Originally Posted by ToutDeSuite
Thanks, aphil. For now I just want to learn some basics and burn some calories. I just learned there will be a free lesson/performance in the area in December (I just missed one while I was away on a cruise), so by then I should have picked up a few moves from the Shimmy DVDs I ordered and will know whether or not I want to learn more in class.
Just be careful. I have not personally seen the Shimmy brand dvds or the tv show. (I have been wrapped up in more professional geared dvds the past few years...) So, I cannot give you feedback on how good they are. I will try and check them out so I can give a little better feedback.
If you are interested in a regular class, I recommend visiting the site www.shira.net
, she has a very large instructor directory there, and you can look up instructors based upon the area that you live in. If there is not one listed near you, contact the closest instructor. They might very well know and instructor who has not yet been placed on Shira's list.
Originally Posted by raw23
Why do belly dancers have such sexy stomachs? Is it the dancing or do they do other exercise to get their abs?
Belly dancers come in all shapes, and all sizes. What you are going to find in mainstream dvds (like what you might find at Best Buy) or on tv are obviously going to be the ones with the sexiest bodies. However, when you see live dancers, we are all shapes and sizes. It isn't like ballet, where a certain body type is required.
That being said, however, most belly dancers who are at a good weight for their height DO have pretty good bellies. Part of the reason is because if you do traditional crunches, the upper abdominal area is mainly being used. This would be most of the "6 pack" muscle area. However, belly dance movements naturally not only use this area, but the lower abdominal area as well during the movements. Also, it uses the oblique muscles A LOT. These are the side muscles...the ones that go around the waistline and weave into the ab muscles. The back (upper, middle, and lower) are also used a lot during the movements. The entire core is engaged when we dance.
Belly dance also works the upper thighs, calves, and shoulder muscles heavily as well. I can honestly say that my hands and wrists also get a good workout from the hand motions and from playing finger cymbals. Not many other exercises can do that for you.
So, when you are talking about a dancer who does this professionally, we are doing this dance form for hours per week. It really does change your figure...just like a competitive swimmer might get a large, broad upper body over time from their involvement in that sport.