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Celebrating the natural beauty of the female form, belly dancing is beneficial to both the dancer's mental as well as her physical well-being.
Belly dancing is a lot of fun. The freedom of expression of the danse du ventre allows a woman is revitalizing. The exotic swaying of the arms, undulating hip rolls and shoulder shimmies of the dance are all natural movements of the human muscle-skeletal structure. Belly dancing provides a woman with the opportunity to rediscover and celebrate her own body’s natural form and capabilities.
Traditionally the ideal body image for a belly dancer was female. Today men are also seeing the benefits of belly dance. Thus, the new preferred body-type for a belly dancer is human. A good belly dancer will have her audience so engrossed in her performance that the audience will forget if she is over or under 30, pretty or not-so-pretty. Belly dancing celebrates the human form of each and every person. Belly dancing builds a woman’s healthy body image and self esteem.
Performing the intricate moves and dance steps of a belly dance necessitates great concentration. The dancer must focus on her performance routine thus relieving her mind of the worries and cares of her everyday world. As she dances she stretches and exercises her muscles. The combination of the mental and physical exercise the dance requires, makes belly dancing an excellent stress management technique.
The origins of belly dance date back to ancient Mesopotamia. Traditionally the dance was to hone a woman’s muscles to prepare her for pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum recovery. Modern belly dancing still utilizes the muscle groups in the abdomen, pelvis, spine and neck. It would be interesting to know if the women of ancient times also laughed as much as women today do when they first attempt the subtle moves of the belly dance.
In addition to aiding with the stages of childbearing, the other physical benefits of belly dance include:
Belly dancing may not be suitable for everyone. As with all exercise forms, the advice of a medical practitioner should be sought before attempting to belly dance.