Most of the movements in belly dancing involve isolating different parts of the body (hips, shoulders, chest, stomach etc.), which appear similar to the isolations used in jazz ballet, but are often driven differently. In much of bellydance there is a focus upon the core muscles of the body producing the movement rather than the external muscles of the body. Correct posture is as important in bellydance as it is in other fields of dance. In most belly dance styles, the focus is on the hip and pelvic area. Due to the diversity of styles and 'origins' of the dance, many of the moves are referred to by a wide variety of different terminologies. You may learn
Shiver or Shimmy – a shimmering vibration of the hips. This vibration is usually layered onto other movements to create depth in performance. It may be created by moving the knees past each other at high speed, although some dancers use contractions of the glutes or thighs instead. It is also possible to perform this using the muscles of the lower back. The two terms may refer to performing this move in different directions, as it is possible to create this vibration moving the hips alternately up and down, side-to-side, or in a forward and back swinging motion.
Hip hits – A staccato movement of the hips out from the body. This can also be performed using other body parts such as the shoulders or chest. The move is usually performed by a quick shifting of the weight from one leg to the other and creates the impression of a swinging pelvis.
Undulations – Fluid movements of the hips or of the chest in a circular or rotating fashion. There are a wide variety of movements of this kind, of which the most well known is probably the rotating movements of the chest forward, up, back and down to create the impression of riding a camel.