Novice Guide To Belly Dance

Belly dancing is one of the most popular dance forms today, particularly with women. One reason for that is that many believe belly dance can help tone your abdominal muscles, enabling one to achieve the right shape of abs and body contour.

Belly dancing is one of the most popular dance forms today, particularly with women. One reason for that is that many believe belly dance can help tone your abdominal muscles, enabling one to achieve the right shape of abs and body contour.Regardless of your reason for performing belly dance, it is important to ease your way into mastering this particular dance art to ensure that you can enjoy each performance.

Basic Preparations

In an effort to study belly dance and its many variations throughout the years, many enter belly dancing schools. Enrolling yourself in a program is surely an effective way to quickly learn the basics of this dance form, especially with the help of professional guidance. But you must also take personal measures to ensure that you learn quickly and effectively.

The most basic tip that each novice must learn is that you must remove any sources of distractions. Although belly dancing might appear simple, it is actually one of the more complex dance forms that are defined by intricacy. Hence, you need to fully commit yourself into learning this dance form and each day in the program you will be taught new dancing principles that you can apply into your learning.

You must also set aside enough time for practicing daily, such as 1 hour of session per day, to get yourself accustomed to each dancing principle. Then, you can review what you learned and drill yourself with these new moves until they become familiar.

Obtain Belly Dancing Study Guides

The most basic study aid for learning how to belly dance is a suitable music. If you plan on practicing from home, you can seek the opinion of an expert belly dancer on where you can buy music that you can use for your practice. Or, you can also purchase a belly dancing instructional video, which is more convenient since you can view demonstrations of dance moves and follow based on the instruction given by the expert.

It is not enough to rely on video instructions and choosing the right music though, you must also look into developing your own fitness routine. Attaining enough flexibility in your body will give you an advantage when belly dancing. Focus the workout on your hip circle, or your rib cage area since this is where you will need the most amount of flexibility from.

Regular Practice

This should be an obvious bit of tip for newcomers to belly dancing. Do not be content with instructions in your dancing class or those you get from video instructions. You must set aside a time each day wherein you can practice whatever new moves you have learned and slowly gain mastery. Ideally, you should set aside at least an hour each day. But if you are busy, one or two days per week should suffice.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

Unlike other dance forms, belly dancing actually requires performers to use appropriate attire to allow freedom of movement around the hips and lower body. Instinctively, wearing jeans and loose shirts is not allowed. You need to provide a full range of motion on your belly, hips, and legs.

The broomstick skirt is the most ideal clothing for belly dancing with the top edge preferably pulled down to your hips instead of waist. This will then bring focus to what your hips are doing such that you can execute each move properly.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Belly dancing might not be as intensive as other types of dances, but it is important to perform warm up and cool down before and after each dancing session, respectively. In the warm up process, it gets your body in the mood for dancing, which is crucial with belly dance since it requires grace in your movement and coordination throughout your entire body. Meanwhile, cooling down to ease your body back to its state of inactivity and avoid injuries, particularly to your lower back. Gentle stretching should be enough to cool you down.

Dance as Exercise

It may just be creative movement to you, but to your body, dancing is a great workout.

When you take to the dance floor, you transform into a machine. Nothing matters except the next move, and every one is made with the ultimate precision. Or maybe your dancing style looks more like someone suffering a seizure, and you dread the thought of anyone ever seeing you bust a move. No matter what level of a dancer you are, your body can still reap many of the same benefits.

Starting with the Legs

Unless you’re dancing in a chair, your legs are going to get a fantastic work out when you’re dancing. Practically every move in the world of dance involves moving your legs, and the longer and more intense your dance is, the better work out you’ll give your thighs and calves.

As you move, pay attention to what makes your legs feel the burn best. Deep dips, high jumps, and powerful sprints across the floor will turn an average dance into an excellent addition to your exercise routine.

Moving into the Arms

While your legs are kicking and swaying, your arms should be doing much the same – and then some. Whether you’re dancing with your toddler, spouse, a complete stranger, or all by your lonesome, your arms should be working continuously. From tossing your partner in the air to creating poetic motion in the air, your arms have an opportunity to experience a unique test of endurance.

Don’t think dance is getting your arms in shape? Strap light weights to your wrists and keep dancing. You’ll definitely feel the burn after the next time you burn up the dance floor, and your arms will look great as a result!

Burn, Baby, Burn!

Now that you know dancing can help tone your body, there’s something else you may be interested to learn. Busting a move burns a lot of calories. How many calories can you expect to lose during a three-day dance-a-thon? There’s no telling. But you can find out how many calories you can get rid of in a 30- or 60-minute dancing extravaganza!

15 Minutes 30 Minutes 60 Minutes
Slow Dance
175 pound male
60 120 241
Fast Dance
175 pound male
110 220 441
Slow Dance
120 pound female
41 82 165
Fast Dance
120 pound female
75 151 302

Don’t Forget the Core

Without a strong core, your legs won’t move and your arms can’t flail about as you dance. Fortunately, your core can get a good bit of exercise as you enjoy an evening at the club, showing off your newest moves.
To dance your way to a strong core in an exotic way, try belly dancing. It may seem scary, but belly dancing is a safe and effective way for people of all shapes and sizes to get some fun movement into their day and wind up with a stronger core, which will help in all aspects of life.

Dance Safely

Because dancing can work out your entire body, you should treat the dance floor like the gym. That means starting slow, stretching out your entire body, and not getting out of control and putting yourself in harm’s way.
You should also maintain your body’s hydration by drinking plenty during your dance routine. And don’t rely on alcohol to keep you well hydrated. To stay properly hydrated, be sure to get adequate water before, during, and after hitting the dance floor.

How Many Can You Count?

Think you know your dance steps? Close your eyes and name off as many dances as you can think of, and have a friend check your list against the one below. If you name them all, you are Lord of the Dance!

  • Ballet
  • Ballroom
  • Belly
  • Break
  • Cha Cha
  • Disco
  • Foxtrot
  • Hustle
  • Jazz
  • Jitterbug
  • Line
  • Mambo
  • Menengue
  • Salsa
  • Square
  • Swing
  • Tango
  • Tap
  • Twist
  • Waltz
  • Slow
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