Belly dance is known by many names such as Raqs Sharqi, Middle Eastern Dance and Arabic Dance. The Raqs Sharqi dance form was originally performed in restaurants by women and very rarely by men as well. Its unique and gratifying dance movements attracted dancers from around the world and it soon became an authentic dance form in many countries. Bedlah is an Arabic suit that was worn by belly dancers in early times. However, as the dance came to be adopted by other countries, it brought changes in ways of dressing too. The costume of a belly dancer is incomplete without props. Some of the common props used are cane, sword, fan, fire sticks, tambourine, snakes (Boa or Python), fan veils, candelabra headdress and finger cymbals. With perfect costumes and flexible dance moves, a belly dancing workout could leave you feeling content and happy.
Belly Dance Benefits
This form of dance not only keeps you physically fit but also brings inner peace. As dancing tones the body, it also works on building up self-confidence, relieves stress, and revives you from a hectic working day. As belly dance mainly focuses on the movement of the hip area, a belly dancer takes the help of her hamstrings and glutes to support the hip movements. Along with shoulder and torso movements, the back muscles get evenly worked out as well. There are some more benefits of this artistic dance.
Muscle Toning and Correcting Posture
Though the dance name is belly dance, it is great form of toning the muscles of the entire body. Many dance forms improve the posture and increase the level of flexibility. The spinal cord is the most important body part that supports the body and helps us in being flexible too. Many ligaments and cartilage make up the spinal cord and muscles connecting to the spine create movement in the area around the pelvis and torso. Therefore, this dance, if practiced regularly, tones the muscles in an effective manner. The different forms of movements, such as circling the hips, hip drops, forming eight and shimmies puts stress on the hip area and tone the entire lower back and abdomen area. The dance movements tuck the pelvis, which helps in curing many lower back problems. Repetition of these dance movements also increases the flow of the synovial fluid between the joints. These various forms of hip movements release the stress and stiffness in the back formed due to an idle lifestyle.
An hour of belly dancing has the capacity to burn 300 calories. However, a sensible eating pattern can help in quicker weight loss. Weight loss depends on the frequency of belly dance practice. Equal amount of dance and sensible food consumption can get you a lean and fit body quickly. In case you practice the dance twice a week, then you can indulge in cardiovascular exercises on the rest of the days. This will strengthen the muscles and also improve the hand and body coordination.
Stress often builds up plenty of tension in the muscles and causes them to contract. Contraction of muscles causes pain and stress mainly in the neck, back and shoulder area. When the muscles begin to contract, the lactic acid is produced and causes pain in the muscles and joints. Also, the sedentary lifestyle, causes less blood flow. The gentle hand movements and hip rotations stretch the back, trunk, torso and abdominal muscles, relieving it from strain. Movement in the muscles releases the lactic acid and reduces the pain caused due to muscle contraction. The stretching caused due to belly dance movements increases the blood flow too.
Being idle can cause indigestion. Exercising always help in digesting the food as it focuses on all the body parts. Proper digestion is essential in order to stay healthy. Belly dancing exercises the torso and abdominal area which is a great form of exercise in improving digestion.
Belly dancing is fun and an enjoyable form of fitness too. One of the interesting benefits is that you can stay fit and also learn a complete unique dance form too. So get rid of the inactive lifestyle and make it interesting by enrolling for some belly dancing classes.