How to Do the "Hips Don't Lie" Dance by Shakira

Written by pamela ann ludwig
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How to Do the "Hips Don't Lie" Dance by Shakira
Shakira's dance moves come from Middle Eastern belly dance choreography. (Danse du ventre image by Pascal Péchard from

Pop music sensation Shakira blends belly dance, traditional Latin dance forms and hip-hop into choreography for her music videos and live performances. You can see a number of her classic signature moves in her music video for her 2006 hit song "Hips Don't Lie." The basic choreographic elements in this video consist of the belly dance moves of hip isolations, hip shimmies, chest pops and chest circles. Once you know these you will be able to execute the choreography from Shakira's famous video.

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  1. 1

    Start with the hip moves. Most of Shakira's movements from "Hips Don't Lie" are inspired by classic cabaret belly dance moves, which utilise the movement of the hips. Isolate the hips by moving the knees. For the "vertical" moves, the hip bones move in an up and down motion. Stand with the knees slightly bent and the tailbone tucked under so your back feels flat. Straighten one knee as the other knee bends. Let the hip bone go up as the knee straightens, and the bending of the opposite knee will make the other hip go down. Repeat in time to the music. Make sure the upper body doesn't move. Imagine that if someone could see you only from the waist up, they wouldn't be able to tell that your hips were moving.

  2. 2

    Try the "figure 8" move featured in the video. Use the knee and hip movements as you did for the first move, but make a curved motion with the hip instead, bringing it straight down as you bend the knee. Do this alternating with both sides in continuous motion. Try not to have a "start and stop" feeling, but a continuous, smooth flow of movement, as if you were drawing a figure 8 in the air with your hips.

  3. 3

    Do the Shakira signature chest pops. Keeping the shoulders down, lift the ribs and chest up in one motion as if someone has a string attached to the centre of your chest and is pulling up. You should feel only your chest moving, and not the shoulders, back, or hips. Shakira performs this move in two ways; in one way, she leaves the spine still and the back flat as she isolates the front of the chest. When you see an image from the side, she also adds the curve of the spine to the "pop" to make the move more pronounced. When doing this move, let the spine go forward with the chest as it pops up. Keep the shoulders down and only let the spine and chest move as you execute this movement.

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