Can You Teach Yourself to Belly Dance?

By sandro •  Updated: 11/05/21 •  8 min read
Can You Teach Yourself to Belly Dance?

You can definitely teach yourself to belly dance. Although not ideal, it is still very possible to learn belly dance at home. Today’s technologies almost invalidate the requirement of having an instructor next to you.

You can learn at home while being taught through a screen.

If you’re a beginner then I would not recommend trying to tackle everything on your own, learning posture, transitioning, musicality, etc, will be much harder if you don’t have anyone to teach you the basics.

Is it possible? yes

Is it harder? most definitely, but is something that is assuredly within your reach, if you have the right motivation.

How To Teach Yourself Belly Dancing.

How To Teach Yourself Belly Dancing

In an ideal world, I would advise you not to teach yourself.

Unless you’re already experienced in another style of dance beforehand, it’s likely that many mistakes will be made and bad habits acquired from lack of supervision or guidance.

There is no substitute for a teacher who can actually see your body and identify errors, such as poor posture or misalignments while they happen.

So corrections are possible immediately post-mistake.

You’ll progress faster with a personal trainer. That’s why there are different trainers available through Skype or DVD teachers.

However, these options may not be within your budget and it can take time for you to learn on your own through DVDs, so let me look at what other options are out there!

There are a variety of explanations for how to perform the moves, so it’s important that you find one that is suited to your skill level.

If you’re just starting out and want quick instruction on what each move entails, then I suggest looking at DVDs with short tutorials as they’ll be more helpful than long-winded explanations.

However, once you know what every single thing means in these DVDs there will come a point where almost all of them seem too repetitive and difficult (unless the DVD has new features).

I found online classes/courses that might prove to be worth it, not only for someone who’s trying just starting out but also for someone, ready to move to more advanced training.

What Are The Origins of Belly Dancing?

If you want to get technical about it, the right name for Belly Dance would be (Oriental Dance).
but we’ll stick with Belly Dancing because that’s what everyone is used to.

The history of “Belly Dancing” is somewhat scarce, some people believe belly dancing originated as a means for priestesses to honor a Goddess and want the origin story to convey a message of female empowerment.

Other people believe Belly Dancing originated as a tool for preparing the female body for childbirth and see it connected to motherhood.

The popular belief is that it originated in Egypt, and spread to other parts of the world, by doing it adapted to the specific country or region’s cultural background.

Belly Dance is so mesmerizing to watch because it’s so different from the western dance forms, being the primary focus torso-driven, emphasizing movements of the hips.

While western dances are more focused on the movements of limbs through space.

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Is Belly Dance a Good Exercise?

Belly Dance as Exercise, Can You Teach Yourself to Belly Dance?

If you’re looking to add some spice and vigor to your fitness routine, then don’t let the language of belly dance intimidate you.

In order for beginners who are attracted solely by its low-impact aspect, be aware that beginner-level classes probably won’t achieve this goal (unless one begins with a very unfit body).

Many instructors teach beginning students how to move their hips while focusing on more gentle movements in the abdomen until much later.

There’s no need to worry about exercising specifically towards a toned tummy, either – it’ll come in time as your body gets more used to the movements and cardio work.

But If a toned abdomen and exercise is mostly what you are looking for, then I suggest something like Zumba…

Zumba is an active, dance-inspired fitness program that you can do without worrying about technique or memorizing routines, it will get you up and moving, dancing to hot Latin music.

For those who are more interested in exercise than dance technique, Zumba is a better option for getting your heart pumping!

Belly Dance is a Celebration.

Most of the Belly Dancing is not performed on stage by professional dancers but performed by regular people at parties,

Weddings, celebrations, and other special occasions, it’s not at all performed with the intent to seduce men.

Far from it, most people do it simply because they enjoy it.

How Belly Dancing Affects Your Body.

Belly Dance is a physical exercise and like most physical exercises have benefits to your health.

People have been using it with the purpose of healing (physically and emotionally)

Meditation, weight loss, balance, flexibility, and coordination have been attributed to the practice of this dance.

Belly Dancing Makes You Feel Good.

Although the effects on your health and body are evident, Belly Dance also allows women to express their femininity and get in touch with their bodies in deeper ways.

While having fun because it makes you feel beautiful, and ultimately feeling good about yourself.

Belly Dancing is for Everyone.

Belly Dancing is for Everyone

Undoubtedly, Throughout the years the message somehow got misplaced, and the dance became somewhat marginalized and thought of only as a means of sensual entertainment for men.

But that’s not how people in the middle east think of it, for them the dance still remains pure and joyful and to be performed by people of all ages for the sole purpose of having fun when there’s a gathering of friends and family.

Belly Dance is an Art-form For All Ages.

Unlike other dances where you’re not required to start at an early age

Belly Dance does not discriminate, since it’s low impact exercise you don’t have to worry about injury,

people of all ages are welcome, including seniors.

Belly Dancing Has It’s Unique Apparel.

There’s a unique look associated with it, whether you like something more comfortable or more glamorous,

the fact is whenever you put on the costume you’ll feel like you traveled to a distant land and dove into a fantasy world rich in culture and folklore.

Overweight? So What…

Belly Dance is the most inclusive dance you can find, due to its soft nature, and catering to the body’s natural flow of movement you’ll find little to no stress to your joints, feet, ankles… you might not be in perfect shape but you’ll still look graceful.

How Hard is Belly Dancing.

Nothing is easy when you start, there’s definitely a learning curve, especially if you’re too used to western-style dances that are completely different.

The best course of action is to forgo your expectations and just go with the flow,

Engulf yourself in the magic, there’s nothing impeding you from learning, but yourself.

Movements Found in Belly Dancing.

Shimmies, shivers, and vibrations fast movements of the hips and rib cage that create an impression and depth of movement, straight-legged knee-driven shimmies, fast, tiny hip vibrations, twisting hip shimmies and relaxed rib cage or shoulder shimmies.

Percussive movements movement used to punctuate the music, or accent the beat similar to nodding of the head to the beat of the drum, mostly performed using the hips and shoulders inwards, outwards, lifts and twists.

Fluid movements continuous flow in motion, to accent melodic exerts of the music, or modified to express complex musical arrangements such as improvisations, strong control of the abdominal muscles is required as you perform the famous abdominal undulations.

Belly Dancing as a Business.

Once you’ve passed the threshold, and feel confident in your skills you can open your own dance studio, teach private classes or even teach classes online.

It’s such a unique niche, with thousands of monthly searches on Google for Belly Dancing classes (40500 November 2020 and growing) and very little offer in terms of classes.

There are few teachers online and the ones that exist are hard to find, the demand is definitely higher than the offer…

If Belly Dance is something you think you’d really enjoy, Here’s something you might be interested in.

Find Classes here

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