Above and beyond the “mysticism” of Belly Dance, there is a myriad of other reasons to try this expressive and artful dance form. And sometimes taking it “just for the exotic/mysticism” may be the wrong reasons. Here are some some great reasons to try it instead:
- Exercising your Body and Mind
- Heart Health
- Having fun
- Positive Body Awareness & Acceptance
- Improve Balance & Coordination
And there’s so much more!
As we are all wiggling, jiggling, and giggling to the beat, there is one thing that has no room for in Bellydance – and that is Ego. That should be thrown right out the door, along with any other feelings of insecurities we may have about ourselves. Belly dance is freeing, exhilarating, empowering, and grounding. It is sacred. It is devotion. It is love.
I’ve been dancing all my life, and found Bellydance 13 years ago. Although I was not “born into Bellydance”, I am definitely not a “hobbyist”. Starting with local classes, I found I needed more. Travelling into the city, about an hour-and-a-half for about half that time, you’d think I took it seriously -haha. I’ve grown since the beginning, training and experimenting within rhythms and different musical styles, body movements and isolations, along with layering and EXPRESSION!! That came with a little blood, sweat, and tears – sore, happy muscles at the end of the day, but still a huge grin on my face. I’ve loved performing at various venues, and learning from some of the best Toronto had to offer, as well as attending workshops from other stars visiting worldwide. That’s the great thing about being “close to Toronto” – some of them come here, so teach us what they love. What I’ve learned most from my mentors isn’t only technique, but, EXPRESSION! Evoking emotion through body movement, a gaze, a hand movement – all very important factors in this form, which can be very different from the highly choreographed “5,5,6,7,8” of western dance forms. Even though I started with Modern Jazz, which is a Western dance form – highly choreographed, it still taught me the importance of musicality and movement, above technique.
I found I can experiment with tempos, movement, and musicality – exploring deeper into what Dance meant for me. Learning how belly dance evolved, and branched out to different cultures and forms. A rich history that mixes the art form into the culture and politics of the Middle East. How this art form has expanded to other parts of the world, and the influences those parts of the world had on belly dance. I would encourage anyone who is learning this art form to expand and take workshops from your favourites. Don’t be afraid to attend workshops from visiting Bellydance stars, and other dancers. Take online classes. See the shows. Take classes as much as you like. Most of all – be gentle with yourself.
If you’d like to take classes, I’m currently teaching at The Bent Willow, on Thursdays in Oshawa, at Noon and 7pm. More details are found on Facebook, either on my ”Echoes of the Mother” page, or The Bent Willow’s Facebook page under “Events”.