What is... Belly Dancing? SKINNYFest 1
Bellydancing is an oasis of classic femininity and self-indulgence for women who face increasingly absurd paradigms of feminine perfection.
The perception of bellydancers as 'stripping for wimps' is diminishing and thanks to its growing popularity a greater understanding is finally emerging. Most people, nowadays, are familiar, to varying degrees, with its history as an ancient dance originating in North Africa, Arabia and parts of India, designed by women for women's wellbeing.
It is a great cardiovascular workout that isolates, stretches and strengthens every muscle. But seeing as there are millions of forms of exercise that offer excellent health benefits, what is it about bellydancing that has made it consistently irresistible to women for thousands of years?
Some say bellydancing connects them with the inner goddess, the ancient feminine, opens chakras and the like. But for whatever reason an individual enjoys it, to me, the dance's allure is obvious. Its glamour and impressiveness saw it rise from the status of a simple peasant dance to the ranks of megastar cabaret, as performed by Egyptian legends like Fifi Abdou, and to worldwide popularity with The Bellydance Superstars.
Bellydancing is an oasis of classic femininity and self-indulgence for women who face increasingly absurd paradigms of feminine perfection. The simultaneous pressures to be a driven careerist, a perfect partner, mother, and a top-shelf style sex symbol conjure up an image of Alan Sugar, Fanny Craddock and Jordan all rolled into one. You don't need to spend precious time trudging on a treadmill in tracksuit and trainer to make yourself feel good. For me, nothing beats adorning myself in jewels and chiffon, shaking and snaking to enchanting music.
Like classic perfume this dance is intensely feminine. The curvaceous fluidity of the moves ensures that bellydancing is sensual, and never trashy. There are no age or body-type requirements, and proficiency Ã¢Â€Â“ attainable only through practice Ã¢Â€Â“ is paramount. The freedom innate in the artform of bellydancing allows performers to showcase their work in a variety of ways. From performing in Moroccan casbahs or to the eager audiences of burlesque clubs, to teaching classes of adults and children, bellydancing persistently proves that skill and glamour appeals to all. It has mystery, dignity and the appeal of the exotic. What more does any woman want for herself?