FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What does a "typical" belly dance class consist of?
In my class, we usually start with a warm up, then learn or review a few belly dance moves. We move on to some activities like learning a short combination and learning a few steps to a dance routine, before finishing with a cool down.
Am I too old/overweight/unfit to belly dance?
No! You are never too old, overweight, or unfit to belly dance. Belly dance is a low impact form of exercise which is generally easy on the joints. People of all ages, shapes, and sizes are successful belly dancers.
I have an injury. Can I still belly dance?
It depends. Generally your injury should be well healed and you should have the ok from your GP to begin exercising before you try belly dance. Belly dance uses a lot of lower body and torso articulations, so knee, hip, and back injuries may be especially problematic. You should discuss your injury with your GP and dance teacher to assess suitability before the first class.
Do I have to show my belly?
No! Most students wear a comfortable t-shirt or tank top and exercise bottoms or leggings to class. There are a variety of costume options - some that show the belly and others that don't.
Can men belly dance?
Yes! Men are welcome in my belly dance classes. In the Middle East where belly dance originates, belly dance is a social dance that men and women, children and adults do to express emotion through movement at social gatherings. Most professional belly dancers who perform at restaurants and night clubs are women, but there are some men such as Ozgen (Turkey) and Khaled Mahmoud (Egypt). In the west, belly dance is generally learned and performed by women, but again there are men such as Zorba (USA) and Horatio (Germany).
Do I have to perform?
Performing is completely optional. We learn a complete dance routine during a 6 week term. We have occasional low-key performances for family and friends.
Is belly dance "too sexy"?
No! Belly dance originates as a social dance in the Middle East. Like any form of dance - it expresses emotion through movement. Belly dances can be happy or sad, serious or funny, and any emotion in between. Belly dance movement, such as articulations of the torso and hip, may be perceived as "too sexy" because of biases and stereotypes audience members have projected onto dancers. However, belly dance is at its core a fun and social dance performed by men, women, and children of all ages.