Archive for the Benefits of dancing category
I heard of ladies in pregnancy practising belly dance to prepare them for the childbearing and post natal healing process. In a Shine 2008-Alternative health and beauty exposition,here in Taranaki, Oakura, I briefly chat with Stephanie Hopkins, who distributes a line of botanical perfumes and organic skincare products for babies. She said that she bellydanced after she had her child and found it helped her with her healing process. Tightening her pelvic muscles with hip circles and undulations.
I chanced upon this article and a testimonial. Thought it will be great to share it with you all!
Source: Bellydance for Birth-An excerpt from “Dance of the Womb” By Maha Al Musa
Megan; 37 years old, on birthing her second baby
“Maha is a dear friend of mine and I feel blessed she was my doula at the home-birth of my 7-month-old daughter Melody in January this year. I had attended several workshops with Maha during my pregnancy and found the movements to be highly relaxing and I felt they also helped me to “tune in” to my baby. They seemed such natural movements to make while pregnant – very different from some of the unnatural yoga poses I had been taught!
When it came to the birth I was lucky enough to have Maha with me during both pre-labour and active labour and she guided me through many of the movements during this time. I found when I was in labour the movements gave me a focus and helped me to have a sense of opening up. In the early stages of labour using Maha’s guide of spiralling my hips rhythmically in a figure-eight style really helped ease the tension building in my lower back. We danced our way through the birth! I just had to keep moving – whenever I stopped the pain would be unbearable.
I am a strong believer in active birth – and the bellydance fitted in perfectly with that.
Source: Wall Street Journal.
“I danced my way through labour”
Helping Jennifer Wright through labor in the delivery room of a Columbia, Missour (USA), birthing center in February were her doctor, her husband — and her belly-dance instructor.
With the teacher, DeeDee Farris-Folkerts, by her side reminding her of the moves, Ms. Wright stood holding her husband while doing the hip circles and pelvic rotations characteristic of the ancient Arabian dance. She had readied a compact disc with classic Egyptian music, but didn’t have a chance to play it before her daughter, Aubrey, emerged.
“I danced my way through labor,” says the mother of three, who had been given painkillers and labor-inducing medication during her oldest child’s birth and wanted a natural alternative. Her husband, Joe Walls, says he learned that belly dancing ‘is more than just entertainment. It has a much higher purpose.’
These days, alternative techniques to ease labor run the gamut from hypnotherapy to “water births” in a large bathtub. But some women disillusioned with routine use of drugs and medical interventions during labor are turning to an unusual solution — belly dancing. They’re restoring the titillating dance of seduction — frequent entertainment fare in night clubs and Middle Eastern restaurants — to what they say were its origins in childbirth, while enhancing maternity wards with swirling motions and mesmerising music.
Expectant mothers can choose from an increasing array of prenatal belly-dancing classes and educational materials. The first instructional prenatal belly dance DVD in the U.S. was released 16 months ago, with a pregnant dancer named Naia leading the class.
“Most of the women who come to me have given birth before and they want something different,” says Ms. Farris-Folkerts, who typically has three to eight pregnant students in her belly-dance courses.
The belly dance arrived in the U.S. in the 1890s, according to bellydance lore, when impresario Sol Bloom brought an “Algerian” village to the Chicago World’s fair and introduced the dancer Little Egypt, who cavorted to improvised snake-charmer music. Incorporating elements of striptease and so-called “hootchie-cootchie” dancing, the belly dance gained its come-hither reputation.
British anthropologist Sheila Kitzinger, author of numerous books on pregnancy, says belly dancing originated as a ritual of childbirth as well as seduction. Among Bedouin Arabs, she says, girls are taught a pelvic dance during puberty to celebrate their budding sexuality and prepare for the physical marathon of childbirth.
Some belly dance moves mirror those of labor. The idea is that the pelvic gyrations help disperse the pain of contractions, orient the fetus and propel the baby into the world. In early labor, when contractions are relatively mild, the expectant mother may find comfort in dancing slowly and hypnotically, using hip circles, crescents and figure eights. As labor gets more intense, the movements may progress to a rapid rocking of the pelvis from side to side – a technique known a the shimmy – to help position the baby correctly and relax the pelvic floor. In the final phase of pushing, a full body undulation known as the camel roll can help the baby move into the birth canal.”
Do you want to keep fit, stretch, dance and have fun at the same time?
Come to bellydance for fitness weekly sessions!
Monday evenings from 5.30pm to 6.40pm/ Beginners Level 1 & 2
Thursday evenings from 5.30pm to 6.40pm/ Beyond Beginners Level 3 & 4
New Plymouth, Fitzroy Golf Course, Club Hall
End of Record Street, Fitzroy
Join Raziel and the ladies to for regular bellydance as a fantastic form of dance exercise, and shimmy to tone up.
What we cover
- Basic to advance belly dance techniques and dance movement.
- Isolate different parts of your body to build balance and flexibility
- Posture awareness
- Breathing exercises for vitality
- Floorwork and strengthening exercises
- Complete dance choreography every term
- 8 weeks terms at $88
- Contact Rosalina (Raizel) at Ph: 06 759 1739, Mobile: 027 739 1380, or email to register.
- Strictly limited spaces!
Does Belly Dancing Burn Fat?
Regular cardio workouts at least four times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes of sustained vigorous, low impact exercise will alter the body’s BMI (basic metabolic index). In other words, dance, shimmy, do traveling moves and step to 120-130 BPM and the body will burn fat.
The music should be fast and steady. The arrangement of songs should build up, peak, and slow down only at the end. The key component to bellydance for fitness it posture, core strength and repetition.
A reasonable sweat is a sure sign of fat burning. The body does get used to certain exercise.
At 5th element, all classes we conduct will vary the movements used every few weeks.
Belly Dance to improve Digestion and assists Weight Loss
With regular abdominal work in your Belly dance, the digestive system is activated and strengthened through wave-like contractions of the muscles, which offer a kind of ‘internal massage’.
With Shimmies, also activate and stimulate the digestive process. With regular fast dancing, circulation improves, and therefore, so does digestion. The entire body’s cells are better nourished and the blood supply increases, resulting in an overall sense of “well-being” and increased energy levels.
“I have the Belly for it! Why does Weight stay around my Belly?”
WEIGHT GAIN through the middle of the body is the first sign of metabolic imbalance of insulin in the body. Unfortunately, it often accompanies the ageing process, and usually starts at around age 30!
Chinese medicine and Taoist exercises use the BEAR exercise to improve pancreatic function, by walking with the belly protruding to create a rubbing or massaging effect on the pancreas.
It is very similar to the abdominal movements used in Belly dance. Belly dance exercises that massage the pancreas are the abdominal exercises, including the hip circles, pelvic rolls and undulations.
Raising the arms actually helps lymph nodes under the armpit clear excess toxic waste from one’s body.
Lifting your arms is healthy and helps the detoxification. Rolling the belly and hips regulates the sex hormones produced by the gonads.
How to LOSE WEIGHT and Re-balance Insulin Levels
- Avoid sugar and flour products which raise insulin levels dramatically
- Avoid large meals and have 6 small meals throughout the day
- Have a fresh vegetable juice daily in the morning
- Do the 3-4 Belly dance workouts a week
- Do other creative artistic or sporting activities you enjoy 3 times a week. Chinese herbalists say pancreatic dysfunction occurs when life is too “serious!”
Emotional Re-balancing Through Dance
Belly dancing or an form of dance is an expressive, dynamic form of kinesthetic art.
Building awareness, movement, balance and spatial geometry, dance is a physical art.
By indulging in dance, it brings out emotive response through the body’s articulation of the music. On an emotional level it is liberating, uplifting and helps the dancer experience instinctive rhythmic patterns and feelings.
As an ancient fertility rite, Belly dancing directly supports sexual and sensual function of a woman’s body.
We hope belly dance improves all aspects of your life!: Fitness and hormonal re-balancing, confidence and communication, sensual expression, and live dynamically!!!
-adapted from Keti Sharif
Why has Belly dance steadily gained popularity as the new fitness solution for busy women? The most important factor in sustaining an exercise program is the ‘fun factor’; Belly dancing comes with great music, exciting moves, noisy coin belts and its own special dress code.
Belly dancing a low impact workout that tones and conditions the body, in keeping with a very modern approach to fitness!
The Three Sporting Ss:
The 3 Sporting Ss of the 21st century are Strength, Stamina and Suppleness. Personal trainers encourage women to take several classes a week: a yoga or Pilates, aerobics or cardio and then some light weight training for muscle tone. Belly dancing offers the three Ss in one glittering package. Slow sinewy movements improve suppleness and postural alignment. Constant, repetitive moves build muscle strength and definition, with the body often using forces of resistance to create the move. To obtain a great cardio workout, shimmies, energetic accents and vibrating moves boost oxygen to the muscles, and more importantly, burn fat, and continue burning it.
Many would ask then, Why Do Some Women Who Belly dance Become Fit While Others Don’t?
The secret of harnessing the magic of Belly dancing is to learn how to sustain certain elements to create a powerful workout effect. It is important to understand that two categories exist: ‘Dance for expression/art’ and ‘Dance for fitness’. To construct a workout, repetition is important, and so is a solid, steady beat to drive the movement for ‘Dance for fitness’.
It is paramount to do the movements correctly, making sure they generate from one’s core, (the containment of energy generated in the lower abdominal and pelvic muscles). This action must be conscious; one needs awareness in order to access core strength to support the lower back, lengthen the spine and maintain optimum postural alignment. Many dancers unable to execute correct technique because their entire postural alignment is out of balance. It is a teacher’s role to correct her student’s posture from the beginning and teach how to dance from the core. Movements that begin from a strong core or center of the body will improve the posture, help rebalance the endocrine (hormonal) system and will make other muscles function in fully supported and balanced action.
Correct posture is essential for those who suffer from any form of back problems. The truth is that many women around the world are dancing in a free-form way that can stress the lower back because they are not using muscles correctly. Posture is paramount! Luckily, an instructor can teach it, and a student can learn and incorporate it within weeks.
How Can Belly Dancing Tone Muscles and Give Definition?
For suppleness, the sinewy moves that are randomly used in Taqsim movements and dance articulation, must be repeated, sustained and done methodically as a focused taqsim workout – using a variety of upper, mid and lower body taqsim (emotive) movements – for at least 30 minutes for real toning benefits to take place. The music should be slow and meditative, at approximately 80 beats per minute. The moves that create muscular definition are: snake arms, undulations, belly rolls, shoulder rolls, hip circles, figure eights and slow traveling steps. Floor work can be included, and since Belly dancing doesn’t stretch the legs muscles enough, it would be wise to include some leg toning exercises. Yoga is good to incorporate into the dancer’s weekly training and one can combine Yoga poses with Belly dance isolations.
How Can Belly Dancing Make Dancers Stronger?
Lifting arms high over the head engages muscles and is a form of resistance that will tone your biceps and triceps. For increasing strength, one must do it regularly, so there should be a drill or repetitive factor. The dancer should push arms up higher than normal to create a successful workout. Thigh muscles powering accents, shimmies and hip moves will creating a tension and resistance too. Because the grounded nature of Belly dance causes thigh muscles to continuously contract to sustain hip movements, it is also a natural leg strengthener.
However, it is a good idea to balance this with some muscle lengthening exercises such as: kicks, leg stretches and lifts against a ballet bar, wall or even on a chair. The aim is to get the leg high and use its own weight as resistance to work the muscles. The belly rolling moves will improve the strength of the abdominal muscles, and thus, support the lower back.