Belly Dance Classes for Weight Loss and Fitness
Belly Dancer's Abdomen
This form of dance was introduced in the 1950’s as entertainment for husbands. 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.
Before taking your first lesson use a measuring tape and 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 starting 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. 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.
American Tribal Belly Dancers
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
Mental and Physical 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, set an alarm for a timed session.
This dance has precise movements. It is not a matter of wiggling and jiggling. Shoulder shimmies, hip shimmies, arm movements, posture correction, and other dance movements all help to earn the physical fitness which women desire.
Body Movements Examples:
- The abdominal area (which most women are concerned about) tones because of the flexing and contracting of muscles at or near the mid-section.
- The undulations which are accomplished with stretching the chest muscles as well as the abdominal muscles lend toward burning fat and slenderizing.
- The undulating movements massage and tone the spinal column which in turn assists the dancer to strengthen and correct her spinal alignment. The posture being corrected helps to support and flatten the abdominal area and the person appears taller.
- The precision movements or the hip[ shimmies tighten the lower abdominal area, burns fat in the hips resulting in toned and defined buttocks,
- Turning and twisting at the waistline, and moving hips and chest cage from side to side slenderizes the waistline.
- The dancers’ arms are normally performing from shoulder height or higher. Arm movements will tone, strengthen muscles, and burn fat.. The added flexible movements of the arms help the upper body to become more flexible and toned.
- Chest circles, lifts and tucks, shoulder rolls and shimmies help strengthen back muscles correcting upper body spinal alignment.
- The legs and feet are either supporting the body, traveling, or are a part of many hip movements and these muscles will tone and slim creating attractive shapely legs.
Belly Dance Cardio Workout for Weight Loss
Performing belly dancing dance movements helps 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:
- Muscle toning, flexibility, strength, and endurance
- Mental discipline
- Emotional control
- Psychological stability in self-improvement
- Loss of weight or inches
- Dance is an athletic activity which adds benefits to the heart and lungs
- These fitness improvements help to prevent certain diseases