WHAT IS BELLYDANCE?
If you ask someone ‘what is bellydance?’ many people would describe lithesome young women in sparkly bras, flowing skirts and swirling veils doing shimmies and belly rolls.
It is so much more than that
Bellydance is actually an umbrella term to describe dozens of dance styles which are characterised by smooth flowing movements with sharp isolations, concentrated through the torso. It is an expressive dance art, with its origins in Middle Eastern folk dances.
Unlike many dance arts, such as ballet and ballroom, there is no ‘standard’. No standard body type, no standard execution of moves, no standard scoring system. Because bellydance is so relaxed, it is available to all ages, all body types and all levels of fitness and flexibility. In its cultural setting, it is danced by both men and women. In the Western world it is far more popular with women and the ‘sisterhood’ of bellydance has a reputation as a positive, supportive community.
For dancers who want to excel, there are decades worth of study in this art. There are master teachers and certification programs around the world specialising in different elements of the dance, as well as many cultural aspects to respect.
But it’s even more than that
To me, bellydance is the epitome of creative expression. Once you’ve learnt the basic movements which characterise the dance, you’re completely free to steer your dance journey in any direction you like. You become an artist and have ultimate control to choose every element of your dance. There is no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ way to bellydance, there is only the way which works best for you.