Healthy Hollywood: Wellness Wednesday – Shake Your Stuff Like Shakira!

Shakira’s hips don’t lie! The singing sensation sure knows how to swivel and seduce with belly dancing.

The Colombian-born beauty has said it’s all in her genes, adding, “It’s something that was practically given to me at birth, and for which I never had to train myself. These movements, they are inside me and I can call them back whenever I need.”

Shakira’s not the only shimmying superstar. Marisa Tomei and “90210’s” AnnaLynne McCord credit belly dancing with keeping them fit and feeling sexy. That’s right! Shaking your booty slims your waist and enhances your self-esteem. “It’s very empowering,” reveals world-renowned belly dancer Amira Mor, who trained Britney Spears. “With belly dancing you will learn to love your body. You feel sensual and beautiful. You feel strong and in control on many levels. You learn body awareness,” adds Amira.

Plus, belly dancing only gets better with age! “For teenagers and young women in their 20s, it is more of a physical experience, but for women after 35 and up, it is totally the emotional expression,” Amira states, adding, “It’s all about expression of yourself: shy, strong, funny, sensual, daring, commanding, or childish. It’s all part of the dance…the longer you dance (years) the deeper into yourself the more layers will unveil.”

There’s no denying it’s also an awesome all over body workout. One can burn between 300 – 400 calories within an hour, and it’s fab for abs and the entire torso. Thinking you’re too shy to shimmy? Amira’s word of advice: Liberate yourself! Dare to explore and express yourself! Also, there’s no need to wear full-on belly dance gear; instead start out with the same type of outfit you would wear for yoga.

Amira offers a few belly dancing 101 moves to get us started. Now, let’s shimmy!

1. Low impact cardio move – Shimmy Hips
Stand up with your feet about 8 inches or less apart. Toes directed straight forward. Tummy tucked in and your torso lifted up. Bend your knees slightly. And shift your hips side to side. Right, Left, Right, Left. And slowly shift faster and faster until you reach a shimmy. Have fun. Start each move slowly and try to FEEL your hip stretching, your glutes getting tight, and relax. Get in touch with your body.

2. Low impact sensual move
Stand up with your feet about 8 inches or less apart. Toes directed straight forward. Tummy tucked in and your torso lifted up. Bend your knees slightly. Bring your right hip forward and circle it to the right side and back. Bring left hip forward left side and back. Create circle with your right hip and left hip. Pretend you are drawing with your hips a big 8 on the floor. Take it to the next level by lifting your arms beside your body slowly, all the way above your head and down beside your body, continuing with the figure of 8. Make sure your torso is stretched up for elegance and grace.

For more information on Amira Mor and her series of instructional DVDs, check out

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