Bellydance is a beautiful expressive dance form historically originating from the Middle East. Over the years it has evolved and taken influence from Asian, European and American dance styles creating a mesmerising art form that captivates the hearts of women everywhere. Celebrating the female form, it embodies the empowering qualities of both strength and femininity, which are demonstrated through the learning of earthy
grounded movements and fluid sensual patterns.
Bellydance is accessible to everyone-it is all-inclusive and does not discriminate against age, size, body shape or experience. As it is one of the few dance forms that incorporates moves that are natural to the mechanics and alignment of the human body, it is easy on the joints and a safe form of dance to learn. Most of the moves are low impact which means that it is also gentle on the joints and pelvic floor.
The movements involve the whole body but have an emphasis on articulation of the pelvis and thorax. Hence it is a great workout for the pelvic floor, core muscles and provides a gentle massage for the spine. It also works wonders for promoting good posture.
This enchanting dance has numerous benefits for both the body & mind including:
Body Awareness & proprioception
Co-ordination & muscle memory
Flexibility & mobility
Core connectivity & spinal articulation
Strength & stamina
Posture & grace
Confidence & self-appreciation
Relaxation & moving meditation
Creativity, artistic expression & improvisation
Cultural awareness & social identity
A contrast between the two main elements of percussive isolation and smooth, continuous undulations, creates a mesmerising and enchanting dance form that lends equally well to both choreography and improvisation-the key being musical interpretation of both the rhythm and melody of the music- the dancer becomes the visual representation of the music.
The movements are taught in methodical patterns and drilled in fun sequences so that new neurological pathways can be created, eventually allowing muscle memory to take over. It requires focus to create conscious control of muscles that you are perhaps not used to manipulating, hence it is a mindful way of learning. Once individual moves are learnt they are then sequenced into short choreographed combinations- providing stimulation for the memory. Movements can also be layered to add complexity. Whether practising simple or complex moves the opportunity for moving meditation is available as you focus mindfully on just your movements and the rhythm or melody of the music.
Students and professionals are also encouraged to practice improvising their movements to music which helps to build creative flow, artistic expression and mindful presence in the moment.
Bellydance has unlimited scope for personal development as it is not only a technical dance form, but also an artistic, emotionally expressive and culturally rich form of art. It has a vast social scene wherein both local and worldwide communities encourage students to continue to develop by participating in organised workshops, performances and local events to develop their ability and share the joy of dance.
The true beauty of bellydance is that it can be fun, therapeutic, social and expressive and does not require a lengthy background in dance to enjoy or eventually master. So if you are curious to learn one of the few dance forms created by women for women, then seek out the opportunity to learn bellydance and reap the rewards of being part of this historic feminine legacy.