Dancing feels good - that is why people have danced for millenia! Dance is something that many of us have lost from our day to day lives and belly dance provides a great, social, way of getting it back in your life! Because of the social origins of the dance, it is a good dance form to start if you have not had any previous dance experience.
Dancing itself helps to release feel good endorphins, reduce stress hormones and trigger those emotional centres of the brain into action. Put all that into action in a fun, friendly, supportive class environment, and you really can go home with a smile on your face.
Belly dance is a great, accessible, low impact way of getting moving. At beginners' level it really is suitable for all levels of fitness, with the many of the moves quite natural and gentle on the body. Many moves can also be interpreted different ways, meaning that they can be suitable for all body types.
As you get further into belly dance, the dance can become more and more demanding, helping you take your fitness levels along with you as you learn.
Belly dance can provide a great fun way of working your legs, glutes, abs, backs, arms and hands. It's quite common for students to say that they have worked muscles they didn't know they had! Belly dance works has the benefit over some other types of exercise in that it works on developing control and quality of movement as well as muscular strength.
Belly dance is great for developing core strength and improving your posture, helping you move more effectively, more confidently and often with less aches and pains as a result.
When you first start belly dance, it can feel like the movement version of a tongue-twister - practising moving one part of your body in isolation to another, and then trying to make it look effortless as well. With time, you will soon become more aware of your body and its position in space, helping with your co-ordination and awareness in day to day life as well as during dance.
As you dance more, you will realise how important improvisation is in belly dance. Improvisational dance has been reported to help maintain mental agility as we age, and potentially to also help ward off dementia.
Getting your body and brain working, improving your posture and dancing in a fun and supportive environment can transform the way you feel about yourself and how confident you feel. Belly dance also encourages you to be yourself when you dance.
Ask any belly dance teacher and they will have countless stories to tell; about themselves, their students or dance friends, of how belly dance has made them feel more positive and more confident. Those who have had the confidence to speak out, accept themselves as they are, embark on new life adventures or even just dance in front of people.
Belly dance encompasses numerous different styles, interpreted many different ways by a myriad of different dancers. When you start belly dance, it can open up your life to a new and unexpected journey of discovery.
You may discover a song that unexpectedly opens your ears to different kinds of music. You may travel to places you never imagined. You may become fascinated by the cultural or historical background to the dance. You may find yourself becoming more aware of people and life in different countries around the world. You may find yourself mixing with people from all walks of life and making friends with people you would never have expected. You may discover you have talents you never dreamt of before. You may discover that you're a Dancer.