Also referred to as Middle Eastern, Arabic and Oriental dance, belly dancing is an ancient and expressive form of movement that is performed during celebrations and rituals . These days, despite it being stereotyped as a form of sensual entertainment, many women are learning this dance art because of its fitness and health benefits. Seeing superstars such as Shakira and Beyonce perform belly dancing moves on stage also played a big impact on the popularity of this fitness trend.
However, you can only get the full benefits of the dance form if you practice it regularly. A shimmy is not mastered in a day. (Psst…Men can also join in on the belly dancing fun! There are a number of male belly dancers in the world too!)
So here are 5 reasons you should learn to belly dance like Shakira:
1. It helps to tone your core
Don’t expect a six-pack with just belly dancing. What you’ll get are strong abs and a better posture . Moving your hips in a figure eight shape is one of the basic moves of belly dancing and it’s a great move to tone and shape the muscle around your hips . Your hips won’t lie about this!
2. It improves your concentration
Belly dancing teaches you how to move parts of your body in isolation. It forces you to concentrate on specific parts of your body while performing other moves at the same time . For example, moving your chest in a circle without moving your lower body.
3. It’s a good way to de-stress
You’ll be doing some cardio as you move faster to the beat of the music. As you dance longer, your body will release some endorphins which will help reduce stress and even boost your self-esteem ! You’ll get to meet many people from different walks of life in the class too which makes it more fun as you learn to shake your body together!
4. You’ll have a positive body image of yourself
Belly dancing helps you to be more comfortable with your body. It doesn’t matter what size you are, belly dancing is for everybody! You’ll learn to move parts of your body that you never really pay much attention to in a more feminine way.
According to researchers from Flinder University, Australia, belly dancers tend to focus less on their external appearance and more on their experience and what they can do with their bodies . This proves that this dance form actually helps women take ownership of their own bodies !
5. It helps soothe menstrual cramps
The belly dancing moves especially at your hip and lower belly area are actually helping your body to prepare itself for your oncoming PMS cramps . Take it as an internal massage for your belly! It helps to stimulate and ease the congestion of your pelvic area !
Check out these locations to learn how to sway your hips:
Dancepot, Setapak, KL
The Middle East Dance Academy, Solaris Dutamas, KL
Sophia Centre for Creative Learning, Mont Kiara, KL
Ritmo Latino Dance School, Jalan Raja Chulan, KL/ Damansara Utama, PJ
Sole to Soul Dance Studio, Taman SEA, PJ
Dancing Art Solutions, Puchong, SL
Adajaya Dance School Malaysia, Puchong, SL
Backstage Dance & Fitness Studio, Ara Damansara, PJ
Let’s Dance Studio, Georgetown, PG
Zero Fitness Dance Studio, Greenlane, PG