Belly Dance for Fun and Fitness

Updated on May 7, 2017
Tricia Deed profile image

Tricia Deed enjoys writing about dance. She has had years instructing belly dancing in cabaret, ethnic and folkloric styles.

An Egyptian style dancer performing with Isis Wings constructed from lame fabric.
An Egyptian style dancer performing with Isis Wings constructed from lame fabric. | Source

Bellydancing Muscle Isolations

Students of belly dancing soon learn how much fun there is in learning this beautiful dance. It is fun because it is enjoyable. You do not feel that you are laboring grudgingly with a set of fixed exercises with boring repetitions.

The dancer uses her muscles to follow the rhythms in the music. She may stretch, tighten, flex, or vibrate muscle tissues. While interpreting the rhythms she is burning body fat, toning, slenderizing, and developing muscles for personalized physical fitness. The movements and actions of the body are having fun and one never complains about exercising. In fact, a person wants to keep dancing.

Exercising to music or dancing is appealing because physical, mental, and psychological satisfaction can be gained by marking time with selected rhythms. The proof of one's accomplishment is reflected in the mirror. Wearing a beautiful costume which enhances her figure is an added boost making a woman feel beautiful.

Dancers smile very often while rehearsing their body movements which is their exercise activity.
Dancers smile very often while rehearsing their body movements which is their exercise activity. | Source

Funny Bellydance Choreography - Marzia & Desiree

Belly Dancing Isolation Techniques

These are some of the movements which the dancer uses while she is dancing. Play your favorite music and add some or all of these isolations to the rhythms or to the musical instruments which you are hearing in the music.


  • Slide head from side to side
  • Gently sway head in a half circle


  • Roll forward or backward
  • Lift shoulder up and down
  • Shake shoulders forward and backward rapidly


  • Move up and down
  • Move individual joints starting with the wrist to cause a slithering or snakelike motion to the arms.
  • Use arms to designate or frame a movement.

Rib Cage:

  • Move from side to side
  • Circle the rib cage
  • Lift rib cage vertically up and down

Hip: (Bend knees slightly in order to create movements.)

  • Lift up and down
  • Move hip in a circle pattern
  • Move hip forward and backward
  • Slide hip from side to side
  • Vibrate hip


The legs support the body movements, align for correct manipulations, and help to change the positioning of the body as well as to travel while performing other movements.

Strengthen Muscles and Bones

Muscle strength can be built with belly dancing movements. There is resistance when moving legs, arms, the chest, as well as the hips. The belly dancer has endurance and it is her muscles which enable twenty and thirty minute dancing sets. She is smiling and happy with not a care in the world when dancing.

Walking, skipping, sliding and shuffling of feet offer bone strengthening to feet, ankles, and legs. Shoulder, chest, and arm movements help to strengthen the bones of the upper spinal region. Moving the muscles in a deliberate and detailed manner burns fat and strengthens muscles which in turn align and support the bones of the body.

A major influence of this dance on our body is correcting and strengthening spinal alignment which gives correct posture. It is not unusual for family and friends to comment that you appear to be getting taller.

Belly dancers do many stretching movements, slow intoxicating muscle movements, and novelty muscular movements which help the body to maintain its flexibility. The dancer must have correct posture to perform her movements. Undulations of the spine afford flexibility and correct alignment.

Physical Fitness From Exercises

A brief definition of physical fitness is having a physically healthy body. Along with nutrition, sleep, and good health practices; exercises are essential for maintenance.

Exercise, the word itself can be discouraging. It sounds like work and no fun. Belly dancing is a fun series of physical movements set to exotic music. Interestingly, it is a form of exercise which people will watch for entertainment.

Do not let the word exercise discourage you from any physical activity. Throughout the day people are always moving. Walking, running, skipping, jumping, and jogging are physical movements. These daily motions are normal physical activity.

Exercise is a formal word to describe a programmed and structured use of certain physical activities for improving or maintaining a desired level of physical fitness.

Belly dancing exercises will include the strengthening of muscles, and bones. It will help your body to become more flexible and toned and is a definite aerobic fitness for the cardiovascular system.

Belly Dancing Body Fitness

Belly dancing is physical fitness at its best. You are not alone, there are thousands of belly dancers throughout the world.
Belly dancing is physical fitness at its best. You are not alone, there are thousands of belly dancers throughout the world. | Source

Bellydance/The Art of Toning & Technique

Belly Dancing Costume for Practice Sessions

The major reason which women wear part of their belly dancing costume while reviewing and practicing their techniques is to be able to see exactly how correct, sharp, precise, and other effects which are being created by the selected muscle isolation is being done correctly.

Most women practice in a costume bra and belt or a pair of harem pants with a hip scarf, and sometimes a simple circle skirt. During practice the dancer needs to be sure that the movement can be seen in the chest, abdominal, and hip areas. The mirror feedback is essential for the dancer to view and correct her movements.

In this art form of dance women become so preoccupied with practicing their physical movements that it is a surprise when the find they have lost weight or have redistributed and toned their body. It is a welcomed gift for any woman who has chosen this dance as her outlet for physical fitness.

Physical Fitness

Have you considered belly dancing as a form of exercise for physical fitness?

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    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 11 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Good stuff indeed. The questions of physical exercise is vital here. It related to the dance but not isolated.

      Physical exercise apart is a condition process. It will make a dancer do netter. Better you stretch and exercise before doing your body any harm.

      I like your story.