Shimmy and Shake: Basic Belly-Dancing Moves to Tone the Bodysh

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Belly-dancing is a traditional Middle Eastern dance involving the “articulation” of the torso. The dance is also characterized by swaying hips, quaking movements with dynamic and emotional expressions. Belly-dancing has evolved from region to region. But the base concept remains the same. These days, belly-dancing is known as a fun, fabulous way to stay fit! In today’s post, we are giving you basic belly-dancing moves to tone the whole body:

Torso Circles

This is a basic belly-dancing move that engages the ribcage. Usually, the ribcage is very stiff. The torso circles will improve flexibility while promoting better posture.

To perform the torso circles, gently slide the ribcage to the right without moving the hips. Now, pull the back muscles as you slide to the left. Arch the upper body to the front, pushing the chest forward. Now, circle your torso to the right eight times then on the other side. Make sure the movement is smooth.

Figure Eight

This is a classic move that engages the abdominal muscles and opens the hips. It will also shrink the waist and flatten the belly! To start, twist the right hip out front, drawing a circle to the outside. Then, face the back diagonally, shifting the weight on your right foot. Now, shift the weight to the left foot, twisting the left hip back as you go. With your hips, start drawing an infinity hoop, twisting the hips and belly all the way back to the sides.

Hip Twists

This move will engage and tone the waist. Start by standing straight and bringing the foot in front of you. Lift the ball of the right foot then don’t let the knees splay out. Twist the right hip all the way forward and back. Keep the belly sway relaxed, smooth but powerful. Repeat the twist slowly at first, increasing speed in time with the music then switch sides.

Rib Slide

The rib slide might engage the ribcage, but it actually activates the obliques and the abdominal muscles. Do this for several minutes each workout to achieve a defined midsection!

Start by standing with your hands on your hips, feet together. Sway the ribs to the left then back then switch sides to the right. Keep moving the torso from side to side.

Hip Circle

Tone the obliques and the glutes with the hip circle! This move will give you J.Lo butt! Stand straight with feet hip-width apart. Keep the arms slightly lifted from the sides. Now, shift the hips to the right as if you’re using a hula-hoop. Keep moving the hips in a circular motion, slowly at first. Now, repeat to the opposite side.


The camel will release stress from the spine while it tones the arms and sides. This move is best for people who suffer from recurring back pain.

Start by pressing the chest forward while drawing the shoulders and arms at the sides. Arch the spine then reverse the motion by activating the abdominal muscles. Tuck your pelvis then bring the shoulders forward. Move the spine as if you’re drawing a rippling S.

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