Whenever I mention to someone that I belly dance, the usual reaction is, “But you don’t look like a belly dancer!” And I think, “Thanks. 🙂 What does a belly dancer look like, then?” I guess they are surprised because I look very plain, a typical mouse type. But the good news is, if I can dance, you can as well. Keep reading and you will discover 7 pretty good reasons why belly dance all your life.
Have you ever:
- had a back pain?
- felt that your life is boring and stereotypical?
- suffered from anxiety, low self-esteem or depression?
- had problems having sex or getting pregnant?
- had ad eating disorder?
- felt like you’re not happy with your body or in your body?
- hated PE lessons and Gym?
If you say yes to any of these questions, you should give belly dancing a go. Try one or two classes in a local studio or take a class online and you will feel right away if belly dancing is right for you.
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If you’re still not convinced that belly dancing is something you could possibly do, why don’t you read a book by Terri Allred I Belly Dance Because: The Transformative Power of Dance (get on amazon.com, get on amazon.co.uk). It contains very personal and emotional stories of woman of different ages and various backgrounds and their experience of belly dance. They will take you on their belly dancing journey. Each life story is unique but they have something in common – belly dancing transformed their life forever. My story was just like theirs, so could be yours.
7 pretty good reasons why belly dance all your life
Belly dancing is a step towards living a holistic life
Once you start belly dancing, your life will transform forever on every level – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Many people think of belly dancing as a fitness workout and sadly some teachers present belly dancing that way to their students. Belly dancing is like yoga or Tantra. It’s a spiritual and philosophical system, not a fitness workout.
You will start loving your body and build self-confidence
Through belly dancing practice you will develop a relationship to your own body and soul. I have seen an amazing transformation of many of my students from anxious frightened teenagers into self-confident young women. Belly dancing turns caterpillars into beautiful butterflies. I have experienced the same process myself. It feels like suddenly you have a firm ground under your feet and somewhere in the middle of your belly ancient wisdom wakes up and you know who you are.
You know who you are when you belly dance!
Belly dancing relieves stress and brings joy to your life
When I visited my first belly dancing lesson, I had no idea what to expect. I was clumsy, my body stiff and I didn’t keep up at all but by the end of the lesson I felt pure joy. I was euphoric. And it happened after every other class, again and again.
Belly dancing moves unblock blockages round our spine columns and the energy can suddenly flow up and down as it should. Plus lots of happiness hormones get released in your blood stream. Your body craves for this relaxation. Our lives are too busy and full of duties and stress. Taking a belly dancing class once a week equals a little holiday. For an hour all your problems are gone, you don’t have to do anything. You can just be. Be yourself, nurture your inner child and enjoy the present moment.
For many women, taking up belly dancing classes helps them to relax and relief stress. That makes it a great tool for overcoming depression. Also, it helps women to get pregnant if they can’t conceive for no obvious physical reasons.
Belly dancing is fun and a proper workout at once
Belly dancing is a very gentle exercise suitable for all ages. But don’t be fooled! Despite its gentleness, belly dancing provides a proper workout for the whole body.
Most traditional gym exercises for strengthening abs are performed laying down on the floor. The external muscles get shorter and bulkier (which is fine if you want to be a culturist, most women don’t). On the other hand, belly dancing exercises abs including the inner layers while standing up. Your body gets trained to use abs in a natural position which is then translated into your daily activities. Your muscles get stronger but longer – your body looks leaner. And without pain and sweat.
With regular exercise your body posture improves, your core muscles and pelvic floor get stronger which sorts most common backpains and you may find that you have better sex.
Belly dancing strengthens muscless while making them long and lean!
You will understand your body and mind better
Before I started belly dancing, I had no idea that my body could move in so many ways. Belly dancing teaches you how to layer movements on top of each other in seemingly impossible ways. It’s a proper training not just for your body but for your left and right brain too. Unlike gym exercises, belly dancing is not boring even if you do it all your life. There’s so much to learn all the time! You will learn to know your body well. You will use muscles that you had no idea you had!
Feel like a princess
Besides all the beneficial effects, belly dancing has one more temptation. Dressing up. It will give you and excuse to play the princess even when you’re over fifty-five. 🙂 It feels awesome when you put on all those glittering sequins, coin belts and veils. You can be your true self, doesn’t matter what people think.
Putting a belly dancing costume on will make you feel confident and sensual!
Belly dancing brings a sense of community
Whenever I joined or ran a belly dance class, there has always been a sense of community and friendship. We miss this in our modern society.
When we used to live in tribes, women shared good and bad and took care of each other. We used to tell stories, raised children and danced together. We don’t have many opportunities to experiences that nowadays. No wonder so many of us suffer from depression, loneliness and dissatisfaction. We know there’s something missing in our lives. We mistakenly expect our male partners to fulfil this need and we get frustrated when they don’t. Well, they can’t.
Joining a belly dancing group is a little bit like having your own tribe. Dancing brings us together and very often we start sharing our lives outside of the dance class. I met my best friends in a belly dance class and I have them for life.
I’m very greateful for all the blessings belly dance brought into my life and wish more women could have such an experience. Sadly, there are still too my misconceptions and prejudices towards belly dancing in our Wester society. So many women could greatly benefit from this ancient art form. Before you reject the idea of belly dancing, keep your mind open and take a few classes with a good teacher. Listen to your body and heart and not what other people think.