Tag Archives: beginner bellydance class

How to take the stress out of turns

Picture this:

The routine is all going swimmingly, your timing is perfect, you’ve remembered the choreography, you’re exuding expression through your face, things couldn’t be going any better. Until … your body tenses, your shoulders rise up to your ears and you can’t breathe.

Yep, it’s the part of the routine with turns.

Can you relate? If so then this week’s blog post is definitely for you.

Turns can turn the joy of bellydance into a pit of tension and stress, taking us from the pleasure of a well honed and cultivated hip drop to feeling like we’re still beginners.

In this week’s video tutorial I’m going to share a concept that gave my turns a complete transformation. Once I started implementing this idea regularly into my dancing I found that my turns became balanced and even a source of pleasure when I danced (rather than the part of the routine I dreaded). And that’s what I want for you too.

So go ahead and dive into the class right now!


Once you’ve taken the class I’d love to know: what’s your secret tip for nailing turns? Be sure to tell us in the comments below, it might be just what somebody needs.

One last thing, have you ever wondered how to become a bellydance teacher? Have you considered teaching but no idea where to start? Perhaps you’ve already been approached by friends or an organization to teach a class and weren’t sure where to start, or maybe you already teach but you’re finding it tough going (how do you find the students?!) Then, if you’re local to Berkshire, UK, you might be a suitable candidate to undertake my SMBA Apprenticeship.

If you would like coaching and mentoring from me on everything from how to set up your first website, find your first students and create sell out classes, then I’d love to invite you to apply for an SMBA Apprenticeship place starting in September. Email mail@helenbellydance.com for full details.

Thank you for reading,

Hugs and hipdrops,

Helen xx

Ps. Do you live local to Reading, UK? If so, check out our Autumn term timetable with courses from Beginner to advanced troupe work. Early bird prices are up for grabs so take a look now!

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

How to shimmy like a pro – 3 tips


Helen Tummy

It still gets my goat that we’ve been conditioned to think that our bodies shouldn’t wobble and, if they do, that we should cover it up.

As bellydancers, we say different.

In this post I want to talk to you about how to make your tummy wobble in the most beautiful and enchanting way possible. Or, as we belly babes call it: shimmy.

The funny thing with shimmies is that they are different every day because our bodies are different every day. It might depend on what time of the year it is, what time of the month it is or how much our body is ever so slightly bigger or smaller than the day before.

There is no “correct” body type  for shimmying, but you might get a sense that on some days your body tunes in and you get an even, effortless shimmy; other days it feels totally forced, like your doing battle with yourself.

The good news is that there are 3 things you can do to crack this beast. It is possible for you to get a comfortable, relaxed, consistent Egyptian shimmy.

Here’s what to do:

1. Fully understand the mechanics and technique beneath the move

2. Get the technique down pat slowly

3. Repeat the technique on a regular basis and increase speed. I’m talking every day or at least every other day for a period of 2 – 3 months to master the technique (you may take longer, you may master it quicker. Just don’t give up – you will get there!)

To help get you started with 1 and 2, I’ve put together  a video tutorial to guide you through so you’re not alone.

However, I can’t help you with 3, that’s all down to you. Remember, watching or thinking about shimmying is not enough, you have to join in (and join in on a regular basis).

My hope for you is that you work towards gaining a strong, consistent and confident shimmy so you can enjoy the feeling of a gloriously wobbly tummy. Not only do shimmies look stunning but they should feel amazing too.

So go ahead and dive into this week’s tutorial …

Once you’ve had a go at the tutorial, I’d love to know: how do you feel about your shimmy? What helpful hint did you hear that helped you to “get it”? Post in the comments below!

If you liked this tutorial then I’d be so grateful if you were to share it with all your friends 🙂

Thanks for reading and watching, see you next time,


Ps. Places are now open on our brand new Beginner Bellydance Essentials course for September 2015. Early bird prices last until the end of July, click here to book your spot.

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