Belly Dance: Exotic Path to Growth

A lot of my patient's already know that yoga and pilates are recommended and good for their posture. They are often surprised when I mention bellydance as an option. Belly dance is a beautiful art form that is wonderful for connecting the mind to the body. So many people are completely missing this extremely important connection. The lack of mindbody connection can be one of the key factors in chronic pain.

The physical

Belly dance will help you become more graceful as well as strengthening your core muscles. Belly dance is all about isolation. It teaches you to use intrinsic muscles in your core that you probably never knew you had. It is excellent for women who will be having children because it strengthens your pelvic floor. These are the same muscles you use during childbirthing. Your core muscles aren't the only thing getting a workout. In bellydance we are always reminded to have pride in our heart, open our chest and hold our arms up. No lazy arms in this dance! This builds back and shoulder muscles which in turn creates better posture. Belly dance is a whole body workout that gets your heart pumping which increases your cardio fitness.

When you first start you're going to feel awkward, real awkward. You're going to tell your right hip to go up and it may go back. You signal your body to make figure eight's with your hips and you get a wobbly O instead.This is proof that you need bellydance! Your mind doesn't have a connection with your muscles and this can cause all kinds of tricky muscular patterns that can leave one leg shorter than the other or a chronic crick in your low back.

Emotional and spiritual growth

Trying something new can suck. I don't know about you but I personally hate being awkward and crappy at something. It's embarrassing to be new and clumsy and even worse if you don't get it right away . And that's one of the beautiful things about trying new things. The more new things you try, the more awkward you are the more you realize it's just not that big of a deal. Every class I see the new people hanging out in the back. I know they don't want anyone to see them sucking at something. The anxiety can be palpable when dancers are asked to do something out in the middle of the floor that everyone can see. I challenge you to push yourself to be in the front, be akward, be full of suck and own it! In the front you can see what the teacher is doing, and the teacher is who you want to follow, not the other students. Eventually you may even get to preform. Performing can catapult you into your next level of personal and spiritual development.

The physical , emotional & spiritual combined

Belly dance is wonderful because you don't need a partner to do it. No need to drag your partner out against their will . You can bellydance at home, alone , by yourself in times of stress, grief or times of joy. At a certain point, once you learn the basic moves you will be able to hear the cues in the music and know how to dance to it. You can even belly dance to other music than just the traditional Arabic drums .

Because belly dance restructures your posture, it can actually restructure your overall demeanor. Posture can dictate your internal environment. A person that stands up straight with their chest exposed allows the world to see them, they have an open heart. A person that has taken on a new challenge and sees their achievements accumulating over time has more confidence. I believe in faking it until you make it. Improving posture is one such way to do this. You may not be the all powerful badass chicka you want to be but you can be. There are many ways to get there and belly dance is one of my favorites

San Diego Teachers

North County- Jan Saddington teaches belly dance workshop and Zumba with a belly dance flair.

San Diego proper-

Leilainia Penix. That's her in the blog photo.

The World Beat Center in Balboa Park offers many types of dance classes and performances.

Ocean Beach - Adelaide Marcus

Not ready to take a class or can't find one locally?

Check out my teachers video to do it at home.


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