I love bellydancing. No, let me rephrase that…I really, really love bellydancing! I love teaching it, performing it, choreographing it, well, I think you get the idea! I was recently asked to elaborate just a bit on the above by answering a few questions about myself. So here we go!
1. How long have you been dancing and why out of all dance forms did you choose bellydance? Excellent question! I have been bellydancing for over a decade. I have been performing and teaching for about 4 years now. I recently pursued my certification in the HipCurve Bellydance Program Level 1 (already registered for Level 2 in the summer!) to strengthen my instructional skills and feel ready to take on the next 10 years! I first chose bellydance because it looked exciting, and I was extremely curious! Needless to say, I fell in love with it instantly!
2. What are some of the benefits of bellydance? Empowerment, self confidence, a healthier body image to name a few. There are also physical benefits as this is a very accessible dance form that is typically low impact but gets you moving. I would love to mention though that it is simply F-U-N! How often do we get to do something that is fun and totally for ourselves? Not often enough, I say, so for this one hour a week that you give to yourself in bellydance you can dance around and feel great about YOU!!!
3. What words of encouragement do you have for those who are curious about bellydance? Go for it!!! Try a class, try ten classes, and smile! If a move is hard, well, that is alright, smile, keep your body loose and relaxed and I guarantee within no time, you will find yourself in the move. Bring your friends to class. That is how I got started! My friend and I strolled on in and always had a giggle watching each other try to learn to shimmy or play our finger cymbals.
4.What IS bellydance? I think this may be a difficult question to answer as many people have nefarious images conjured when bellydance is mentioned. Bellydance is a dance form that originated in the womens’ tents. Women danced for each other to pass the time. (Even today, go out on a dance floor and watch the women dance around each other in a circle…LOL). I have a small suspicion that we woman in the west are not as comfortable with our bodies as we think, and perhaps we feel awkward with enlarged hip movements, shimmies, and the costuming that exposes are beautiful middles. But we should remember that bellydance makes everyone look beautiful since these are moves that flow with our form, that emanate from the inside to the out.