Fantastic muscle tone including muscles you didnt know you had. Strong core muscles ie your back, stomach, waist and pelvic floor. Increased flexibility. These are three very good reasons to consider belly dance as a healthy form of exercise. And there are so many more reasons too.
Of course like most kinds of dance you use every part of the body so it tones you and burns calories. So if you have some areas of your body that need work on, and are considering dance, try belly dance! It is especially beneficial for women as the whole dance has been developed around the female form and so every sensual move will tone all those difficult and complex muscles that the gym cannot.
Belly dance is based around the core muscles and so is beneficial not just for the stomach area , waist and pelvic floor but also your back. I have heard from both physiotherapists and chiropractors that they encourage patients with many back conditions to try belly dance. Of course if you do have some back problems you do need to seek medical advice before trying out belly dance.
The joy of belly dancing is that because it is made for the female body many moves are instinctive and to a certain level all women are great belly dancers, we are naturally good at it. Because so many moves involve hips you fine tune muscles around the waist , stomach and back in ways you never believed possible. It will also encourage better posture which in turn will prevent back problems.
Another advantage belly dance has over some other dance forms is that it is unusually low impact. Rather than using lots of steps and moving your feet a lot, it is actually about moving different parts of the body instead, isolating your hips, ribcage, stomach, arms and hands. You could even belly dance on the spot! Of course if you are able to add travelling moves you will burn more calories, but if that is not your concern you could quite comfortably belly dance in a small front room or single spot on the dance floor.
Mental Health Benefits
The wonderful thing about any dance form is that you work with music. And dancing to music that you love is one of the most uplifting and energising ways of de-stressing. You may think: ‘but Im not sure that I even like ‘belly dance music’ , but that is not an issue as you can pretty much belly dance to any kind of music: if its music you love then you will be able to dance your best.
However its not just the simple joy of music that makes you feel good, its the sharing it with other women that can be very healing to some ladies. I know the classes that I teach have helped women with all kinds of grief to deal with simply because its a chance to let go in a sympathetic and happy environment.
The other main mental health benefit is that it is great for your self esteem. You learn to relish all your wobbly bits – or lack of – and realise just how great a dancer you can be. You basically get in touch with your feminine core .
So why not find the nearest class to you and have a go?