Sahira Belly Dance Class & Combination #1 | Hip Slides, Twists, 8s and Jewels

Since back to school is in the air, I thought I would deliver a little school to your inbox today (of the belly dance variety, of course!)

As we celebrate the season of learning, I’d love to share with you a 30-minute mini-class to get you dancing! Perfect for beginner dancers or anyone wanting to drill the basics, this class will take you from warm up, to technique, to drills and will even build a fun little combination to dance to at the end!

Check it out, dancing along, and mark “belly dance practice” off your to-do list for today!


Technique used in this class:

Hip Slide :

Hip Twist :

Figure 8:



Like it, love it, want more of it?

Join me online at and find hundreds of hours of belly dance classes just waiting for you!

Join my mailing list and get access to 10 free classes to get you started!


Special thanks to the following artists for allowing me to use their incredible music!


David Macjeka:

Lauren Checchio:

Sahira Belly Dances – Toul Omri Performance

By request – a performance video for you!

I have always LOVED this song and was thrilled for the opportunity to record an improvisational performance to it for the incredible Crimson Vagabond Road show in August of 2020.

A huge thank you to the event for providing a beautiful opportunity for dancers to connect, hang out and share their talents with each other and the world. We need this connection more now than ever.

May we keep dancing together through the storm.


Zill Hero Interview | Lauren Checchio

I adore everything about the finger cymbals. The myriad sounds they make, the infinite variety of styles, the shine of a brand new pair, learning a new riff on them, playing around with them, collecting them… I honestly could go on forever.


This obsession was not born overnight. I’ve been working with the finger cymbals for two decades and there are definitely a few incredible dancers and musicians that have inspired me to continually pick up these babies and keep working with them.


Lauren Checchio is one of those inspirations.


Today I would like for you to meet her! Lauren and I sat down together last week to chat about her background in music, rhythm and dance and then we geeked out a bit about zills. I learned why at a young age she was totally traumatized by and completely hated the zills and how she was able to turn this around and become the rock star ziller she is today. I also learned all about the method she’s developed to teach zills and drums using the same language – effectively allowing you to pick up just about any hand percussion instrument and understand how to belly dance rhythms on them. (Seriously!)


I think you are really going to enjoy this interview… be warned – it gets fairly ridiculous. I’ve known Lauren a long time now and we laugh a lot when we are together.


If you are interested in the online class she is giving next month, you can register here. Please tell her I sent you! I would love to see you there!



Learn more about Lauren at


Join me and learn more than a dozen sensational shimmies!


This shimmy is a quintessential movement in belly dance and there are many shimmies every serious belly dancer should know.

While the shimmy is incredibly important to the dance, it is not necessarily an easy movement to accomplish. In fact, many dancers (including myself!) struggle to make the basic shimmy technique work.

I want you to know that you are not alone!

In this course I will take you through several shimmy tips and tricks that will help even the most timid shimmier gain confidence and strength in their technique. Oftentimes what is missing is just a few insightful ideas about how the muscles and joints work together to create the shimmy, tips on how to relax into the movement and someone to cheer you on as you practice!

This course will also dive deep into Shimmies of all kinds including:

Knee Shimmy

Hip Shimmy

Triplet Shimmy ( 8 different kinds!)

Three-quarter shimmy

Moroccan Shimmy

African Shimmy

Twisting Shimmy

Choo Choo Shimmy

Hagallah Shimmy, and more!

So dancers…start your engines, tie on your hip scarves, and join me for a shimmy marathon! Registration opens August 18th and closes on August 24 – so don’t delay! Don’t pay full price for this course! Join my mailing list for a special members-only discount.

Test your shimmy knowledge and you can win big!

Shimmies are like an unending sparkly treasure chest – the more you dig into and explore them the more variations you find.

So much of the beauty of the shimmy lies in its infinite variations and textures. The more we understand and practice developing these variations the better our shimmies will serve us when we are ready to interpret the music and dance.

So today I bring you a fun little quiz – a video compilation I’ve made using some of my favorite shimmies and their many textures.

Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to count HOW MANY shimmies I’m performing in this short one-minute video.

(Every variation counts as a shimmy.)

Think you are up for the task?

Guess correctly and you will be ENTERED TO WIN my brand new Sensational Shimmy Intensive – an entire course chocked full of shimmy breakdowns, drills and workouts – to be released next week!

Ready? Set. Shimmy!


To officially enter to win, post below AND send your guess via email to me at sahira[at] You must do both to win.

Entries must be received by midnight CST on Monday August 17th. A winner will be chosen and announced on August 18th. (Entering will add you to my mailing list so you are the first to know when the course releases next week and if you won the giveaway. You can unsubscribe at any time.)


Thanks to the fabulous David Macejka for his fabulous music!

Shimmies are a quintessential part of a belly dancer’s movement vocabulary.

There are dozens of beautiful shimmies to learn, and each can be used in different ways within the dance. And above and beyond learning “all” the shimmies, there is an entire world of textures and variations to be explored once the basics have been mastered.

I was putting my triplet shimmy under the microscope when I started to peel away layers and soon came across this amazing realization.

If I really get specific about how I create this shimmy I have EIGHT different variations (and counting) I can use to really be able to express the music exactly as I want to when I dance.

Eight different triplet shimmies? Have I gone mad?!?!


I’m going to let you be the judge. Try this exercise for yourself and let me know what you find!


So what do you think? Have I totally lost it? Or were you also able to create a few distinct triplet shimmies, all with a similar pulse but with a slightly different look and feel?

Which variation is your favorite?


Can’t get enough shimmies? Ready for more?

Stay tuned for an exciting announcement, or join my mailing list to be the first to know what fabulous shimmiliciousness I have in store for you!

***** A huge thank you to the amazing David Macejka for the use of his music. 

This shimmy is a staple of many belly dance drum solo. Big and bouncy and dramatic – it’s the Earthquake Shimmy!

In this video I will explain how to create this delicious shimmy as well as where and when to use it in your belly dance performance.

Then we will drill it with music to get it under our proverbial hip belts.

Don’t forget to stretch your calves afterwards!


Like it, love it, want more of it?

Learn over a dozen shimmies and variations in my new and improved Shimmy course on Teachable. Registration opens August 11, 2020.

These three simple tips will revolutionize your shimmy!

Are your shimmies not quite where you want them to be?

Are you frustrated by weak or inconsistent shimmies?

Are you ready to change that?

For the first 12 or so years of my belly dance career I was not very good at – maybe even terrible at – shimmies.

Seriously. 😕

I felt like a total belly dance poser.

Shimmies are a quintessential part of the belly dance movement vocabulary. How could I possibly claim to be a belly dancer and not be able to shimmy?

About 8 years ago all that changed. At that time I figured out three key ideas that helped me bring my shimmy from lame to totally satisfying. And now I want to help you do the same.

Are you ready to take your shimmies from perhaps weak and inconsistent to sensationally confident?

These three simple tips made a HUGE difference for my shimmies, and they can do so for you too!

***** Want to take your shimmies to the next level and learn over a dozen different shimmy variations!

Check out my Sensational Shimmy Workshop online! (Open for registration on August 11, 2020)


Thank you to the amazing Istanpitta for the use of their music.

#30toThrive with Sahira [Episode 11] – The Power of Music and a Belly Roll Lesson

In this time of required social distancing, we need our online communities more than ever!

That’s why I’m joining you live to connect, share stories of inspiration and explore concrete ways to find grounding, meaning and even joy in these strange times.

Today we explore: The power that music has to change our emotional state

Music has been proven time and again to be able to influence our feelings and our mood. Today we will talk a bit about why this happens and explore how we can use this to positively affect our lives.

And then, because moving our bodies every day is so very important, we will end with a dance lesson to help you move our way into a place of joy! The belly roll lesson begins at 16:00.

**Recorded Live on Facebook on May 30, 2020