Shimmy Lab!

Event Type
Event Description




How many shimmies can we cover in this 1.5 hour workshop? That is the challenge! We are going to work through several types of shimmies you can use in any dance style. Form fitting clothing is a plus.

All levels and genders welcome.

Every body welcome.

The movements of Arabic dance are often centered on the hips, and the body posture and movement style used in this dance form can be used to increase the repertoire of movement and diversify a dancer's vocabulary (think Bob Fosse!). The specific use of different shimmies uses body isolation within a larger overall flow of movement. The techniques taught in this workshop are based in bellydance, or raqs sharqi, but can be used as an addition to any form. Explore a new movement technique or find new shimmies you have never used before! The possibilities are endless.

Coming from a background in instrumental and vocal music and traditional stage dance styles, instructor Phaedra Darwish was mesmerized by belly dance and Arabic music after studying different types of dance from around the world. She now regularly performs and teaches workshops and classes in Chicago and throughout the US, hoping to spread enthusiasm and respect for Middle Eastern dance as more and more people get acquainted with its health benefits and enchanted by its beauty.

Phaedra sees teaching and performing Arabic dance as an expression of her heritage and a way to increase cultural appreciation across borders. With its lively music and rich historic tradition, oriental dance, or raqs sharqi, brings with it more than just dance moves. By examining the music, the regions, and the cultural aspects behind the movement in her classes, and performing Arabic dance at a professional level both inside and outside of its traditional environment, Phaedra seeks to fulfill her mission as an artist: to increase cultural awareness, appreciation, and understanding by sharing Arabic dance with as large a population as possible.


Running Time
1 hour, 30 minutes