Tonight’s post is the week 4 handout from the level 1 tribal class (part 1).

Basic Arms

Basic Cue: Center, begin with slow, big right arm (exaggerate it a bit to make sure it’s visible and distinctive as a cue to the other dancers).


  • Poses
    • Various body/leg poses and angles should be led into slowly and purposefully.
    • Each pose should be completed before moving into another.
    • In this case there is not a distinct cue for each pose, which makes moving slowly very important as it allows the others to follow effectively without those cues.
  • Travel
    • Cue by leading with upper body and stepping out slowly.
    • Always start with the right leg.
  • Turns
    • Cue with head turn.
    • This is a gradual turn – the lead passes around the formation for timing of the movement and the rotation, until the group returns to the starting point.
    • If turning in close quarters, watch out for each others’ arms and work on passing them around each other gracefully without collisions.  This is easier if you are going slowly.
  • Levels
    • Cue to lower by briefly raising on toes just before starting to sink.
    • Cue to rise by briefly lowering just slightly farther before starting to rise.
    • Keep levels slow.

3/4 Shimmy/Shimmy Walk

Basic Cue: Arms in low hipwork position (arms down to side and wrists bent, palms to floor) to signal to watch for hipwork. Light right foot. Begin slightly exaggerated 3/4 shimmy (with march) on the right side.


  • Travel
    • Cue by lifting first (right) foot more exaggerated than otherwise – you can also add a slight lift of the arms to go along with this for more visibility.
    • Look slightly over your shoulder to go back (not a full head turn as for a turn cue).
  • Arms
    • After the initial hipwork cue, the standard position is a low arm, but you can change the arms to other positions as desired.
    • When moving between arm positions, move the arms slowly and with purpose, allowing the other dancers to follow your transitions.
  • Turn
    • Cue with head turn.
    • This is a gradual turn with the lead shifting as the group rotates.