Benefits of Belly dance
Belly dance is proven to be good for you, not just in the physical sense, but mentally too. We all know that exercise is good for us, but the advantage with all dance, not just belly dance, is that we're burning the calories without even knowing it. And it's fun!
Below you will find both physical and mental benefits, but don't let it be just me telling you....
"(Belly Dance) is now officially on my medical records as a benefit to my health. Good exercise and mental health. I have it on hospital reports and also with the GP. Everyone smiles, they always write it down. I know and they know it is good for me; not just physically but mentally too. Thank you for making my life better x" June 2022
In order to execute movements correctly, there is always an emphasis on body alignment from the feet upwards to the top of the head. This discipline can be matched with Pilates which encourages the same. Correct posture is as important in every day life as in dance, and is something we should all be working on regardless.
Belly dance is described as a low-impact form of exercise (compared with jogging, for instance) and is therefore soft on the joints
Because many belly dance moves originate from the torso, flexibility in this area will be improved with practice and over time.
Improved Balance and Co-ordination
Dance requires the body weight to be transferred from one leg to the other. This helps improve balance. Performing dance steps with arms or even the use of a prop means that you are performing several actions at once which helps with the co-ordination.
Increased blood flow and respiration
As with all exercise, our breathing increases and as a result so does blood flow. This is good for the body as it helps to flush out any toxins as well as improving lung capacity.
Physical activity increases the release of endorphins into the body which create a state of well-being or "feel good" emotions.
Toning the body
As mentioned before, many belly dance moves originate from the torso, and as a result these help to tone the muscles within the core such as the gluts, oblique’s as well as your thighs; a vital area for good posture and balance. Through these dance moves, the various muscle groups present in your body are isolated as well as controlled
All exercise burns calories which is good for physical health, but it gets harder as we get older. Belly dance is a fun way to burn calories without you even knowing it!
Strengthening the Arms
Many of us don't really exercise the arms but belly dance can help to strengthen the muscles here. Dancers may need to hold their arms up for a considerable time or may be using them for long periods of time if manipulating a prop.
Improves Body Language
Research proves that people respond to confident, assertive body language by non-verbally communicating the affirmation that the person they are interacting with has good self-esteem.The way we view ourselves is affected by how others perceive us. As we progress in dance we can see how we improve, which in turn improves confidence.
It is a known fact that people who are more active sleep better.
Reduced risk of Osteoporosis
Because we are putting weight into our bones and working around them it helps to keep our bones healthy and dense, hence reducing the risk of Osteoporosis
Helps to ease period pains
This is because we are working the muscles in the pelvic area which in turn helps to tone those muscles. It may feel like the last thing you want to do, but by stretching and toning these muscles it can ease pain.
Helps Keep you looking Younger
Exercising, building strength, sleeping better, as well as "wanting to look ones best" for performances all helps to improve our general health. If we are healthy mentally, we are more often healthy physically, which improves skin tone, hair shine and muscle tone.
Mental Health Benefits
De-stress and Unwind
Setting yourself some time for you is not a crime. In fact, it's good for you. Belly dance allows you to relax and leave your cares behind if only for an hour which is beneficial for you and for those around you.
Confidence and Self-Esteem
As you progress in dance you will see an improvement in your movements but also muscle tone. You may begin to feel stronger and this in turn will lead to more confidence and increased self-esteem.
Learning dance combinations (especially with arms), keeps the mind active and helps to stimulate the working memory. Research suggests that dance helps reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
Make New Friends
Belly dance can help you make new friends with similar interests as you. Very often you would never otherwise have met. This in turn can work as a positive emotional booster.
Evokes Team Spirit
Working together on a project or performance evokes team spirit as everyone wants to do well.
Promotes understanding and mutual respect between cultures
Learning about other cultures allows us to understand them better, and belly dance teaches us so much about the culture and history, expanding our vision and challenging established belief systems. Belly dance encourages the celebration of different traditions and lifestyles as well as building understanding and respect for other cultures.
It Feels Good!
Belly dance, as proven above, has so many benefits, but best of all it's fun and you don't even realize the benefits whilst doing it.