Belly Dancing - The Facts
"I came in with no belly dancing experience
at all and have felt increasingly confident each class. Our class
is so fun with lots of laughter. I hope to take more belly dancing
when this is done!"
-Katie, Dorchester, MA
What is Belly Dancing?
Belly dancing is one of the oldest forms of dance. The original
name of belly dance is "Raqs Sharqi" which means "Dance
of the Orient." It gained the term "belly dance"
when it made its way from East to West. In France, the dance got
dubbed "danse du ventre" which literally means "belly
dance" due to the flutter of the dancer's stomach. It is
believed that belly dancing was created to help prepare women
for birth, since during labor, a woman's stomach undulates, much like
the undulation used during belly dance. Belly dancing was also
used a form of ancient Mother Goddess worship.
Every part of the body is involved in the dance; the most featured body part usually is the hips. Belly dance takes many different forms depending on country and region, both in costume and dance style, and new styles have evolved in the West as its popularity has spread globally. Although contemporary forms of the dance have generally been performed by women, some of the dances, particularly the cane dance, have origins in male forms of performance.
Health and belly dancing
Wikipedia reports: Belly dance is a non-impact, weight-bearing exercise and is thus suitable for all ages, and is a good exercise for the prevention of osteoporosis in older people. Many of the moves involve isolations, which improves flexibility of the torso. Dancing with the veil can help build strength in the upper-body, arm and shoulders. Playing the zills trains fingers to work independently and builds strength. The legs and long muscles of the back are strengthened by hip movements. Paffrath also researched the effect of belly dance on women with menstruation problems. The subjects reported a more positive approach toward their menstruation, sexuality, and bodies.
Pop stars and belly dancing
Belly dancing definitely improves your freestyle club dancing. Some performers who have added belly dance moves to their include Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Beyonce, and Ciara.
I took Zazil's belly dance and zumba classes last term and I have to tell you, I was nervous about joining, but I had much more fun than I ever thought I would. I actually feel more confident in my body, stronger, and more graceful. I'm grateful for Zazil's caring attitude and encouragement; she made it fairly easy. Susan G., Jamaica Plain, MA
Our two OUT to Dance studio locations, West Roxbury, MA
and Roslindale, MA, are within twenty minutes of downtown Boston,
Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Brighton, Allston, Brookline,
Newton, Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Norwood, Needham, Westwood, Milton
and Quincy; and within 25 to 35 minutes of Cambridge, Somerville,
Arlington, Wellesley, Natick, Waltham, Braintree, Brockton, Stoughton,
Canton, Foxboro, Weymouth and surrounding towns. We are also less than an hour from Providence, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.