Drills

Looking for some practice-at-home direction?  These are our main ‘drills’, used in foundation, multi-level drills, and even the choreography classes!  Inspired by Datura and Dark Side bellydance drill sessions!

Layering Drills:

  • Level 1:  Pick one pattern from the set of foot patterns, hip patterns, chest patterns, and arm patterns below and practice, practice, practice!
  • Level 2: Layering fun.  Pick two patterns (one each) from the set of foot, hip, chest, and arm patterns below and do them at the same time.  I recommend starting with a foot pattern you know well and adding a hip pattern, but mix it up for added fun (and sweat).
  • Level 3: Layering crazytimes.  Pick three patterns (one each) from the set of foot, hip, chest, and arm patterns below and do them at the same time.  Woot!

Foot Patterns: 

“The Dog Bone”

(a basic pattern designed to get footwork out of the way to layer other, cooler stuff on top.  practice it, then layer it like crazy!)

  • Starting on the Right Foot (RF), walk forward for 8 steps.
  • Again on the RF, walk on the spot in a 360 degree circle clockwise for 8 steps.
  • Walk backward for 8 steps starting on the RF.
  • Turn in a counter-clockwise circle for 8 steps.
  • Repeat.

“The Double-Ended Mace”

(a more complicated pattern designed to practice torso layers (hip, chest, arm) at different angles and with different weight-changes and weirdness.  fun to practice as a foot pattern alone, then layer with stuff you’re comfortable with, then layer like mad and enjoy!)

  • Starting on the Right Foot (RF), walk forward for 7 steps.
  • On count 8, touch the ball of your left foot beside your right but keep your weight on your right leg (touch).
  • With your Left Foot (LF), step to your down-stage right diagonal, come to the balls of both feet (releve), pivot clockwise to face upstage left (count is 1- step forward, 2-turn).
  • With your LF, step to your upstage left diagonal, come to releve, and pivot clockwise to return to facing downstage right diagonal (count is 3- step forward, 4-turn).
  • Keeping weight on your right leg, touch your left toes in a fan pattern (5- in front of you, to the downstage right diagonal, 6- to your side, downstage centre, 7- behind you, to downstage left diagonal).
  • On count 8, touch your LF beside your right.
  • Starting on the LF, walk backward for 7 steps.
  • On count 8, touch the ball of your RF beside your left (keep your weight on your left leg).
  • With your RF, step to your down-stage left diagonal, come to the balls of both feet (releve), pivot counter-clockwisk to face upstage right (count is 1- step forward, 2-turn).
  • With your RF, step to your upstage right diagonal, come to releve, and pivot counter-clockwise to return to facing downstage left diagonal (count is 3- step forward, 4-turn).
  • Keeping weight on your left leg, touch your right toes in a fan pattern (5- in front of you, to the downstage left diagonal, 6- to your side, downstage centre, 7- behind you, to downstage right diagonal).
  • On count 8, touch your RF beside your left.
  • Repeat

Hip Patterns: 

“Hip on the Up”

(the foundational, fundamental tribal bellydance move!)

  • While stepping on one foot, squeeze the glutes muscles (butt cheek!) only on that side.
  • While stepping on the other foot, release the glutes muscles for the first side, and squeeze the glutes on the same side as your foot.
  • Repeat.

“Hip on the Down”

(the second-most common foundational, fundamental tribal bellydance move!)

  • While stepping on one foot, squeeze the glutes muscles (butt cheek!) only on the non-weight-bearing side.
  • While stepping on the other foot, release the glutes muscles for the first side, and squeeze the glutes on the other side.
  • Repeat.

Chest Patterns: 

“Side to Side”

(a basic move to be done either very sharply or very softly!)

  • While stepping on one foot, slide the rib cage to one side.
  • While stepping on the other foot, slide the rib cage to the other side.
  • Repeat.

“Forward and Back”

(a basic move to be done either very sharply or very softly!)

  • While stepping on one foot, pull the shoulder blades together and lift the chest.
  • While stepping on the other foot, release the shoulder blades and engage the upper-upper abs (under the bra band) to “drop” the check slightly.
  • Repeat.

Arm Patterns: 

“Up and Out”

(a classic tribal bellydance practice arm pattern!)

  • Starting in tribal first, move the arms out to the sides and up to tribal fifth over 8 counts.
  • Hold tribal fifth for 8 counts.
  • Move arms out to the sides and down to tribal first over 8 counts.
  • Hold tribal first for 8 counts.
  • Repeat.

Shimmy Drill:

  • Level 1:  Stand with feet about hip width apart. Keeping EVERYTHING LOOSE, bend one knee, then the other, like walking on the spot.  Don’t straighten either leg completely!  Speed it up… speed it up… speed it up.  Smile, breathe, and shimmy!

body positive dance is about the joy of dance & the awesome body that makes it happen!

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