Monday, 11 May 2009

How Can Belly Dance Benefit You?

Published: January 08, 2009
By: A. Writer

Belly dancing is a great way to strengthen your body while you learn an amazing dance form that has been around for hundreds of years. Many people are afraid to take up belly dance for a variety of reasons. Some people think they are bad dancers, other
people think they don't have the right body for it, and still more people are afraid of the negative associations attached to belly dancers.

The truth is that belly dancing has an undeserved bad reputation. Over the years, Hollywood has portrayed belly dancers as adult entertainers, similar to strippers. In many period movies, belly dancers are portrayed as exotic sex slaves, contrasted to repressed women in black veils.

In reality, belly dancing consists of tribal dance forms from all over the Middle East, and further. It originates from dance forms the Roma gypsies brought from India and took with them everywhere they traveled. It was generally a communal dance form used in celebration, rather than a solo performer.

In the past century, the West has co-opted belly dance and transformed the art into something completely different. More recently, some belly dancers have been working to take back the dance form and have control over the way they are portrayed. Fat Chance Belly Dance is one such dance company. Some people try to restore the original moves and costumes of the tribal dance, while others try to expand it. There is even a large underground movement of Goth belly dancers.

Besides the rich and interesting history, there are many reasons to take up belly dancing. It is great for your internal muscles strength. The muscle isolations practiced in belly dance will help you strengthen your core, which can help you have better digestion and even lessen the pain of childbirth.

Belly dance is one of the few dance forms that is great for women with any body type. While ballet requires a slender figure, belly dance is wonderful for women with curves. There is no benefit to having any particular body type, since belly dance is all about the internal strength in your body.

You will probably not develop six pack abs and a perfectly svelte body through belly dance. But you will gain internal strength, have fun, and participate in a cultural dance that has a rich history. To find some classes, look at your local gyms, nearby colleges, and dance studios. If there are no classes or teachers in your area, check online for one of the many instructional belly dance DVDs.

Source: Associated Content

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