How to Dance Like Shakira

Benna Crawford
How to Dance Like Shakira

Shakira is just caliente. From her hips to her high notes, with all the heartbreak and "come hither" in-between, the girl can match some moves to her music. You may not have hours every day to rehearse and work out, but you can bust a few of those moves at key moments on the dance floor and boost your Scoville rating from jalapeño to habanero without batting an eye.

"Whenever, Wherever (Suerte)"

With Shakira, it begins and ends at the hips. Make friends with your hips. Get really good at raising and lowering them and raise some eyebrows.

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees flexed.
  2. Raise your right shoulder and bring it back. Splay the fingers of your right hand and place your right palm on your right hip.
  3. Place your left hand on your head, bring your left elbow in to the center of your body, and turn your head to face your right shoulder. Look down at your shoulder.
  4. Shove your right hip up and back.
  5. Circle your pelvic area -- your hips -- back, to the left, front and around. Your knees will move to accommodate the revolution. Your feet stay firmly planted on the floor.
  6. Do about five hip circles on the beat.
  7. Turn your head slowly up and over to the left as you hold the left arm in place.
  8. Then sweep your head and hair to the left and the left arm down and across the body.
  9. Fling your left arm left. Release the right hand from the hip and fling that arm out and back to break the move.

"La Tortura"

This one is no guts, no glory. Try it once you've sunk to your knees and then all the way to the floor in a backwards hinge.

  1. Lie on your back on the floor, arms extended over your head, next to your ears.
  2. Bend your knees and place both feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart.
  3. Contract your core -- hard. Imagine your belly button touching your spine.
  4. Now arch your back strongly, keeping shoulders, arms, glutes, and feet on the floor. Feel as if you are bending in half backwards at the waist.
  5. As you release the arch, slide one flat foot a bit forward and allow the move to drag your body a very small distance along the floor.
  6. Continue to arch, slide, and drag on the beat.
  7. To release the move, raise your hands toward your partner, who stands in front of you. Your partner grabs both your hands and pulls you to your feet.

"Waka Waka"

Waka Waka is crazy hip hop African-folk-dance fun. It's a group party you want to share with as many happy people as you can round up. Swing it, shake, it, stomp it. And go here to learn how to do it.

"Hips Don't Lie"

Neither do chest rolls. You can do this one seated or standing; take a good solid stance to maintain your standing balance and keep your knees flexed to absorb the destabilizing thrusts. It's worth practicing until you can do the extreme isolations sharply.

  1. Thrust both shoulders and bent elbows back - a move which will arch your back and push your chest out and up.
  2. Shake your chest twice quickly. Contract your core as you move your rib cage to one side, around and down. At the low point, shake your chest twice quickly again.
  3. Keep moving the rib cage through the circle, sharply to the other side and up. Shake again and repeat the entire sequence several times. (It's harder than it seems, and a few chest rolls are impressive without overdoing it.)
  4. Transition to your next move at the high point of an arch by bending swiftly forward from the waist and shoulders, allowing your head to drop.
  5. Bring your head up as you straighten your back and continue dancing.

"Hey You"

Here's a little sexy kewpie doll sequence you can use to introduce or break up a dance. It's all about the attitude.

  1. Bend your elbows and move both arms together, parallel, to the right.
  2. As you move your arms, shove your right hip up and snap your fingers down and away from your body.
  3. Bring the right hip down and raise the left hip as you flex your wrists inward and snap your fingers again, up and toward your torso.
  4. Repeat the move two times with the arms to the right, snapping at each hip thrust.
  5. Bring both arms down and back as your thrust your booty out and arch your back.
  6. On the pelvic thrust forward, flex your wrists, curving your arms to mirror the curve of your body, and snap both fingers.
  7. Repeat twice.
  8. Shimmy the entire torso as you bend the left knee, raising it to your torso.
  9. At the same time, extend the arms downward, and flex the wrists, palms facing the floor.
  10. Bring the bent leg backward as you bend your right knee in order to touch your left toes to the floor behind you.
  11. Allow the torso to follow the left hip as your leg moves behind you to touch the floor. Your body will be slightly twisted to face left.
  12. Swing the left foot front to touch the floor just in front of you as your torso swings back to center to face front.
  13. Step back again, touching the floor behind you with your left toes and turning the torso to follow the hip.
  14. Bend the left knee and bring the left thigh up to the torso with the foot lightly pointed. Step straight down, touching only the toes to the floor. Bring the knee back up and repeat the step once.
  15. On the next step, put your weight on the left leg and turn to face the opposite direction, flexing the right knee to shove the right hip up.
  16. As the hip goes up, both extended arms come together down and in front, with the wrists strongly flexed, palms facing the floor.
  17. Turn your head to look over your right shoulder and down at your right butt cheek as you relax your wrists and place one flat palm over another like a swimmer, fingers pointing down.
  18. Rise up on the balls of your feet, knees flexed, and step backwards on the beat, thrusting alternate hips/glutes up in a mincing gait. Your head remains looking over your right shoulder. Take at least six or eight backwards steps.

Fun and Frenzy

Yeah, this is not a weekly aerobics class. Shakira's dancing blasts right past sexy to almost sinful. You need to mix some intention with those hip isolations. If you want to keep up with Shakira and live up to your new awesomeness on the dance floor, you should do a little more than flirt with fitness. Pilates core work will tone those flabby abs. Yoga stretching, hot or not, will free your frozen muscles and joints. Something...something...cardio and endurance will help you to make it through three or four minutes straight of non-stop killing it. Take a deep breath. Take a few of them. Let your hair down. Toss your head around. Try not to throw your back out.

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How to Dance Like Shakira