Tricia Deed enjoys writing about dance. She has had years instructing belly dancing in cabaret, ethnic and folkloric styles.
Belly Dance Exercise
Belly dancing movements meet all the essential components of aerobics. This dance is a physical exercise performed to musical rhythms involving contracting and stretching of muscles, building muscle strength, and flexibility. The oxygen intake by the cells of the body assists with cardiovascular health.
The dance movements will start slowly and increase from singular motions to combination movements which will repeat or offer variety. The dance rhythms will gradually increase in speed, asking the dancer for more intense and vigorous movements to build endurance and to work the heart muscles to increase oxygen to itself, the blood vessels, and the lungs.
Belly dancers are endurance-enhanced and can dance for hours on end as the aerobics involved are low impact and the dancer does not tire as she would if she were running or bicycling. Continuing aerobic activity for long periods of time requires using calories for energy and this is the key to sculpting the flattering figure a woman desires.
Dancing twenty minutes three times a week is a helpful aerobics workout. Belly dancers enjoy performing their exercises and dance movements to Middle Eastern rhythms.
This ancient dance involves working every part of the human anatomy assisting with weight loss and inches, toning and redefining muscles, flattening the abdominal area, and improving the overall physical, mental, and emotional health of an individual. After a workout or a performance, the dancer feels re-energized and is ready for the next activity.
Belly dancers are not muscle bound. This dance prepares muscles for toning, strength, flexibility, and endurance. Muscles produce energy which in turn burns fat. As fat is being reduced and eliminated, muscles are toned, strengthened, and move with greater flexibility.
The dance movements are under the control of the dancer and it is she who controls the isolated movements performing to selected rhythms. She controls which body movements are to be included, the speed, length of movements, muscle intensity, traveling, and body positioning.
During the length of the performance, exercise, or drill, the individual continues to breathe normally and therefore oxygen is constantly being supplied to every cell in her body.
When exercising or dancing, the individual may choose to stand erect, be on their knees, or lie on the floor. Any number of movements can be done with these three body positions.
There are no body limitations, age, or weight issues to keep anyone from participating in this dance.
It matters not how you dress, however, most people like wearing leotards with a hip scarf, or a hip belt while performing their exercises or dance movements. Women like being dressed in exercise attire as it helps to prepare and set the mood for activity. Wearing part of a costume or a full costume helps the performer to see her movements and set the emotional or psychological mood.
The classroom has mirrors. Some students may feel uncomfortable seeing their bodies continually reflected. However, as they focus on doing their movements and watching the feedback in the mirrors, they are no longer concerned about their body appearance.
As the student advances from exercise mode to dance mode, it becomes critical to perform the dance movements with accuracy in order to perform particular movements and to work the costume.
Belly dancing with its low impact movements helps to relieve stress. As stress and tension leave mental and physical sections of the body relaxed, energy is exerted to conduct physical movements and mentally enable enjoyment.
Health Benefits of Belly Dancing Fitness
- Strengthens muscles and weight-bearing bones
- Muscle toning
- Improve flexibility, balance, and coordination
- Lose weight, burn fat, and sculpt the body
- Promotes cardiovascular health (heart, lungs, and circulatory system)
- Improve memory
- Feel more youthful
- Rehabilitative therapy for a variety of diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis
- Reduces stress and tension
- Have more energy
- Mood enhancer and emotionally uplifting
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: How many hours do I have to dance to attain decent basic belly dancing movements?
Answer: One does not become a good dancer in a few hours. It will take a few years to become marketable.