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Belly dance - new life of an old dance

Updated on April 1, 2013
Egyptian belly dance
Egyptian belly dance

The dance not of belly but of life

There is an Asian legend: a youth came to a wise man and asked: “Please, wise man, teach me how to tell the truth from the lies, the beauty from the ugliness. Teach me the joy of life”. The wise man thought a little bit and taught the lad to dance.

Do you think women took care of their shape a long time ago? Modern women go to fitness clubs, take care of themselves and find time for exercise. But how did women keep fit, their body flexible and the joy of life earlier, in ancient times? They danced!
One of the most colorful female dances of the past was the belly dance. Probably, many of you think that this dance is exclusively the skill of the eastern beauties from the harems of the rich men. Some think that the belly dance has nothing to do with the East, and it is an exotic and erotic show to entertain male audience. But does this really cover the real meaning of the eternal eastern dance?
Belly dance has been performed in many eastern counties: Egypt, Greece, Ancient Rome, the Middle East countries.
At the beginning of the twentieth century a bigger interest to this dance was provoked by scandalous performances of Mata Hari. The dancer affirmed that she was a performer of Indian temple dances. Because of her, many people in Europe related the eastern dances exclusively to India. The belly dance got its present name on the exhibition in Chicago about a century ago.

It is not by an accident that the belly dance got its name. Belly means life. Thus, it is the dance of life. The life, that is associated with a woman and the mother earth. The rituals often reflected the relations between the goddesses to which they were consecrated and their functions. So, the dance in honour of the mother earth or a goddess that personalized it revealed the main female and earthly functions: fertility, giving life and bearing the seed.
The belly dance shows the processes of the impregnation, of the pregnancy and the childbirth. This is why the belly dance includes the elements of eroticism.

Belly Dance - a real Asian dance
Belly Dance - a real Asian dance
Turkish Belly Dance
Turkish Belly Dance

What are the benefits of the belly dance?

The belly dance is not just a beautiful dance. It contributes to childbirth as it makes woman’s inner muscles work on the belly area thus making them stronger and more elastic, which makes the childbirth much easier. And this is not the only benefit. Almost every eastern woman knows how to belly dance in order to keep the relationship with the husband more harmonious, to stay healthy and attractive.
Can any woman learn how to belly dance? Remembering your childhood, do you recall how the sound of music made you sway to the rhythm? We all can dance, regardless of the fact if we learned to or not. You must know that any person can reveal their talents and abilities if they just have the possibility to do so.
For a healthy person, the belly dance is not dangerous. There are no limitations for those who want to do the belly dance compared to the fitness exercise, for example. By doing the movements of the belly dance, we work out the muscles of our back, and this makes the spine more flexible. Also, the blood circulation improves, and the blockages in the thigh area disappear.
The belly dance is very beautiful. It can give a combination of exercise, plasticity and relaxation.

What belly dance can be

It totally depends on the performer if the belly dance is perceived as a game, a seduction, or the freedom of self-expression. Nude belly in this dance is a tradition, but it is no longer followed. Nowadays some dancers bear dresses and shoes, while other dancers get totally undressed by replacing the belly dance by striptease. But, unlike, the striptease, the belly dance is more complicated and subtle. This is first of all the game - the game of the body and soul. The dancer not only teases the audience, she opens and reveals her personality. It’s like denuding your feelings in the public, which is not a simple task.

The belly dance can be learned from books, videos or in special schools. Women who practise this dance have a different awareness of themselves - they are more confident and appreciate themselves in a new way. Belly dance makes women look more sensual and feminine regardless of their size, age and weight.

Now, do you feel like belly dancing?

Speak Your Mind!

What do you think about belly dance?

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    • avorodisa profile image

      Anna Sidorova 6 years ago from Russia

      Thanks. It's really a great dance and is worth trying!

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 6 years ago

      Great hub. Very informative! I always wanted to try belly dancing. Thanks for sharing.

    • avorodisa profile image

      Anna Sidorova 6 years ago from Russia

      peterdros, thank you for your comment! It is danced in Turkey traditionally, indeed.

    • profile image

      peterdros 6 years ago

      well written hub. Well done. I think that belly dance is tradition dance of Turkey. nice dance!

    • avorodisa profile image

      Anna Sidorova 6 years ago from Russia

      rebekahELLE, thank you so much for your comment! I'm glad you enjoyed my hub!

    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay

      You have written an interesting background about belly dancing. Your images of dancers are beautiful. I enjoyed reading, and watching the video also. Such a beautiful dance for life!