Umi and the "washing machine" shimmy!

tim ema

New member
I hope I've posted this in the right place...this is where the question about flutters was put, so I hope I'm not messing up!

About the "Umi":
Does "Umi" rhyme with "Tummy" or with "Roomy"?

Also, as I am currently learning by myself at home, I must be very careful about learning correct technique by checking multiple sources if something is unclear. I am concerned about my hips when doing the Umi.
When doing the rotation for the Umi, I know I lift my right hip, then lift my hips up in front, then my left hip to create a rotation - but do I maintain the same "grinding" rotation as the movement goes to the back? Do I lift/jut out my hips at the back to create a full circle? I am concerned because it seems to be in oppositon to the "keep your hips tucked IN or you'll be injured" stuff that one always hears. I am worried, so I've been discontinuing the rotation and just swinging my hips sideways back to the start again. I'm creating a "D" shape with my hips rather than a full "O".

Secondly, I am learning a lot from the Youtube posts of an instructress named Casseopia, but surely this move is not ACTUALLY called the "washing machine" shimmy! Can anyone tell me what a ought to be calling it?

Thanks for any and all help!
:)
AT
 

tim ema

New member
Yep...that's the 'street' term for this 'shimmy' in the US. I've also heard it called a Ghawazi (sp?!) twist.
Gia
"Ghawazi"? Thank you! Interesting that the washing machine analogy is also widely used! LOL!! I'd hate to see what the move would look like if front loading washers caught on in the US! ROFL! Might be rather an uncomfortable move!

Thanks again!
:)
AT
 

Ludmilla

New member
Just to check if I understand these great comments -- Ghawazee twist is the same thing as an Umi (Oomi...)? Hm -- Or are these 2 different moves? Regards, Ludy -
 

Gia al Qamar

New member
HaHa...front loading...just add soap!
To clarify...I was speaking only of the twist shimmy not the "Umi" or "Omi' which is a tiny hip circle that uses a pelvic tilt to the front and release to the back...
Gia
 

Ludmilla

New member
Tim'ema - May I ask if you have tips on at home study? I like to practice/drill at home and any pointers would help -- anyone? (I find using a DVD - so far, Jillina) and drills from class help -- I find at home practice "with the muse" quite important - class or no -- anyway, I think there was an earlier thread on this but since T. brought this up, since Tim'ema -- you have such in depth detail asking about Umis...(PS Umi is from hula, so a Hawaiian word) - The many other pronouciations are adaptations of it for different areas (as we know so many ME words, etc are all adapted/spelled so many different ways etc -- Umi means mustache or whiskers in Hawaiian, near as I can tell, and I see a mustache shape in doing an umi -- Not sure if this is officially correct, but it helps me anyway........Regards, all -- Ludy -
 

Moon

New member
tim'ema said:
Secondly, I am learning a lot from the Youtube posts of an instructress named Casseopia, but surely this move is not ACTUALLY called the "washing machine" shimmy! Can anyone tell me what a ought to be calling it?
My teacher calles that one "twist shimmy" or "Tunisian shimmy".
 

Kiraze

New member
Sorry this is Off Topic but I wonder if there is somewhere a "dictionary" for different belly dance moves? There can be dozens of different names for same movement and at least for me some terminology used can be really strange when name does not have any visible connection with the actual movement like *umi* or *maya* (I still have no idea of what movements these really are)

Maybe this kind of "dictionary" could be added here on Orientaldancer.net :)
 

Zumarrad

Member
Interesting, the regional variations. The washing machine on the video is much the same as we do, but with no isolation of the ribcage.
 

tim ema

New member
Wow! So many names for the same thing!
I take it then the pronounciation of Umi is not standardized? Some say Oomee and others say Umee (like "tummy")?

Zumarrad,
You isolate the movement to the hips? No ribcage movement?

Ludy,
Thanks for the info on the Hawaiian connection! I had no idea! The first time I saw the Heavy Hips Tribal group on YouTube I thought, "That looks like Polynesian dance!" I guess it wasn't just me!

As to tips on studying at home - I am still just starting, but so far what is working for me are 5 major things:
Dressing Up - being all alone I find I can better focus on "this is bellydance time" if I'm in BD gear. Just putting stuff together from the closet at this point, but that's good enough!
Keep it Simple and Correct - I stick to a small number of simple moves and I'm working on doing them correctly and easily - then I'll move on.
YouTube - this is invaluable for viewing different styles and getting new instructions. If a video is mentioned by the experienced dancers on this forum, watch it over and over. Read the comments on this forum about the dancer's technique and skill, then watch it again and try and see what the experienced dancers are talking about. Try and train your eye this way.
Inspiring Music - Bellydance Radio and Radiobastet (both of which I learned about on this forum) are GREAT and help keep things fresh.
Support System - THIS FORUM!!!! Human input is a must!

Hope that helps!
Goodness knows I'VE been helped TONS by this forum!
:)
AT
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Ah, the good ol' washing machine hips. Wonder what it might look like if we still pounded our clothes on a rock in the stream?
 

samsied

New member
Hi! As already mentioned, there are a lot of different names for different moves since there are no standard names. I have heard Omi's/Umi's referred to by three different names: 1--Omi/Umi which I am told is named from Hula and Polynesian Dance 2--Pelvic Circles 3--And "African Circles" or "Moroccan Circles" (the later from my ex-teacher who is Moroccan). A similar movement is in a lot of different dance forms with a slightly different feel. A Hula dancer told me the Omi in hhula is actually a little different than what bellydancers usually do for this move--but I know nothing about Hula so I can't expand on it.

For some reason, I find the different names a move has interesting!
 

samsied

New member
Hi Tim'Ema,

One thing that concerns me about your post is referring to a "grind" when doing this move. I have always learned it as a soft rolling rather than a grinding (which can still be a dance move but may look and feel a little agressive for this dance style). (Also if you are doing an agressive pelvic tip to the back--it may be unsafe for your lower back!)

If done softly it feels quite good to me--if noone is around I sometimes do this move when my lower back feels tense to relax the muscles. From having had about 7 teachers (partially due to moving and taking muliple classes at a time) I learned this move in a few different ways.

One way is to do very soft, rolling tiny hip circles with a small hip lift on each side and a pelvic tuck in the front. You don't really have to tuck to the back because the hip lift that proceeds is a little in front of the backwards motion so you still get a small circle without crunching your lower back. In this way the movement to the back isn't tucked like you usually do in bellydance but it is in your natural position. It can be crisp like a slight shimmy or smooth like an undulation.

Another way I learned, is very much the same but with an emphasis on muscular contractions. You contract right side obliques, then as you circle forward contract the lower abs for the tuck in the front, then as you circle the left side obliques then release for the back as you complete the circle (in this way you don't contract the lower back muscles you just relax as you circle around so your back stays in a safe posture). It is actually a very small movement even though it looks big. Of course, just like there are lots of different names there are also lots of different ways people teach a particular move depending on their style and the effect they want.

I am glad to hear you are being careful with your body as you practice at home. Be kind to your back!

About the "Umi":
Does "Umi" rhyme with "Tummy" or with "Roomy"?

Also, as I am currently learning by myself at home, I must be very careful about learning correct technique by checking multiple sources if something is unclear. I am concerned about my hips when doing the Umi.
When doing the rotation for the Umi, I know I lift my right hip, then lift my hips up in front, then my left hip to create a rotation - but do I maintain the same "grinding" rotation as the movement goes to the back? Do I lift/jut out my hips at the back to create a full circle? I am concerned because it seems to be in oppositon to the "keep your hips tucked IN or you'll be injured" stuff that one always hears. I am worried, so I've been discontinuing the rotation and just swinging my hips sideways back to the start again. I'm creating a "D" shape with my hips rather than a full "O".

Thanks for any and all help!
:)
AT
 

Zumarrad

Member
Zumarrad,
You isolate the movement to the hips? No ribcage movement?
Totally. Of course there is a small amount of sympathetic movement in the upper body, but not a lot. You can't possibly get it fast if you use the whole torso. When you get it going in real "shimmy" mode, you can feel your buttocks shaking loosely. And if you've eaten, you may get the stitch at first. The way I learned it has more of that "whittle the waist" quality.

Oh, and the way I learned, and therefore teach, ummis is different. Rather than up up up release, it's down down down pull up. The former is probably an easier way to prevent really shoving your bum out, but there is a slight drop in the pelvis in our ummi. Very slight.
 
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Ludmilla

New member
This thread has so many interesting aspects to it!!! I can't reply to all comments, I'd like to replay to (without going cross-eyed looking through) - But just a couple:

Tim'ema - thanks for your nice chart on at home tips -- I really like what you say!! (Esp about the BD Radio -- I had not heard of that at all -- I wonder if I can receive that -- do you know where it is broadcast from?) Your at home study sounds very nice -- (Which video were you referring to where an umi is shown on U-Tube, I guess? I'd love to check that out to see, if you could mention again, perhaps the link....?) -- Please don't go to any trouble though -

Zumarrad -- Your explanation of an umi is really great, too -- written very nicely - I can almost picture someone doing this move right there, as I read --
So many great comments here -- thanks, all -- Ludy -
 

tim ema

New member
...Tim'ema - thanks for your nice chart on at home tips -- I really like what you say!! (Esp about the BD Radio -- I had not heard of that at all -- I wonder if I can receive that -- do you know where it is broadcast from?)
It is on the internet! I learned of it & radiobastet from this forum, but I cannot remember where so here are the links:
http://www.milescopeland.net/bellydance/radio/index.shtml
Just click one of the songs on the picture of the blue radio and it will start playing on your computer!

Here is the link to Radiobastet:
http://www.radiobastet.com/index.html
This also plays on your computer. Scroll about halfway down the page and
there will be boxes labelled "Program 72" "Program 41" etc. Click one and it will start to play. Each program is several songs - if you want to know what songs are going to play on what program, scroll back to the TOP of the page and choose "Program Lists".


.....(Which video were you referring to where an umi is shown on U-Tube, I guess? I'd love to check that out to see, if you could mention again, perhaps the link....?) -- Please don't go to any trouble though -
No trouble at all! It was discourteous of me not to post the link in the first place! I apologize!
http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=cassiopeia222&page=1
This link takes you to Page 1 of a three page list of Casseopia's instructional vids. Each one is labeled (How to 3/4 shimmy, How to etc)..the Umi is at the top of the second page.

Zumarrad and samsied,
Thanks for the input on Umis! Those instructions help A LOT!
The downside of vids is you only get something explained to you one way and if you don't get it - too bad. This forum is a lifesaver! (and a BACKSAVER!)

:)
AT

Shanazel said:
Ah, the good ol' washing machine hips. Wonder what it might look like if we still pounded our clothes on a rock in the stream?
ROFL!!!!
:D :D :D
 

Ludmilla

New member
Tim'ema -- Thanks for showing these links to look through - very interesting! ON the Cassiopiea videos -- the first one that is, I wish I knew the name and musician of that song! Great slow, to practice to if I could find it........I'm really inspired by your comments and much success w/ umis and all the rest! Ludy --
 

tim ema

New member
Thanks for the well wishes, Ludy!

The music in the vid sounds like Loreena McKennit..."Between the Shadows" I think (also called Persian Shadows), from the album "The Visit".
I could be wrong.

:)
AT
 
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