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Why belly dance

Coming originally from north Africa and the Middle East, belly dancing gained popularity in the United States in the 1970s and has grown ever more popular since then. Now some of the most talented and amazing belly dancers in the world come from America and belly dance has found its way into mainstream American pop culture.

Why are so many women from our westernized culture attracted to such an exotic form of dance? Women of all ages and social and cultural backgrounds feel as if the movements of belly dance speak to them, because belly dance offers so many different rewards:

  • A new & creative way to get a workout, get fit & increase flexibility & balance
  • A way to find ones inner power, beauty and femininity
  • A method of learning about different cultures through exploring their music, dancing and way of life
  • An outlet for artistic & creative and expression -- not to mention a chance to wear the most beautiful costumes and perform in front of an adoring crowd :)
  • the opportunity to escape from the pressures of everyday life for a couple of hours each week and put yourself first
  • A means by which to meet and form friendships with other women by participating in one of the only forms of dance that is solely female based
These are just some of the reasons women are attracted to belly dance, but regardless of the reasons why women come to it and where their interests lie, being involved with belly dance has many positive aspects.

Belly dance strengthens a woman's self-confidence. It also promotes creativity and self-expression. Women find in belly dancing a way to express their own voices and feelings. Happiness, flirtation, pride, hurt or jealousy... all of these emotions can be conveyed through dance. And, for a woman, who may have a work environment in which expressing her femininity is frowned upon, she can find through belly dance a way to explore and bring to life the many faucets of her feminine spirit. She can put on beautiful make-up; don stunning costumes & leave the cares of her everyday life behind. Discovering the beautiful faucets of your femininity and exploring the different ways to express them belongs to the exciting process of becoming involved with belly dance.

Belly dance gives women a way to feel good about themselves and their bodies. Women, who have a negative self-image and think that their bodies do not fit in to the westernized idea of beauty, find self-acceptance in belly dance, because belly dance hasn't any restrictions of height, weight, body type or age. Every woman can belly dance and can be graceful and look beautiful doing it.

In our often fast-paced and high-tech lifestyles, belly dance offers women the opportunity to rediscover and reconnect with their bodies. Many women enjoy the experience of finding the sensuous and erotic aspects of themselves and their bodies. A woman can become lost in the dance and the follow the impulses of movement that she finds in the music, without being concerned with what others will think of her.

Belly dancing is a form of communication and a way for women to play. You can really see this when groups of women dance together and for each other, which was the way that belly dance came to be originally. By dancing together, women get the opportunity to connect with each other and play off each other, each bringing her own personality and style into the dance. For some, who are used to the lonesome anonymity of the American nightclub style of dancing, this can be strange at first, but it is definitely something that can be practiced and is indeed one of the most enjoyable aspects of belly dance.

Although the majority of women dance purely for the joy and freedom they receive from the movements and the music of belly dance, many other women strive to dance for an audience and feel the exhilaration of applause for their performances. The presentation of a dance to an audience is not for everyone and is never required of a student here at my studio. However if a student wants to perform, my studio provides her the opportunity, perhaps more so than any other studio in Atlanta.

We usually have four shows a year at which groups of beginners' level students can perform. We also have the Nazeem Alsabah dance company, which students can join once they reach the intermediate level. Nazeem Alsabah performs quite often both at shows that I organize as well as at shows organized by others in and outside of the dance community. If you want to be in the spotlight, my studio is definitely the place to be :)

So, whether you want to dance in front of a crowd, for a small group of friends or just for your cat, belly dancing gives you the opportunity to gain self-confidence, explore the many unique aspects of your personality, escape from your everyday life, discover the rare beauty of your body, and connect with other women. What more could you want? Come into the mesmerizing light of belly dance and come dance with us!!!