Unleash the Inner Goddess with Belly Dance

Mesmerized by the fluid movements of belly dancers in the desert, I never thought I would ever dare try this in my life. As we lay on the mat, my friend Tintin and I contemplated on bailing the belly dance class after a strenuous one-hour TRX core training workout led by her strict fitness instructor. Yellow and black straps were suspended from the ceiling of the gym. We held on to these, using gravity and body weight for strength, balance and core stability. 

The Belly Dance Class

Twenty minutes later, we walked into a room full of enthusiastic local Arabic women without their black veils, strutting around wearing coin hip belts. There were also expats.We were definitely newbies and had absolutely no experience with belly shaking. Thursday class is apparently a culmination of all lessons taught for the week. The other students welcomed us with encouragement, while the teacher assured us that we  will have fun.

The Music. The room was alive, bursting with strong feminine vibe. The music started playing.  Here's my favorite belly dance tune, one of the many body shaking rhythms we danced to:

Arms outstretched, I tried following the smooth movements of the lovely lady in front of me, wondering how she could easily move her upper torso separately from her hips. How is that remotely possible? 

I wiggled myself wishing I had more curves, more hips, because I had nothing to shake. Should I put socks in my bra next time?  I felt like a worm squirming for my dear life under sprinkled rock salt.  

Embracing the Inner Goddess. It was the atmosphere. Nobody cared. I was having fun. I enjoyed embracing my femininity with those sexy slow moves as we bent our bodies while perspiring profusely. (I'm a person that do not sweat easily).

I  finally discovered I have a rear. Yay, they were bouncing!
A few songs later, my chest cooperated as well, celebrating along the tune.
There were tough  rib cage ab vibrating and shivering movements that made me sweat like hell. I've never shaken my body that much and I daresay that was the toughest workout I've ever had in my life, but the most fulfilling. 

Improvisation.  What I find interesting in Belly Dance is the art of improvisation.  

All of us were asked to sit down. The teacher called each student to stand up and dance in front of everyone, one by one.  We clapped with the rhythm, admiring each classmate dancing with her hips twisting and lifting with each staccato note. 

Right up until the teacher pointed at me. What? Oh no! I stood up anyway and I froze. I had no idea what I was supposed to do! The teacher danced. Before I know it, I was moving my body and rocking each part in all directions.

Beneath All That
We watched the local Arabic ladies leave the gym after class. They were fully covered in black veil and cloak, with designer handbags dangling on their arm. People outside had no idea how wonderful these ladies were when they danced in there. How freely they moved and how passionate they were with their movements. They waved goodbye to us. My friend and I smiled and waved back, happy with what we've just witnessed and experienced.

Will I do it again? Oh yes. Belly dancing is excellent in shaping the body and if it helps unleash the inner goddess, why not?

Have you seen a belly dance performance? Did you enjoy it?
Is it something you'd be interested in learning?
Is there an activity that makes you embrace your inner goddess? What is it?


{P.S. Sorry, I'm unable to take photos or videos inside the Ladies Studio. Taking photos of local ladies are absolute no-no in this part of the world. }

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  1. I'm so happy you like it :)

    And it's sounds really cool that you get to improvise, so different from standard lessons in Europe where you just follow the choreographies designed by the teacher. I definitely want to find a good bellydancing school to get back to it!

    Lasttime I took lessons here in Maastricht there were also some arabic girls who came with their headscarves and tooke them out to dance. They wanted to try zumba but as also men attended those lessons they could not take their headscarves off, so they came and enjoyed the bellydancing among women. I think that's a big part of it, the bonding feeling with many other women, it's beautiful!

    Have a wonderful weekend, Arni!
    xoxo Irene

  2. How FUN!!! I've always secretly wanted to try belly dance but am convinced that I would be beyond awkward! This has renewed my desire to give it a try. So happy to finally be catching up on your blog! LOVE!

  3. I love dance for fitness, so I hopped on the belly dance train for a few years in past. It is great fun!

  4. Good for you for trying it! I've seen belly dancers at my daughter's dance studio. I guess it would be fun, but I guess I'm a little self conscious, so I would be uncomfortable having people watch me do it.

  5. I have to admit that I find it particularly cringe-worthy (particularly in restaurants) but I can’t deny that I am envious of the ways they can move! I also had no idea it was such a fantastic workout. If it can get rid of my muffin tops then I might just be able to get over the cringe (and shyness) factor!