All posts by Helen

Express belly dance class for balance and ankle strength

In this week’s blog I’m giving you an express class to help you express yourself! Feeling stable and on balance is essential for us dancers. Why? Because if we want to commit fully to the moves with confidence, we need to feel grounded and 100% balanced.

Join me for this short class to help you find stability and confidence in your belly dancing.

Would you like more classes like this? I think you would really enjoy the full length, in-depth Belly-Lates, conditioning and drills classes at Santa Maria Bellydance Online.

It means you have your own bellydance studio available 24/7 so you can train whenever you like! SMBO student, Elinor, says  “It’s been hard for me to attend a Bellydance class as I do a PGCE, and it often involves work in the evening. With SMBO I can be flexible whilst still gaining my dance experience!”

Go to www.santamariabellydanceonline.com and get started today!

Thanks for reading and watching today, I’m so happy to have you here on my blog page 🙂

Love and shimmies,

Helen xx

Ps. Summer School is on the way! If you’re local to me here in the UK, be sure to check out what’s on offer this July. Go here for deets and booking.

Summer belly dance workout 🌻☀️🐝

Come into my belly dance garden! It was a beautiful day when I came to film this workout, so I just had to take it outside 🌳

In today’s class I’m giving you a progressive belly dance workout focusing on the waist. It’s really important for us bellydancers to keep the sides of our body strong and supple.

I’ve packed a LOT into this session and you can expect to find:

  • Detail on technical elements of smooth and sharp moves
  • Drills on each of the movement components
  • Combinations and variations of the moves
  • I even include a warm up and brief coll down too!

The bonus “side effect” of repeating these kinds of moves is that we end up with a nice toned waist – woo hoo! (Although the main aim of this is to gain max enjoyment from your dancing ad feel good from the inside.)

I hope you enjoy it! Let’s get started …

[Video live 13 June]

 

Your belly dance assignment

I challenge you to take this class at least 4 times a week for a month! I promise you that you will feel stronger and more supple along the sides of your body (you may even notice a change in the contours of your torso). I’d love to know how you get on, be sure to leave a comment on the main YouTube page and let me know.

Learn with me online ▶️📲 💻

If you enjoyed this express class, you might like take a three day free trial of my complete online studio.

We now even have our very own private, bonus SMB Online facebook support group where you can get bespoke feedback from me live-streamed! Free for all current SMBO subscribers. You’ll also be assigned regular classes in the group to keep you on track. Plus, I give you an Intensive Week each month to help your dancing improve consisently.

I’ve had some awesome feedback from my Santa Maria Bellydance Online student members recently:

I really hope more people take up the opportunity to try online classes with such a supportive teacher.” SMBO student, UK

I have gained so much from joining SMBO at the beginning of the year. My dancing has progressed and I have had a breakthrough with writing choreography due to Helen’s help. The website is amazing with a huge amount of tutorials for all levels of dancers. Helen is very accessible and answers all questions really quickly and fully. It is great value for money. I love it and would recommend it to anyone.” Sue, UK

Would you like to join my online studio?

Get access to my full length, comprehensive classes, drills, choreography sequences, movement tutorials, technical preparation exercises at Santa Maria Bellydance Online. You can learn with me anywhere and any time you have internet connection at just £15 a month for the entire (growing) library. Go to www.santamariabellydanceonline.com to find out more and get started now!

Thank you, as ever, for reading and watching.

Love and shimmies,

Helen xxx

Ps. Still not sure about joining SMB Online? Here are a few screen shots of my recent uploads to the site to give you an idea of what to expect:

 

HOT 🔥 belly dance combo | How to fuse moves together

How to combine belly dance moves

I LOVE seeing my belly dance students getting creative. It’s a super satisfying moment when you see dancers you’ve taught coming up with their own creations.  And it doesn’t just make me happy. Studies show that getting creative is good for their mental and physical health too – win win!

BUT one of the most common stumbling blocks for belly dance students is feeling confident dancing independently. To put it another way, they feel anxious when they are left on their own to improvise or make their own routine.

Dancers often doubt their own dancing when they try something they haven’t learned directly from their teacher. And I don’t want that for you!

In today’s class, I want to give you the confidence to be playful and creative with belly dance moves you already know.

We’ll be using a hip circle and and a camel and putting them together in 3 different ways, getting more innovative as we go along.  And the best bit? It’s not super complicated and you can apply this idea to different moves!

Carve out a few minutes for yourself and get stuck into this week’s class. Be sure to comment on the main YouTube page and let me know what you think!

Your belly dance assignment

Clear your mind before you start the class. Turn off all distractions and tell your household you’ll be unavailable for a bit. Then, grab your fave hip scarf. Take the class and be ready to follow these moves with one or two similar – or “sister” as I like to call them – moves. Mix and match a similar family of moves and see where it takes you. The real art is to do a lot with a little, it’s not about adding zillions of moves together!

Learn with me online ▶️📲 💻

If you enjoyed this express class, you might like take a three day free trial of my complete online studio.

We now even have our very own private, bonus SMB Online facebook support group where you can get bespoke feedback from me live-streamed! Free for all current SMBO subscribers. You’ll also be assigned regular classes in the group to keep you on track. Plus, I give you an Intensive Week each month to help your dancing improve consisently.

I’ve had some awesome feedback from my Santa Maria Bellydance Online student members recently:

Hazel says:  “I find SMBA online so much better than I imagined. For me, the biggest benefit has been your check in Tuesday videos. Having a safe place to ask questions has been so helpful. Also I have many Bellydance DVDs but I find your instructions much better. We know that moves can look different on different bodies so it helps so much that you describe how something should feel so even if I don’t have a mirror, I can tell when it’s right.”

And Elsa says:

“I truly love SMBO. I first learned about it on YouTube. I loved the step by step basics. I started to feel I can really bellydance. I felt pretty in inside. Helen is extremely supportive and available to her students. I highly recommend it for any age group.”

Would you like to join my online studio?

Get access to my full length, comprehensive classes, drills, choreography sequences, movement tutorials, technical preparation exercises at Santa Maria Bellydance Online. You can learn with me anywhere and any time you have internet connection at just £15 a month for the entire (growing) library. Go to www.santamariabellydanceonline.com to find out more and get started now!

I also have some super exciting, live, teaching happening here in the UK. Hop over to my Workshops and Events page to stay in the local loop.

Thank you so much for reading and watching 🙏 Happy dancing to you.

Love and shimmies,

Helen xx

Hip drop sequence – belly dance

Do you struggle to think of ideas for moves when choreographing a belly dance routine?

Today I’m going to help you get unstuck by proving that choreographing doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ll be looking at the mother of all belly dance moves (and probably the first belly dance technique you were taught). Of course, it’s the hip drop!

Many of my students worry about their routines looking too simple. The anxiety that this fear generates then promptly leads to choreographer’s block and then a dip in confidence. Not good! 👎

With this class, my hope is to give you the confidence to take “basic” belly dance moves and be creative with them. You are more creative than you think!

Choreography inspiration – a study in hip drops

In today’s express belly dance class I’ll teach you a very cute belly dance hip drop combination, step by step.

If you keep clean technique, maintain perfect timing and sport an engaging expression, you’ll easily look like a pro!

Thank you so much for watching, I’d love to know what you think! Be sure to leave a comment under the video on YouTube.

Your belly dance assignment

Master your technique and timing with the combo. Pay special attention to the transitions between the different hip drops – keep it seamless.

Then, use this combination in your own routine and see where it takes you! This style of combo is also great to pull out of your tool kit when your improvising and is perfect to weave into your balady performance. Use it as one of your “go to” moves!

Learn with me online ▶️📲 💻

If you’d like the full experience of  belly dance training with me, let’s hit the ground running distance learning style!

I have gained so much from joining SMBO at the beginning of the year. My dancing has progressed and I have had a breakthrough with writing choreography due to Helen’s help. The website is amazing with a huge amount of tutorials for all levels of dancers. Helen is very accessible and answers all questions really quickly and fully. It is great value for money. I love it and would recommend it to anyone.” SMBO student, Sue Powell

Get access to my full length, comprehensive classes, drills, choreography sequences, movement tutorials, technical preparation exercises at Santa Maria Bellydance Online. You can learn with me anywhere and any time you have internet connection at just £15 a month for the entire (growing) library. Go to www.santamariabellydanceonline.com to find out more and get started now!

We now have our very own private, bonus SMB Online facebook support group where you can get bespoke feedback from me live-streamed! Free for all current SMBO subscribers.

Thank you so much for reading and being here 🙏.

Happy dancing to you, with love and shimmies,

Helen xx

Ps. Subscribe for blog updates with bellydance tips to get on track and stay inspired. Plus receive my free online class!

5 questions belly dancers HATE!

I wish I’d said that!

In this week’s blog I’ll help you fend off 5 of those questions we belly dancers hear time and time again!

You know the scenario: you tell somebody that you learn/teach belly dance. Then, all too often, come the predictable (sometimes frankly daft) questions.

Arm yourself with a few scripts to help shelve the silly questions and move on to sharing your enthusiasm for bellydance and listing it’s benefits.

Despite the “click-bait-y” title, I know that we belly dancers are a cool bunch. We aren’t easily riled and we welcome questions about our artform! Let’s not take ourselves too seriously 😉

I hope you enjoyed my “coffee talk” style blog this week. Next week we’ll be back on our feet with some delicious hip drop variation ideas, so be sure to stay tuned!

Your Assignment

Sometimes people don’t know how to react or what to say about your bellydance hobby/job. They may even find it a little odd! Be patient, keep a sense of humour and take the opportunity to enlighten someone to the beauty of our wonderful bellydance world.

Learn with me online! ▶️📲 💻

If you’d like the full experience of  belly dance training with me, let’s hit the ground running distance learning style!

Get access to my full length, comprehensive classes, drills, choreography sequences, movement tutorials, technical preparation exercises at Santa Maria Bellydance Online. You can learn with me anywhere and any time you have internet connection at just £15 a month for the entire (growing) library. Go to www.santamariabellydanceonline.com to find out more and get started now!

We now have our very own private, bonus SMB Online facebook support group where you can get bespoke feedback from me live-streamed! Free for all current SMBO subscribers.

Thank you so much for reading and being here 🙏.

Happy dancing to you, with love and shimmies,

Helen xx

Belly dance moves: 3 fierce level changes

3 Fierce Level Changes

Spring is on the way (at least here in the UK) and it always gets my creative belly dance juices flowing!

Many belly dancers, as well as other creatives, use the idea of seasons to give a rhythm to their creative projects.

This week I’m going to harness the inspirational, creative, energetic vibe of Spring with a quick hit of ideas for you.

We’ll be using a much under-used move in bellydance: the level change!

As usual, I’ll give you tons of tips on technique and plenty of trouble shooting. I’d love to know if you enjoyed the class, be sure to leave a comment on the Youtube page 👩‍💻 Thank you! 🙏🏼

Your Assignment

Take the class and perfect your technique. That means maintaining correct posture and keeping control throughout. I know you can do it! Commit to the practice time and go for it. It may take a few weeks or so to build the strength but you’ll feel so proud when you see yourself rocking it!

Thank you, as ever, for reading and joining in. Happy dancing!

Love and shimmies,

Helen xx

Ps. Summer Term early bird places are now open for booking for our local students!

Abdominal technique for belly dance – how to drill it right!

Belly dance abdominal technique

Belly dance abdominal technique

Hands up who wants strong, impressive belly dance abdominal moves 🙋‍♂️ 🙋‍♀️

I’m back! Welcome to my first blog post of 2019 🎉 I’m so happy to be back filming and creating express free classes for you once again.

Today we’re going to work on powering up the muscles required for jaw-dropping belly dance abdominal technique. (We belly dancers need something a little more bespoke than a few sit ups and crunches.)

So, if you’d like to refine, strengthen and elevate your belly dance ab work, you’re in the right place! You need a little basic “equipment” for this one. Don’t worry, nothing scary 😜

Thank you so much for joining me for this week’s express class! Be sure to join the conversation, leave me a comment on YouTube and let me know what you think! I LOVE to hear how you’re doing on your belly dance journey.

Your assignment

Take 10 minutes or so out of your day TODAY and complete the drill with me. Be sure to keep good posture and form. Then, I’d love for you to take on the challenge of doing this on a daily basis for 30 days. I promise that you will start to notice muscles you never know you had. Plus, your balance and stability will improve too. Win win! 🙌

Learn with me online! ▶️📲 💻

If you’d like the full experience of  bellydance training with me, let’s hit the ground running distance learning style!

Get access to my full length, comprehensive classes, drills, choreography sequences, movement tutorials, technical preparation exercises at Santa Maria Bellydance Online. You can learn with me anywhere and any time you have internet connection at just £15 a month for the entire (growing) library. Go to www.santamariabellydanceonline.com to find out more and get started now!

We now have our very own private, bonus SMB Online facebook support group where you can get bespoke feedback from me live-streamed! Free for all current SMBO subscribers.

Thank you so much for reading and being here 🙏.

Happy dancing to you, with love and shimmies,

Helen xx

Belly dance for relaxation | belly-chill 💆

Welcome to my last class of the year! I this episode I bring you my “living Christmas card” for relaxation to send you my warmest wishes this Christmas.

If you’re already finding all the festive glitz and preparations a bit overwhelming (especially as it seems to start earlier and earlier each year), don’t worry, this class has a real belly-chill vibe with no tinsel or Christmas music, just relaxation 😊

This short session is the perfect antidote to all the dashing around we do in the run up to Christmas (preparing and buying stuff for other people). Allow yourself to intentionally get distracted to a few minutes and just follow along with me – or even just watch if you find it relaxing. Whatever floats your boat!

My hope is that this express class helps you to end the year feeling calm and relaxed. That way you can have a lovely break from belly dancing and come back in 2019 ready to dive right back in.

Speaking of New Year, keep a look out for an SMBO January sale! If you’re looking for a convenient, supportive and fun way to get back on the belly dance wagon, I think you’ll love what I have in store for the SMB Onliners. I’ll be posting new content for snappy, effective and innovative daily drills several times a week with extra support, motivation and livestreams from me in our private SMB Onliners facebook group (it’s super friendly in there!)

For now, let’s end this year on a peaceful and relaxing note:

Thank you so much for reading and watching today. I’d love to know what you thought of this episode, be sure to leave a comment in the YouTube comments or even drop me an email.

One last reminder for my local students here in the UK: the early bird course price for next term ends after 31st December. Remember to book your place!

Love and shimmies to you,

Helen xx

Ps. Are you in the loop? Subscribe for blog updates with bellydance tips to get on track and stay inspired. Plus receive my free online class! Go here to get yours.

👉 Learn with me online!  📲 💻

Get access to my full length, comprehensive classes, drills, choreography sequences, movement tutorials, technical preparation exercises at Santa Maria Bellydance Online. You can learn with me anywhere and any time you have internet connection at just £15 a month for the entire (growing) library. Go to www.santamariabellydanceonline.com to find out more and get started now!

We now have our very own private, bonus SMB Online facebook support group where you can get bespoke feedback from me live-streamed! Free for all current SMBO subscribers.

Fitness Pilates for bellydancers – 8 minute sequence

As the temperature drops (here in the UK) we’re digging out the chunky jumpers and huddling over our bowls of hot soup. I LOVE getting warm and cosy when it’s cold outside!

The downside to all this cosy-ness is that it can involve sitting on our bums more than usual as we strive to get snug. (For instance, we might drive journeys that we walked during the Summer.)

It’s so important for all of us to keep our joints and muscles mobile, especially us dancers.

Becoming inactive means that your posture and overall poise, strength and quality of movement will very likely take a bit of a slump (literally and metaphorically!)

The good news is, it doesn’t take much to keep your dancing feeling good and looking fabulous during the unappealing chilly months. I’ll show you how easy it is in this week’s new style of express class.

Join me for a speedy Fitness Pilates for Bellydancers sequence which will maintain your upper body posture and strength. No equipment needed and you hardly need any space!

Why not stop what you’re doing right now and dive on in, it’s just short of 8 minutes so you’ll be done in a flash!

I’d love to know what you thought of this Fitness Pilates for bellydancers express class. Be sure to leave a comment on the YouTube page and give it a thumbs up so I know you dig this kind of thing.

Tip 👉 If you enjoyed this short class, I think you’ll love the full length Fitness Pilates for Bellydancers at SMB Online. Sign up today and get instant access!

Wherever you learn bellydance and whoever you learn with, I wish you happy dancing!

Love and shimmies,

Helen xx

Ps. Are you in the loop? Subscribe for blog updates with bellydance tips to get on track and stay inspired. Plus receive my free online class! Go here to get yours.

👉 Learn with me online!  📲 💻

Get access to my full length, comprehensive classes, drills, choreography sequences, movement tutorials, technical preparation exercises at Santa Maria Bellydance Online. You can learn with me anywhere and any time you have internet connection at just £15 a month for the entire (growing) library. Go to www.santamariabellydanceonline.com to find out more and get started now!

We now have our very own private, bonus SMB Online facebook support group where you can get bespoke feedback from me live-streamed! Free for all current SMBO subscribers.

My belly dance hair and make up routine

In today’s blog episode I’m giving you a full-on behind the scenes look at my performance prep routine.

So, come into my bedroom and see how I get my hair and make up in order!

Find out how I’m tackling the process of growing out my grey, how I get my unruly hair into shape (with a minor fail along the way) and how I time keep the whole process.

I’m not a hair and make up expert, but I’ve developed my own, quirky, tips and tricks along the way which I think you might like 💄 💇.

Go here to hang out with me while I get busy with the hair dryer and bronzer (not at the same time 😂)

 

Thank you, as always, for reading and watching 🙏. I’d love to know, do you have any quirky little hair and make up tricks to share? Be sure to comment on youtube and let us know!

Until next time, love and shimmies,

Helen
xx

Ps. Are you in the loop? Subscribe for blog updates with bellydance tips to get on track and stay inspired. Plus receive my free online class! Go here to get yours.

👉 Learn with me online!  📲 💻

Get access to my full length, comprehensive classes, drills, choreography sequences, movement tutorials, technical preparation exercises at Santa Maria Bellydance Online. You can learn with me anywhere and any time you have internet connection at just £15 a month for the entire (growing) library. Go to www.santamariabellydanceonline.com to find out more and get started now!

We now have our very own private, bonus SMB Online facebook support group where you can get bespoke feedback from me live-streamed! Free for all current SMBO subscribers.