Belly Dancing Classes

By Shailen Lakhani - Last update


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Many people are put off keep fit regimes because of the image of hard, sweaty workouts and unattractive Lycra. However, what if there was an exercise that could get you fit, make you look attractive while actually doing it and allow you to wear chiffon and jingly bracelets Carlsberg don’t do keep fit, but if they did it would be with the help of a belly dance course

Forms of belly dancing can be found in the ancient traditional dances of India and Africa and, of course, the Middle East before being introduced into Europe. The name ‘belly dance’ is a modern one, thought to have arisen from French soldiers passing through Egypt in the 19th century. They saw the Ghawazi, a gypsy tribe of the country, executing the dance and gave it the name ‘danse du ventre’ or dance of the abdomen.

Because of its sensuous movements and undulating hip actions, belly dancing gained a reputation of being a bit risqu . Even the word ‘belly’ spoken in mixed company, could cause people reach for the smelling salts. Preachers denounced it from their pulpits and newspapers were flooded with letters of complaint when belly dancing was proposed as an exhibition at the Chicago Worlds Fair.

As the organisers calculated, thousands flocked to be outraged. Promoter Sol Bloom had arranged for a young dancer with the stage name of Little Egypt to demonstrate the dance and she did so unfettered by Victorian corsetry. However, getting a load of Egypt’s admirable geography was enough for the general public to brand belly dancing as something that nice girls didn’t do.

The remnants of this unfair reputation still exist today. Even now, some people associate belly dancing with seediness and general red lights a go go, when actually nothing could be further from the truth. Belly dancing is in fact a celebration of femininity and it came into being as a dance by women, for women. The fact that men are allowed to enjoy it today is merely a lucky by-product.

There are many different belly-dancing moves – hip lifts, bumps and circles; belly and shoulder rolls. Perhaps most recognisable move is the shimmy, where the dancer gently shakes her centre of gravity by putting each knee slightly forward. However, the truly expert belly dancer runs all these moves together so that all the audience sees is the spectacle of the dance.

But belly dancing lessons are not just about the performance. They also give you a great workout. Its light gymnastic moves are great for maintaining general fitness and proponents say that it helps you lose weight and improve blood circulation, weak muscles and stiff joints. And all those moves can also be incorporated into your daily life. For example, does someone constantly squeeze ahead of you in the queue for the bank See them off with a hip bump. Have your children been acting up Pick them up from school in harem pants and treat them to your full routine. Belly dancing – the exercise that unites fun and vengeance.


Shailen Lakhani

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