Why Bellydance?

Bellydance is one of my passions in life, and I am very happy to be able to share my knowledge and love for this dance with you.

What is bellydance? You may be reading this because you may have been inspired by a performance you've seen--perhaps on TV, on the internet or at a club--of this sensual dance.

The correct name for what is popularly known as bellydance is actually "Oriental Dance". The Arabic name for it is raqs sharqi, which means "dance of the East/Orient", and the Turkish name is oryantal.

Authentic bellydance is a sensual, powerful and enjoyable dance that honours the body. Some dance scholars theorise that bellydance is the oldest dance in the history of humanity, and some of its movements may have originated in fertility rituals, thousands of years ago. In the contemporary context, the social version of the dance is an important part of celebrations and parties in its countries of origin, practised by people of all genders and ages. And to have a professional dancer performing at one's party is almost a must!

I will not explain too much about it here, as there are other websites that do an excellent job of describing the origins, history and evolution of this art form. Two such websites are www.casbahdance.org and Shira.net.

Instead, I can tell you from personal experience that bellydancing has the potential to change your life, as it did mine.

Besides the obvious physiological health benefits, such as improving your flexibility, toning and strengthening your body, and giving you a good physical workout, bellydancing can provide great psychological benefits.

This dance is very inclusive; it can be practised by people of all body types and all ages. It can improve your self-esteem and body image and boost your confidence. Its fluid movements will inspire you to express your sensuality and help to impart grace to your demeanour, in time.

I welcome you to join me in practising this beautiful art form.

Love and Shimmies,