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Learn Belly Dancing - The Atéa Method™

The Core Belly Dance Moves and Steps

Listed below are the essential, basic moves that define classic belly dance. By understanding and mastering these core moves, a student has a solid and correct foundation with which to become an accomplished belly dancer in all styles of bellydance.

Belly Dance Moves Although there are thousands of authentic moves, the majority of belly dancing derives from 12 basic or foundation moves. You can click on each move listed below for a breakdown on how it is done. The continued practice of these core moves, whether by a beginning student or an experienced belly dancer, is essential for being proficient.

Once you master the core moves, the core belly dance techniques will take your belly dancing to higher levels by expanding your awareness of how to be creative and expressive with steps and how to apply them to music.

A student's best path to learning is as individual as each person's DNA. No single dance instruction method will work equally well for everyone. However, after years of teaching bellydance, I've found that the following method has been very successful in helping students quickly and easily learn how to bellydance.

This series of instructional articles will describe how to do the basic moves and how to be creative and expand on this core foundation by using basic core techniques. These articles are most effective as accompaniments to actual classroom or belly dance video instruction. As helpful as the written word can be, belly dancing is best learned with teachers who can actually demonstrate the proper moves for you and observe and guide your progress.

The Core Moves (the Basic 12)

Most bellydancing is derived from one or more of the following 12 movements, along with their many variations. By practicing the "Basic 12", you'll master the core movement vocabulary for all styles of traditional and modern belly dance.

Basic Staccato Hip Moves
1) Hip Twist
2) Hip Bump (Hip Thrust)
3) Up & Down Hips

Basic Rolling Hip Moves
4) Hip Figure 8's
5) Basic Hip Circle
6) Vertical Hip Circle

Basic Ribcage Circles
7) Horizontal Ribcage Circle
8) Diagonal Ribcage Circle
9) Vertical Ribcage Circle With Undulation

Basic Arm, Shoulder, and Head Moves
10) Arm Waves
11) Shoulder Rotations With Arm Ripples (Snake Arms)
12) Head Slide

View video clips of belly dance instruction.

'The Basic 12' core moves are taught in the Bellydance! Magical Motion DVD.

Advanced belly dancing moves are taught in the Bellydance! Slow Moves and Bellydance! Fast Moves.

Return to section page about the belly dancing articles.

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