I’ve never danced before, can I still learn?
The short answer is “Yes, of course you can!”. Belly dancing does not have any prerequisites, except two things: the willingness to give it a go, and to be patient with yourself. Because it is something so completely new for you, it is best to give it quite a bit of time to feel comfortable with some of the moves. You will be asking your body to move in ways it has never done before, so it is best to give it a chance to work out just exactly what you are asking it to do!
The only benefit dance experience has, is that you would be used to moving in time to music. But even people experienced in other styles of dance still have a steep learning curve when starting belly dance.
Is it hard?
Like anything new there is always going to be a learning curve. Some moves will take a while (sometimes years), some will take a few months, some a few weeks and some things you will be able to do straight away. Different people find different movements easy or difficult. It really depends on body type, movements you are used to doing and flexibility of certain joints.
Is there an age limit?
I have had students between the ages of 6 and 82. That is not to say that older and younger cannot participate! For the younger ones, it’s mainly about concentration abilities. For the more mature person it is about whether the doctor has recommended a gentle form of exercise and whether your mind feels young enough! I have had students with arthritis feel improvement, and you know the mantra “Use it or lose it!”. This goes for body or mind, and both get exercised during class.
I really want to do learn, but I think I’d be embarrassed!
Middle Eastern dance has been around for thousands of years, and has formed a normal part of celebratory culture. Traditionally women danced with and for women and the men in their own group. It was only in the 1920’s that Hollywood glamourised and sexualised it by having women wear very skimpy clothes and being provocative on screen, that belly dancing got the reputation of being a ‘sexy’ dance.
At Happy Hips Belly Dance we honour the traditional method and keep the classes for women only and a safe environment. It would then be up to you whether you told your partner or friends that you are learning!
Do I need to show my belly? What do I wear to class?
Many women feel uncomfortable showing their belly, especially when they start taking Belly Dance classes. While Belly Dancing usually gives women more self confidence to show off their bodies, no matter what size or shape they are, you don’t need to show a bare belly to be able to Belly Dance. For class, you can wear whatever you feel comfortable in. A skirt (worn on the hips) with a coin belt or hip scarf is recommended
If you still have questions Charni is more than happy to answer them, you can either email or call her on 0416 236 132 or email happyhipsbellydance.