In my years of teaching children to Belly Dance, I’ve found that their favorite movements are the ones that celebrate their youth. Once in a while, I modify authentic Belly Dance movements to suite their age group and, in turn, make it more appealing to kids. Here are a few of their favorites:
1. Hip Twist Shimmies… with a slight bending of the knees. This is a variation of the traditional Belly Dance Hip Twist Shimmies. I’ve found that an added slight bending of the knees makes the movement more playful. How does it work? Begin to twist the hips fast, faster, faster…. now bend just a bit to move down, then up, then down then up! Wow, so much FUN!
2. Hip Drops. This is one of those movements that makes kids feel just like the “big girls.” Proper Hip Drop technique proves to be quite the challenge: Point one toe, slightly bend the opposite knee, tuck the pelvis and lift the ribcage, one arm in 1st position and the other in 5th position (But which one goes where?!), apple under chin, now contract just one bum-bum to create the accent (But which one, the right or the left?!) and, oh yeah, keep your balance! Phew!!!
3. Medium Hip Circles. Why? Because they remind us of hula hoops!!! Children are usually pretty good at executing this movement since they are so familiar with the shape of a hula hoop, it tends to come out naturally!
4. Arms and Hands to Accentuate the Power of Cuteness! Yep, that’s pretty much correct. Not only do they know they are truly adorable, they LOVE to flaunt themselves to the point of cuteness overload! It’s actually the funnest part about working with children. Here are some of my favorite examples of Belly Dance arms and hands that contain a high dosage of cuteness power:
5. Shoulder Shimmies. I haven’t figured out just what it is about the Shoulder Shimmies that always makes the girls crack a smile and several giggles. Perhaps it is a combination between the challenge of the actual isolation (It’s not as easy as it seems to move the shoulders forward and back one at a time!) and the added element of speed – the movement must be done very, very fast! Hehehe, I’m already laughing just thinking about it!
And there you have it, some of the Belly Motions KIDS favorite Belly Dance movements. Mommies, now you know what to have them practice at home 😉
With Love, Miss Luisa