Tag Archives: online bellydance class

Is this the most iconic bellydance move of all time? How to dance like Soheir Zaki

Is this the most iconic move of

“Omg her hips are on fire!”

That’s what I thought when I first saw Soheir Zaki dancing in old Egyptian films and it’s pretty much still my reaction when I watch her now.

Soheir was an Egyptian bellydance superstar during the 1960s and 70s. She had a very natural, girlie style of dancing which, for me, gives her dance a real sense of freedom and fun.

However, don’t be fooled by the “cute” quality of her dance, she meant business when it came to hipwork.

So for this week’s blog tutorial I’m going to teach you what is known to most bellydancers as the “Soheir Zaki step”. Plus I’ll give you some tips on how to give it some Soheir characterisation, so be sure to watch til the end.

Dive into this week’s tutorial to see your hips hit the proverbial road.


And if you want some Soheir-fuelled inspiration then here’s one of my fave clips. (Look out for that iconic move at 1.36)



Thanks, as always, for reading. And if you think your other bellydance friends might enjoy this, please share it with them, I’d be so grateful 🙂

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!

If you’re further afield you can still join in with my free classes on my youtube channel (there are over 37 classes!)

Now I’d love to know: who stands out as an iconic bellydancer for you? and how would you characterise her or his style? Let us know in the comments below!

Hugs and shimmies,
Helen xx

Ps. If you like this tutorial, why not check out my previous class on Samya Gamal?

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!



What’s a “shimmy drop”? Let me show you …

How to do a shimmy drop

It’s a monster mashup this week as I’ll be showing you, step-by-step, how to execute a neat little move that’s perfect for drum solos – and pretty much any other routine.

(NB. Also suitable for bopping around the kitchen or having a sneaky practice in the loos at work)

If you’re looking for an impressively cute move to delight your audience (or yourself), then this one is for you.

Click to see this week’s express “shimmy drop” tutorial.



I’d love to know what you thought of this week’s post so please do leave me a comment below. Have you perfected the shimmy drop? Do you have any tips on how to master it? Let us know!

Your other task this week is to create your own shimmy-mashup move. You are a creative and expressive person and you don’t need special permission to experiment with movements, so try combining movements that you wouldn’t normally expect!

Thank you for watching,

Hugs and hipdrops,

Helen x

Ps. Have you signed up for Summer School? Our Reading sessions are now sold out, go here to grab the last remaining Thatcham spot.

Yoga and Meditation for Bellydance 2015






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Vintage style bellydance: how to get effortlessly elegant arms

How is it that some dancers seem to be able to just get up, dance and look effortlessly fabulous and elegant?

What do they do? how do the do it? and how can I do it too?!

The truth is that these kind of accomplished-looking dancers have “go to” movements. These are certain moves and actions that are adaptable enough to use during improvisation in ways that don’t look obvious and repetitive.

If you aspire to improvise with confidence and ease then this tutorial is definitely for you. In this week’s video I’ll show you an easy, super sleek and elegant vintage-inspired technique that anybody can do with virtually any move.

I’ll be giving you a “go to” action to do with your arms that instantly makes pretty much all your moves look classy with that hint of vintage glam. This one has really helped me out, particularly when it comes to improvisation.

I’ll also explain why this move works so well and help you understand the subtle differences in stylization which (to me at least) make this action “vintage”.

Be sure to watch right to the end where I show you two simple ways to use this technique to full effect.

WARNING: side effects of engaging with this simple technique include heightened feelings of femininity, confidence and sexiness (yes, I said sexiness in relation to bellydance, I think we’re allowed to every now and then 😉 )

Click to dive into today’s tutorial – see you in class!


Thanks for watching, I’d love to know how you got on with the tutorial so be sure to post a comment below. Did you try out the technique? Did it work for you? I’d love to know 🙂

Hugs and hipdrops,

Helen x

Ps. Is there a topic you’d like to see a tutorial on? Post your suggestions in the comments box below and I’ll do my best to create a tutorial on it.

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