What does society have in mind of belly dance? What do you think the average person thinks of a belly dancer? Everyone has a certain image in mind. Even my students have a certain image in mind when they first start classes but as the go that image slowly changes and they become the image of belly dance. It is like with anything else when it comes to media, entertainers, models, musicians, actors and actresses. For each group we set a certain standard and or image and the image of a belly dancer is included.
So what does society think a belly dancer should like like by their standard? One of the first images that come to mind is Barbara Eden the actress who played on I dream of Jeanie. But, it goes deeper then that we often think that belly dancers have to have a certain frame or be a certain age, height and even hair or skin color. We often have an image of what the perfect belly dancer is which is someone with long dark hair, beautiful olive skin and one who has curves in all the right places. Sounds like I just described Barbie!
Thing thing is belly dancers come in all shapes and sizes, different backgrounds and ethnicity. Age does not matter either I have had girls as young a 7 up to 74! Belly Dance is for all women. It is one way women can get together and create a bond with others and learning about a different culture and enjoying the emotional and spiritual aspects of the dance.
Here is a list of frequent questions that are often asked by those who what to find out more about belly dance.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
How old is to old to belly dance?
Belly Dance has no age limit like some other dance forms such as ballet. Any women no matter how old or young can belly dance. This is because most of the movements are very natural to a women s body. In fact, this is one dance form where we have more professional dancers still dancing or even just starting out in their 30’s and can continue dancing as long as they can move or until they desire to retire. I have had so many women and girls come to my classes at many different stages of life. I have taught those who are as young as 3 years of age all the way up to 74! I have many friends who are dancers and their ages range as well. You really truly are never to young or too old to start!
Jammilah Salimpour is another icon in the world of Belly Dance she is 88 years old. I will talk more about Jamilah later in another blog. Jamilah Salimpour picture is shown above and also pictured below with her granddaughter and daughter Suhaila Salimpour.
I don’t have the right body type for belly dance too fat or thin?
Belly dance is for everyone and you do not have to have a certain type of body. It is truly for any body type. It is a great way to get into shape very low impact. We are all different sizes and different backgrounds. Size truly does not matter and belly dance can benefit everyone. Belly Dance looks beautiful on each and every women and it will teach you not only how to accept yourself, but how to accentuate your body type.
Don’t you have to show your belly?
The answer to this is no. Belly dance is not about showing your belly or about the belly at all. The thought of showing the belly is what stops most women from even trying it. They think or say: I could never do that or know one wants to see my belly jiggle. This is more of a misconception of the dance as a whole. Baring the belly is not necessary at all. I have had alot of women in my classes who have performed and did not show their belly. I have performed myself and I have not shown my belly either. In fact, still to this day dancers in Egypt can not show bare belly. It has to be covered in some way by either wearing a balady dress or a tummy cover.
It is never too late to start belly dancing and you can never be too old! This dance is for everyone no matter your shape, size, background or age! Belly Dance is empowering and you will create some very special and everlasting friendships with other women! For more information about Najla’s classes you can contact her at www.najlasdance.com via the web or your mobile phone!