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Bellydancing!!!

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Old 10-21-2002, 11:56 AM   #1
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Default Bellydancing!!!

Hi,
I am interested in chatting with ladies who take up bellydancing as a form of exercise.
I weight train for 3 days a week, and rather than doing aerobics or jogging for my cardio-I dance. I took many years of ballet and jazz as a child, and have recently fell in love with bellydancing!
In larger cities you can find classes available, but there are also some great beginner instruction videos you can use to do it at home.
Some I recommend to start:
Fat Chance Bellydance Basics Video-this video is more of an Americanized version of bellydance, with a more crazy getup, and it uses tribal drums for music. It is a very hypnotic version. This tape can be purchased at www.fcbd.com or www.renstore.com.
It teaches all of the basic moves of tribal bellydancing, and has a few short routines to follow. Great tape.
Bellydance for Fun and Fitness-Basic Moves-this is actually a workout video that uses some of the basic moves in traditional middle eastern dance with the traditional middleastern music. It is taught by identical twins who are performers. It is a great workout tape, that teaches a few starting moves while you are exercising. It is a good cardio workout that is much mor fun and sensuous
Bellydance Basic Dance-This is done by the twins that are in the preceding tape-it is also a basic tape, but it is an actual dance instruction tape, not an exercise video, so you will be learning more refined moves, but there will be breaks and more instruction than the basic moves tape above. It is also in the more traditional style of dance.
This is a very fun way to workout. It really works your shoulders, abs, calves, and hips/thighs. It is also fun when you progress in the dance, and learn to use veils and finger cymbals (zils).
It is very sexy-and you will feel sexy doing it! My husband and I recently went to a festival where they had some tribal style bellydancers, and instead of the traditional harem style outfit, they were more rough-slave bracelets, animal tails pinned to the back of their skirts (they seductively "bounced" off the dancers rear ends in certain moves ) and my husband was VERY enthralled. Needless to say, I came out of their with a tail and a slave bracelet in silver with gorgeous amber colored stones as a gift....I guess he wants me to wear it someday for a performance...
I still rate myself a beginner, but I can do the basic moves, and am learning the finger cymbals, and I must say, no matter what your size, you will feel great doing this form of exercise!
Beginner or Advanced dancers-please join in!
Aphil
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Last edited by aphil : 10-21-2002 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 10-28-2002, 04:11 AM   #2
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A long time ago, I think I would have laughed off the idea of belly dancing. However, I've actually considered it lately! I have no ide why... I think it looks like a good way to stretch and limber the body, moving muscles you probably wouldn't move otherwise.

I do have lower back problems though. In your opinion, do you think this would be difficult without a strong lower back?
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Old 10-28-2002, 07:51 AM   #3
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I have a 4-tape set of belly-dancing routines by the Belly Dancing Twins (www.bellytwins.com) -- they are specifically exercise routines, not instructional, but they obviously give you instruction on moves, plus they do a cool dance at the end of each tape. I agree, it's a fun way to aerobicize! Once I reach my goal, I'm thinking of taking belly dancing classes locally and getting myself a cool costume!

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Old 10-28-2002, 08:02 AM   #4
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I am starting belly dance class next week. I am very excited. It seems like it will be fun, plus It really excites my hubby. I will let you all know how it goes.

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Old 10-28-2002, 09:03 AM   #5
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I am thrilled to finally be getting responses to this thread!
Suzanne-the moves of bellydance will actually STRENGTHEN your lower back! The movements actually strengthen and tone mostly your lower and upper back, shoulders (due to the arm positions) and the sides of you abs-your oblique muscles, and you thighs and calves.
What I would od for your lower back is to make sure you do abdominal exercises a few times a week, because the tronger they are, the more they work to hold your posture, and the less your back is strained. Also, I have a great exercise to strengthen your lower back-lie on your tummy, arms in front of you out straight-(think of your body as one continous line.) Lift up your right arm off the floor, while simultaniously lifting up your left leg and hold for a few seconds. Then repeat with the other side. Do this 5-10 times, every other day.
I had two very large babies (9 & 10 pounds) and they really did a number on my back and abs, and I had lower back pain a lot, until I learned this exercise-it will really help after a couple months along with ab work.
You are also so right about working muscles you don't normally use-I lift weights, and I can still feel a slight soreness after bellydancing the next morning-you work your ribcage area, and your shoulders and back in a totally different way than in everyday motion!
MzPen-the tapes you have-teh Bellydance fitness for beginners-is a great set of exercise videos that combines doing regular exercises with some great bellydance moves mixed in-teh twins are great. They also have a 3 pack set of bellydance videos that are actual dance instruction-the individual tapes are called Basic Dance, Beyond Basic Dance, and Mystic Dance. I also recommend these!
morningglory-how lucky for you to have a class starting near you! I am mostly having to use videos, and I correspond with a few teachers over the computer-Carolena of at Chance Belly Dance, and Shira from Shira.net. I hope to drive once or twice a year to have a private lesson now and then. Please let me know how your class is going-I want to hear all about it!
I have a few sites I recommend-www.shira.net-this dancer has a lot of info about basic costumes, background on the dance, video reviews, etc. She is really great.
For cheap costumes and accessories, I recommend www.aliahscloset.com they have cheap prices on basics, like coin belts, and harem pants, and zils and veils. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone wanting a professional performance costume, but if you want something just to practice in, or to dance for your spouse-this is the place!
If you don't really want a costume, but something to go around your workout lycra pants to emphasis movement-I just found a black fringed hip scarf at Fashion Bug this weekend-it is triangular shaped, black lacy, and has about 3-4 inch long fringe on it. It was $14. You can wrap this around your hips, and knot it on the side or in the front, and when you dance, the fringe really shakes!
The great thing about bellydance is-you can learn it whether you are a size 4 or 24-it is not a high impact dance that puts a lot of stress on your joints-it is a dance of control. You are learning specific movements-controlled movements.
If any of you want a costume and can sew fairly well, let me know, I have some patterns I know of that are great!
Aphil
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Old 10-28-2002, 09:58 PM   #6
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I am a "baby" beginner but love bellydancing. I don't know if what I do is actually bellydancing....yet!!

I have "the twins" tapes....I haven't been doing it regularily but if I have someone to share with it would be incentive to get back to it.

Thanks for the thread.
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Old 10-29-2002, 08:15 AM   #7
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LuckyLB-what you are doing is fine! Which of the twins tapes do you have-the fitness for beginners series (basic moves, fat burning, etc. ) or the actual dance instruction tapes? (basic dance, beyond basic, mystic dance)
I would love to see everyone get better at this dance!
Something that bellydancers all agree with-is that you cannot be too thin or too fat to bellydance. It is a dance that is sensual and agreeable with all body types and weights. All women can look good doing it! To prove that theory-check out this page of PROFESSIONAL bellydancers at this page-they all look beautiful! Some of tehm wear really revealing costumes, and others do not-they wear whatever works for them-what they feel good in.
www.angelfire.com/art/bbwdance/index.html
Something you will notice once you really get into it-is that the traditional middleastern type of dance has distinct movements, and when performed, it is usually one woman-with the traditional style costumes. Tribal style bellydance tends to focus more on groups, women dancing together-and it has a certain style of costume as well. In tribal style, some of the women may have solos, but hte other women are always there in the back doing "chorus" moves. I love both ways, and have tapes of both.
If any of you have the fitness twins videos, once you are comfortabel and have mastered the moves, I totally encourage you to try their dance instruction tapes, or try Fat Chance Bellydance Vol.1 Basics tape-the twins tapes are a good intor to the traditional dance, and FCBD is a great intro into tribal style-it also has a section of them getting ready so you can see tehir costuming, and a great performance footage at the end to really inspire you.
I am really glad I started this thread as well. I am glad I am not the only one who thinks this dance is so beautiful, as well as a great way to get exercise!
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Old 01-20-2003, 09:51 AM   #8
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Hello!
I wanted to bump this thread back up, and let you all know how I am doing!
I am still in love with bellydancing, and have been continuing to do it 2-3 times a week. Some days I practice the more traditional style of bellydance, and others the tribal style.
Another tape I would like to recommend is called "Magical Motion" and the instructor is named Atea. It is not in an exercise format, but a real dance instruction video, and shows all of the basic moves in bellydance.
My favorite moves so far in bellydance are chest drops-where you are isolating your ribcage only in a movement that pretty much makes it look like you are moving your breast area up and down without moving the rest of your body. I also like hip drops really well, and love the way my hip scarf fringe shakes when I do them. It is a really empowering, sexy feeling.
I have strengthened muscles I was unaware I even had with bellydance, and this is from someone who strength trains with weight religiously each week. You really learn such control over your muscles with this dance, moving one muscle or body part alone, and keeping everything else stationary. It truly is a dance of control.
Another positive aspect, is that my weight loss has sped up since I have started dancing-from an average of a pound a week, to 2 and sometimes 3 pounds per week!
I would really like to keep this thread up on these boards, and to encourage others to join in learning this wonderful dance. Hopefully soon, after I am a little closer to my fitness goals, I will share a picture of myself in my bellydance garb.
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Old 01-22-2003, 08:18 AM   #9
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Aphil, you're doing great! Thanks for the bellydance reminder ... I haven't been doing it lately myself. I'll have to pull my tapes back out.

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Old 01-22-2003, 08:38 AM   #10
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Pen,
Yes! Dig out those tapes!!!!
Aphil
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Old 01-22-2003, 01:54 PM   #11
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Hello All!!!!

I have been bellydancing for several years now.... I used to be real good at it.... took several classes and had a blast... then 3 years ago I had a c-section hysterectomy.... the 3rd c-section cut (2 kids)... since then I have no feeling from my belly button down to my bikini c-section cut.... BUMMER!!!!!

I am no longer able to do the belly rolls which were really hard for me to learn before....

As for videos that I have..... i have the basic moves videos from the twins.... but the one I like the most is "THE GODDESS WORKOUT"... maybe i just like the name it is one that i havent heard you mention so I thought I would throw it out there.

I have started back recently on my workout and will probably join the class again. It is a great workout... the only one the I feel sexier after I am done than before.....

It is great that people are getting more interested in it... it is a lot of fun.....

Also, you mentioned costumes.... one place to just get a cheap costume that is really kinda cute is go to the dance schools in your area and ask them if you could look through there costume catologs and purchase one through them.... I got one that is a two piece black velvet with gold sequins and a shear skirt for $40.00.... again not a professional one but it is fun to workout in it....

Happy dancing everyone!!!!
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Old 01-22-2003, 02:31 PM   #12
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Hello!
Angel-yes, I know the video that you speak of! The video is called "The Goddess Workout" and the instructor's name is Dolphina. It is a nice basic workout of a few bellydancing moves, and the scenery in the background is gorgeous. She also has an advanced video-I think it is called "Warrior Goddess Workout" which has some more difficult, faster moves in it.
There are also cd's of music that can be found online that correlate with "The Goddess Workout" and the videos by the twins Neena and Veena.
Aphil
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Old 01-26-2003, 01:08 PM   #13
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Hello Ladies. I came across your thread and am now totally enthralled with the idea of taking up bellydancing. I'm going to buy some videos this week. Years ago my sister worked for a company that designed costumes for the theatre and she gave me a harum style suit......I can't wait to put the whole thing together. Thanks for opening my eyes to this!
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Old 01-26-2003, 05:37 PM   #14
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Hello!
Welcome Jen! I just found a bellydance instructor in a nearby city, and I am going to be taking pro lessons as well as do my videos.
Jen-for starting out, I would recommend:
Bellydance Fitness for Beginners-Basic Moves taught by Neena and Veena, which is in more of an exercise video type of format. You are exercising with a few basic dance moves added in. They also have a set of dance instruction tapes, and you would want to start with their instruction tape called "Basic Dance." It is in more of a dance lesson type format.
I finally checked out the "Goddess Workout by Dolphina-introduction to bellydance", and I really liked it except for two things:
The whole Chakra thing. I am really into dance and yoga, but learning about all my chakra energy centers I could have really cared less about. She is wonderfully nice, but a bit on the flaky side.
Some of the camera work. On a lot of moves that she was teaching, the camera man kept shooting her face, or her from the waist up, instead of showing her whole body, and in a few places it makes it hard to see what you are supposed to be doing with your feet.
Other than these two things, I liked Dolphina, she used workout wear with a hip scarf or skirt, and it was easy to see her body move. The background was beautiful, and she taught all of the basics-such as snake arms, hip circles, and ribcage lifts and drops. I haven't seen her advanced video-I think it is called Warrior Goddess Workout-I hope they used better camera angles that shot her entire body this time.
I also found that Borders bookstore has a great selection of bellydance music, if you just want to practice moves you have learned from class or a video, or want to choreograph your own dance. I bought two last night-"Bellydance Superstars" and "Bellydance Breakbeats." They were mixed in the Hawaiin type of music for some reason. I could have easily bought 10 if money would have permitted.
Aphil
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Old 01-27-2003, 08:28 AM   #15
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Red face Too funny!!

I work in the local library and a friend came in the other day and requested books on belly dancing. The first time anyone had made that request, and so I asked if she was going to learn it. She informed me that she had been hearing that it is a great and fun form of excercise and is even going to take lessons. It seemed really interesting so I checked a book out myself am learning about it. Seems funny that I hear about it for the first time in two different places. Must be something to it....
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