Bellydance Bootcamp - Arms Workout

Tahja Starr

Categories: Bellydance

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This was a well-chaptered, slow-moving “workout” in which you toned your upper body with bellydance arm movements. In the first section, Tahja discusses attire, saying we should “dress the part” and not throw on just any old baggy teeshirt or sweatshirt. Next, she discusses her “method” and what we can expect from this workout. After that comes the warm up, where she demonstrates massaging your arms, stretching your neck, etc. This is followed by another stretch, this time the chest, shoulders, and arms. Then we “energize and activate” by pressing our shoulders down to engage the trap muscles, rolling our shoulders to loosen them up, play patty-cake against the wall to tone our pecs, work the biceps and triceps by pushing our arms away from us, do “snake arms” for the deltoid muscles, then rotate the wrists to loosen them up as well. Mild, jazzy drum music plays in the background and helps set the tone.

Finally, into the workout. She works the arms by moving them in different directions and says more advanced exercisers can wear wrist weights for increased toning. Then she does isolated shoulder movements, rolling each shoulder back and forth, up and down, and then bouncing them. The bouncing was fun, and she offers tips and pointers throughout; “don’t shrug”, “avoid leaning your body forward and backward with your shoulders”, etc. Other isolated moves include shimmies, lifts and slides, and syncopation, which she describes as “moving to the music” where you a different shoulder moves to the different beats of the music. Then she introduces layered moves – bounce with ribcage slide; dancing shoulders with ribcage lift; shoulders, ribs, and hip slides.

After a short massage break, Tahja demonstrates additional isolated movements: snake arms, which she explains originate from the shoulder; “keep your elbows back, wrists strong.” Her articulated snake arms were pretty cool, where it’s more of a staccato movement rather than a smooth, fluid one. She then layers the moves – snake arms with rib cage moves, with shimmy, etc. Next came hands: hand ripples, wrist circles, lotus hands, and more.

This really wasn’t a “workout” per se, but more of a primer (or refresher) on how different upper body movements can add to your bellydance performance. And it was fun.

Instructor Comments:
Pleasante and "accessible"

Debbie J