In Western culture, most of our movements are linear: We have our routines for the day, the route we drive to work and other places, and our exercise routines. If you think about it, almost everything is done in a straight line. So, to someone unused to it, Belly Dance might seem absurd and bizarre. There is no airy strength of Ballerinas leaping across the stage, nor the wild and gyrating movements of modern dance. Belly Dance is earthy, grounded, with the energy for movements deriving from the dancer’s torso and hips that hides the immense amount of work it takes to make the hips shimmy up and down while the rib cage is pop-locking side-to-side.
Since the dance is so earth centered, it is great for those with knee or back injuries as there is no high impact, which creates an amazing bond through the generations of dancers, with the elders showing the way through the maturity of their dance down to the younger ones. In fact, it was my teacher in Washington who had been dancing for close to 30 years at the time, who showed me to seek out this maturity in the slowness of movement as a younger dancer, rather than just shimmy and spin until I threw up! Belly Dance was originally part of tribal dances that were created by and performed for other women. It was a sisterhood. The dances which vary from region to region were done in celebration, in joy, in times where there was a need of hope, or before war and fights would they simulate the movements made by the warriors with their swords. It was even used to help position babies in the womb and make labor shorter and easier, with these ideals and movements still being used in particular birth worker circles today with much success for laboring women.
The Basics of Belly Dancing series is going to be spectacular. While it takes work for those who really want to master the movements, it is also simply a freeing style of dance. With our culture so caught up in linear living and thinking, liberating and losing oneself to the foreign feeling of swirls and circles can awaken a whole new part to a person. My hope for this class is that it invigorates each student who enters the studio to dance and gives expression to their spirit and joy to their life. I can’t wait to see you at the studio.
To sign up for this joyful class, click here
to register for Basics of Belly Dancing Series