your ‘Hip Circle.’ Begin with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent and simply flex both glutes. Notice how this naturally pushes your pelvis slightly forward. Relax your glutes, and notice how your pelvis returns to centre. Repeat this movement and exaggerate it: squeeeeze your bum cheeks together, pushing your pelvis forward, then release your glutes, tucking your pelvis in and sticking your bum slightly out behind you.

Now let’s try moving from side to side. Start in the same position, but this time just flex your left glute. What happens? Your hips naturally slide to the left. Flex your right glute and same story – your hips slide to the right. Now try to exaggerate this movement, flexing one side and then the other, sticking the hip out and feeling a stretch on the same side of your body that has the flexed glute.

Now put that all together. Flex both glutes – pelvis moves forward. Relax the right glute and flex the left glute harder – hips move left. Relax both glutes, moving your hips to the centre, slightly tucking your pelvis in and sticking your bum out. Flex the right glute – hips move right. Squeeze your bum cheeks together, returning the hips to center and pelvis slightly forward to complete the circle. Practice this several times, hitting four distinct points, then smooth it out for sensual circles.

Now that we’ve reviewed both the ‘Cabaret Shimmy’ and the ‘Hip Circle,’ we can put them together. Start by simply performing a ‘Cabaret Shimmy’ until you are loose, then add a very small ‘Hip Circle’ to the start. As you get better, your ‘Hip Circle’ can get larger. When adding the ‘Shimmy’ to the movement, you will have to rely more on your abs and inner thighs as you will not be able to entirely tighten your glutes and simultaneously perform the shimmy. 

Did you get it? If so, you’ve got the right to call yourself a pro. If not, keep practicing the two moves separately and one day they’ll ‘click’.