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Belly Dance Classes for Weight Loss and Fitness

Updated on May 7, 2017
Tricia Deed profile image

Tricia Deed enjoys writing about dance. She has had years instructing belly dancing in cabaret, ethnic and folkloric styles.

Belly Dancer's Abdomen

The belly dancer's belly is envied for its appearance and muscle control for specific abdominal movements.
The belly dancer's belly is envied for its appearance and muscle control for specific abdominal movements. | Source

This form of dance was introduced in the 1950’s as entertainment for your husband. After a half century has passed the Americans have introduced their own variety of belly dancing known as American Tribal Dance, and Tribal Fusion. The traditional night club belly dancing of Turkish and Egyptian origin and the various cultural dances are still being learned and danced and are just as popular as the new American versions.

Regardless of your chosen dance style. Belly dancing has proven to many that there is weight loss, flexibility, muscle toning, and excellent health benefits from this ancient dance art.

Measure Weight Loss

Measure weight loss with weekly scale and measuring tape.
Measure weight loss with weekly scale and measuring tape. | Source

Weight Loss

Before taking your first lesson use a measuring tape to measure your body parts. Draw on a sheet of paper a human body on which to chart measurements as a visual aid. If you cannot draw a picture of a female body, paste a picture of a nude female body or a swim suit model.

Measure around your arms, chest, waistline, hips, thighs, and calves of legs. Record the measurements onto the picture. On this same sheet of paper write down the start dancing date and body weight.

After starting belly dancing classes take all tape measurements and body weight once a week and post results onto your chart. Do this once a week at the same time and on the same day. Use the same scale. Some digital scales also note the BMI; post this number as well.

The BMI or Body Mass Index indicates body fat.

  • 18.5 but less than 25 is normal range
  • 25 but less than 30 is overweight
  • 30 or higher is obese

The reason for recording these tape measurements is to help give a visual record of how this dance activity is helping you on a weekly basis. As the months pass the figure reflected in the mirror may be all that is necessary.

Dancers and athletes realize that as body fat is reduced muscle tissue tends to weigh more. This is the reason to take measurements. Losing inches and wearing clothing in smaller sizes is a wonderful reward for dance activity.

American Tribal Belly Dancers

Beautiful folkloric costumes are attractive on any age group.
Beautiful folkloric costumes are attractive on any age group. | Source

No Age Limit

Belly dancing is a dance by women, with women, and for women. It celebrates all that is feminine and therefore it brings women together. Age is not a factor, neither are shapes and sizes. This dance allows women to be at their best as they share mutual feminine interests with other females. Unlike many other dance forms which have much competition, women attracted to belly dancing are more than happy to help other women to advance themselves.

There is a dance style for every age. Each style has different requirements and costuming. An 80 year old woman may not be comfortable wearing a form fitting Egyptian cabaret costume, but she would be comfortable in a folkloric costume and performing easier or less challenging movements which are beyond or too athletically advanced for her body. She can still strive to have the body type she desires and continue to look beautiful in her chosen costume.

Or an 80 year old woman may choose to dress in a sexy costume as it is her choice. This is what makes this dance attractive to many women. Age is not a factor. The woman within decides her wants and desires in order to accomplish her personal goals.

Body Sculpting Movements

Belly dancing movements use the entire body during a performance. All of these movements will burn fat as well as tone muscles and offer flexibility and ease of body movements.
Belly dancing movements use the entire body during a performance. All of these movements will burn fat as well as tone muscles and offer flexibility and ease of body movements. | Source

How to Lose Weight and Gain Fitness

Before starting the formal movements of belly dancing warm-up exercises are important. Select Pilates, Hatha yoga, or your favorite gentle stretch exercises. Warm-up exercises are important before starting any physical activity.

Exercises also help to prepare mental and psychological attitudes for dances. Do exercises to Middle Eastern music as part of the preparation process. Music will help set mood and pace for the movements. If you do not like to watch the clock or set an alarm for a timed session then record music for the length of the workout and stop when the music stops.

This dance has precise movements. It is not a matter of wiggling and jiggling. Shoulder shimmies, hip shimmies and calculated movements, arm movements, and posture correction all help to earn the physical fitness which women desire.

Body Movements Examples:

  1. The abdominals (which most women are concerned about) become toned because of the flexing and contracting of muscles at or near the abdominals.
  2. The undulations which are accomplished with stretching the chest muscles as well as the abdominals lend toward burning fat and slenderizing.
  3. The undulating movements also massage and tone the spinal column which in turn assists the dancer to correct her spine and stand more erect to correct posture. The posture being corrected helps to support and flatten the abdominals and the person appears taller.
  4. The precision movements or the shimmies of the hips help tighten the lower abdominals, burn fat in the hips resulting in toned and defined buttocks, and slenderizes the waistline.
  5. Turning and twisting at the waistline, and moving hips and chest cage from side to side will also slenderize the waistline.
  6. The dancers’ arms are normally performing from shoulder height or higher. Arm movements will tone and strengthen the muscles as well as the loss of fat. The added movements of the arms help the entire body to burn more fat and become more flexible and toned.
  7. Chest circles, lifts and tucks, shoulder rolls and shimmies help to also burn fat in the upper back. This is an area which women rarely see in their mirror and it is never realized how much fat gathers in this area.
  8. The legs and feet are either supporting the body, traveling, or are a part of many hip movements and therefore these muscles will also tone and slim attractively shaped legs.

Belly Dance Fitness Calorie Burn Workout: Leilah Isaac

Belly Dancing Fitness

Performing belly dancing dance movements will help you with physical fitness. The healthy fitness of belly dancers enhances their energy, enthusiasm, and desire to do many physical types of activities. This dance also has the added health benefits of mental, emotional, and psychological well being. It is fun, upbeat, positive, and has many rewards for enjoying good health.

Belly dancing fitness contributes:

  1. Muscle toning, flexibility, strength, and endurance
  2. Mental discipline
  3. Emotional control
  4. Psychological stability in self-improvement
  5. Loss of weight or inches
  6. Dance is an athletic activity which adds benefits to the heart and lungs
  7. These fitness improvements help to prevent certain diseases


Vintage Belly Dance by Alia-Queen of the Nile-Ruby R...

Belly Dancers Burn Fat for Health and Fitness

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Comments

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    • Tricia Deed profile imageAUTHOR

      Tricia Deed 

      21 months ago from Orlando, Florida

      I will try to write an article on isometric dancing.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      21 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      This is a good story that I like.

      All the immense health benefit worth more than silver and gold.

      As a regular weekly jogger, I know what mild or moderate stretching and exercise does to the human body.

      Trecia, I hope you do another hub on isometric dancing? Both men and women enjoy same.

      Have a great day.

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