May 11, 2009, 10:14:11 PM5/11/09
At first it may seem difficult to learn how to belly dance, but with a
good instructor and patience you can pick up the basic moves of this
enticing, ancient dance.
Belly dancing is a fun way to stay in shape for all ages and body
types. Belly dancing music was very prominent and ubiquitous in the
U.S. throughout the 1950s resulting in dozens of recordings along with
quite an assortment of fascinating album covers. The theme was: middle
class women, spice up your married lives by belly dancing for your
spouse. Belly dance isn't even a completely descriptive term. Middle
Eastern dance encompasses so many dance forms, even going into African
tribal dances, Latin dances such as Flamingo and more.
When taking classes it has been found that students improve pretty
fast and are generally able to learn the basics in a few sessions.
Wearing athletic clothing or dancewear is very helpful and can be
barefoot or may choose to wear dance footwear such as sandals, ballet
slippers, or even ballroom shoes or jazz sneakers. You'll want to make
sure that you wear clothing in which your torso and legs can easily be
seen such as with yoga pants. For the top a sports bra or other crop
top will be necessary.
Movements are fused into combinations or choreography that are open to
individual interpretation and stylization. Learning how to belly dance
incorporates movements known as "drills" to engrain and help with
learning the basics. You will also become familiar with the use of
some of the props such as a veil, scarf, and finger cymbals. Moves
include shoulder and hip shimmies, hip drops and lifts, snake hips and
figure-eight's, rib circles and rib drops, as well as basic dance
posture and arm placement. You can probably see why it is important to
wear comfortable clothing.
Outside of class a student should practice doing the moves learned for
a good 20 minutes each day. This will help to make the basic moves
become almost 2nd nature and, as an additional benefit, you'll
probably start shedding some of those unwanted pounds! Fast belly
dance moves can burn 250-300 calories per hour. Practice your belly
dancing until you are confident enough to display your new skill.
Belly dance is a culture; it is a dance form that is highly artistic.
It started thousands of years ago as a birth ritual dance, a
celebration for birth and new lives. Today it is just as mysterious
and appealing as ever.