Photo of Shira



PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Dance Tip: Alternatives to Shimmies When Dancing to Drum Solos


By Saqra




Expanding Your Drum Solo Options

Shimmying isn't the only thing you can do in a drum solo.

You think I'm going to suggest, "Pops, Locks and Drops," but I'm not!

Stay with me, and let me entertain you!


Okay, drum solos are a cupcake: there is an underlying yellow cake of rhythm (or at very least implied rhythm, but let's not get more complex), and a topping of icing decoration.

We dance to the icing. Little roses, big roses, border pieces, smears of icing — all different in quality, but that really is a topic for a different conversation.

There are two times when shimmying matches up with the general qualities of drum solo music:

  1. When your cake decoration is elongated or smeared in various lengths, or
  2. When there is no icing, and only cake.


When you dance to sections in a drum solo that fit the definition of shimmying above, here are some things to try:

  • Shimmying. I regularly teach 85 kinds! I think we all understand that one as an option!
  • Simple Isolations. For example, these could include hip slides and circles, hip figure 8's, rib cage circles, torso undulations or rolls, and snake arms, and similar moves.
  • Walking. A good, sassy walk is excellent for making a drum solo look controlled and relaxed instead of appearing to be a battle between you and the drummer.
  • Moving Into a Pose. This can also convey smoothness in the music. Take the full duration of the smooth section of the music to move into the pose; otherwise, this looks stilted. Don't arrive at the final pose early and then need to wait.

Practice this. The next time you find a place in the music that you feel calls for a shimmy, try one of the above alternatives: simple isolation, walking, or moving into a pose.

Using one of the above simplified responses to a musical cue makes you look confident, calm, and controlled. These are the Big 3 C's.

Bonus thought: Think about the decorations on the cupcake — the icing rosettes. They are not all the same size.

Your mileage may vary.

And now I want a cupcake.




Copyright Notice

This entire web site is copyrighted. All rights reserved.

All articles, images, forms, scripts, directories, and product reviews on this web site are the property of Shira unless a different author/artist is identified. Material from this web site may not be posted on any other web site unless permission is first obtained from Shira.

Academic papers for school purposes may use information from this site only if the paper properly identifies the original article on using appropriate citations (footnotes, end notes, etc.) and bibliography. Consult your instructor for instructions on how to do this.

If you wish to translate articles from into a language other than English, Shira will be happy to post your translation here on along with a note identifying you as the translator. This could include your photo and biography if you want it to. Contact Shira for more information. You may not post translations of Shira's articles on anybody else's web site, not even your own.

If you are a teacher, performer, or student of Middle Eastern dance, you may link directly to any page on this web site from either your blog or your own web site without first obtaining Shira's permission. Click here for link buttons and other information on how to link.



Explore more belly dance info:

Top >
Belly Dancing >
Index to the Belly Dance Advice Section >
How to Belly Dance


Share this page!

On Facebook


 Top > Belly Dancing > Index to the Belly Dance Advice Section > How to Belly Dance

| Contact Shira | Links | Search this Site |