Belly Dance

Now I'm back into the groove of exercise, I'm branching out into different tapes.  My stomach muscles have always been weak and my back is not the greatest.  That is why I'm extremely particular about stomach exercises.  The Lotte Berk method is perfect because it focuses on isolation not crunches that can cause stress on the lower back.  Forget about me doing full sit ups.

Anyway, I've always been fascinated by belly dancing.  It isolates the core and the dancers show amazing control and strength in their torso.  I also like the fact that the dancers encompass a variety of body types not just the hallowed tall, lean prototype.  I also like the fun aspect of the dancing.  I once read that it was originally danced by women for and with other women at parties for fun/laughs.  And that spirit carries on to present day.  Despite all the gyrations and hip throws, I never get the feeling that belly dancing is particularly carnal.  The belly dancer is not asking the viewer to make a sexy decision anymore than a ballerina is when she performs an arabesque.  The whole aura is look at this!  Can you top it?

I think the most famous proponent of belly dancing is pop star Shakira.

On youtube there are loads of traditional belly dancers from all over the world.  This is Egyptian star Dina.

There is also a new offshoot of belly dance called Tribal Fusion created by Rachel Brice.  Her performances and her dance troupe performances are all over youtube as well.  Its a strange mix of traditional belly dance as performed by punk rockers by the way of a 1920's Rudolph Valentino movie.

Great stuff!

The videos I'm using for stomach muscle strengthening are

Step by Step Belly Dance

This video is more a low impact aerobic workout and not focused on teaching dancing.

Recently I just purchased

Bellydance Fitness for Beginners

This video can be previewed on youtube.  It does teach basic dance moves along with a low impact workout.

I've also purchased Rachel Brice's collection which teaches basic moves, isolation workouts and choreography techniques in Tribal Fusion.


As always, when exercising find something fun that you want to do.  Because slogging through something that feels like torture will not encourage a regular workout schedule.

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