Belly Dance Classes

Enjoy the health benefits of belly dancing before, during and after pregnancy.

I began to learn Egyptian belly dancing in 2000 and have been teaching it since 2005.

Learning this unique dance inspired me to research its historical and social context as well as its immense benefits for women’s health.

General health benefits of belly dancing

​Supporting a healthy posture

The basic posture of belly dancing is characterised by a long, neutral back, bent knees and with the pelvis gently tilted forward. This change of posture takes the weight off the spine and strengthens the ankle, knee, and core muscles.

Postural problems caused by, for example, wearing high heels extensively and sedentary working can be corrected by belly dancing.

Belly dancing is a low-impact exercise and gentle on the joints, thus it is advised for women of any shape, size, and age. This dance is based on body isolation and women can gain a high level of flexibility.

Strengthening arm and shoulder muscles
The very characterised arm movements and dancing with veils strengthen the whole arm and shoulder muscles and improve their flexibility.

Improving blood circulation
Experience shows that blood circulation improves in the neck and head area, thereby improving the oxygen supply to the brain, so headaches caused by muscle tension may be prevented.

Increase in Inner-wisdom
Belly dancers have greater body consciousness. After a few months of practice women’s body language tend to improve. They begin to walk a lot softer and straighter, holding their head up proudly and taking up more space, expressing their feminine authenticity and radiating confidence.

Why belly dancing is the ultimate Dance style for feminine health?

  • NBelly Dancing helps to relieve menstrual pain and discomfort.
  • NStrengthens the pelvic floor muscles
  • NEnables women to experience more conscious childbirth.
  • NBelly Dancing is an excellent gentle restoring activity after birth. (Speak with your doctor about your re-start day)
  • NRegular Belly Dancing can delay and decrease problems associated with menopause.
  • NRegular dancing has a positive impact on emotions, making mood swings less frequent due to increased endorphin production.

The movements of belly dance are bonded with giving birth.

In some cultures, the following tradition is still alive. Women of the tribe dance around the pregnant woman to show her what movements she needs to do to help labour and birth. Morocco, a famous belly dancer witnessed childbirth in a Berber Tribe in 1967 and has written an article about it. Please, read the full article on her website.

Benefits during pregnancy:

  • NLow-impact exercise that can be practiced throughout the whole pregnancy
  • NStrengthens the birthing muscles
  • NEncourages baby into the optimal position for labor and birth
  • NCan relieve pregnancy-associated back pain
  • NBy learning belly dancing, you are increasing your chance of having a natural childbirth
  • NEffective coping strategy for labour and birth
  • NStrengthens your legs for labour and birth – extremely important to have good stamina for the demands of labour!
  • NSome experts believe that belly rolls can help to solve constipation and shoulder shimmies can provide relief from heartburn.

Benefits of Belly Dancing for your labour and birth:

  • NRelieves pressure, pain and discomfort during labour
  • NBy doing gentle hip movements during labour you will remain active and upright which is the best combination for labour and birth!!!
  • NThese movements will help the mother to not work against the contractions but to relax her lower abdomen, back, hip muscles and pelvic floor muscles and follow the curve of contractions
  • NHelp to open up the pelvis and aid the baby’s passage through the birth canal

Belly Dancing – The Ancestral Mother of Art

There are many misconceptions about this dance. Belly dancing isn’t created to just attract the male gaze. It is as old as humankind and originally it had a complex purpose.
Originally, there were sacred female dances in every part of the world, based on hip and pelvic movements. Dancing was the official form of praying, to move the body and the soul at the same time, as everything is one and united. The body was an instrument to rise spiritually as the dancers expressed a desire to leave their limitations and get closer to their Goddesses. (This technique is still used in some religions, e.g. Sufi whirling).

Matriarchy

Evidence shows a million-year-old female hegemony during the Paleolithic era: Stone Age 2.4 million years – B.C.: 11,500. Comparisons among different ancient language families, geological and archaeological discoveries, cave paintings, burial rituals and practices demonstrate the presence of such societies. These societies survived by gathering, fishing and hunting. 

The deciding factor was the birth itself not the procreation and the family tree was traced on the maternal line. The matrilineal surnames were inherited from mother to daughter. These matriarchal societies were religiously motivated and their unwritten law was based on the Rights of the Mother.

If you would like to learn more about the history of Belly Dancing please visit my BLOG!

Why the name “Belly” Dancing?

The name, Belly Dance is a mistaken label that originates from the 19th Century by French soldiers. The reason why it is a mistaken label lies in the attributes of the movements.

The movements are hip, not belly based and in belly dancing, not just the “belly” dances but the whole body is in continuous and harmonious motion.

Learning and applying the technique of isolation, meaning that the upper body (chest, shoulders, arms and hands) can move to a different rhythm from the hips using the dancer’s strong core muscles and the learned technique of isolation.

So, what is the real name of belly dancing?

The expression of Oriental Dance gathers together all of the dance styles from the Middle-Eastern part of Asia to North Africa.

The original, Arabic name of the style I practice is Raqs Sharqiرقص شرقي (the dance of the east) in Greece they call this style: Cifte telli and in Turkey: Rakasse.

My Belly Dance classes are held at the Pavilion in Bournemouth every Wednesday 6 – 7 pm and are open to the general public.

Keeping fit during pregnancy is important if you wish to continue belly dancing or if you wish to begin learning it, please get in touch with me.

Flexible programs are available, both private and group sessions.

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