How to belly dance fast

How to Belly Dance



PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.


Table of Contents

  • Belly Dance Technique
  • Developing Related Belly Dance Skills
  • Belly Dance Home Practice & Study
  • Book & Video Reviews for Belly Dance Home Study
  • Other Web Sites


Belly Dance Technique

There's more to belly dancing than moves. Knowing how to do a hip drop or belly roll doesn't mean you know how to belly dance. You also need to learn musical interpretation, emotional expression, Middle Eastern nuance, stage presentation, and more. But these instructions will guide you in one piece of it - technique for doing selected moves.

By Shira

  • Belly Rolls. Exercises you can do to gain control over your abs.
  • Backbends. How to build the strength and flexibility required for both standing backbends and kneeling ones.
  • Forward and Back Shimmy. Explore this shimmy done by Egyptian dancers such as Nagwa Fouad.
  • Walking Shimmy. How to shimmy and walk at the same time.
  • Squeezing Glutes. How and when to use glute technique.
  • Expressive Arms. Bring a fluid, emotional quality to your arm movements.
  • Okay to Show My Palms to the Audience? Is it insulting to show your palm to ethnic audiences? Read this to find out!

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

By Arabella

  • Turn, Turn, Turn. Compares spins from ballet and kathak dance with Middle Eastern.
  • Exploring Figure Eights. Variations on the basic Figure 8.
  • The Camel Walk - Way to Move! Analysis of the technique for doing this move.
  • Whirl Like a Dervish! How Sufis do their whirling.
  • The Mysterious Zar - What Is It? What Can It Do For You? How Arabella uses the African movement meditation for her own renewal or stress relief.

By Zabel

  • The Importance of the Pelvic Floor. The role of the pelvic floor muscles in doing floor work.

By Saqra

  • Belly Dance Spins Without Vomiting. Several tips for taming nausea when spinning.
  • Walk Like a Belly Dancer! How to place your feet gracefully for walking and dancing. Placed online February 9, 2020.
  • Pop, Drop, & Lock Technique in Drum Solos. How to use accents in ways that enhance your dance.
  • Belly Dance Tips for Arms. Tips for graceful arm technique, costuming, and posing.
  • Hands Off Hips for Rib Cage Isolations! Why you need different hand placement for rib cage circles and other torso movement. Placed online February 9, 2020.
  • Exploring Undulations. How to create an endless variety of undulations in your dance.
  • Drum Solo Accent Chains. How to build sequences of accents that make sense together.
  • Dance Technique for Lovely Hands. How to hold your hands attractively when you dance.
  • Becoming the Best Belly Dance Performer You Can Be: Part 2, Technical Skill. Checklist for assessing your technical dance skills.
  • Finishing an Extended Leg Pose. How to do it, and why it matters. Placed online November 24, 2019.
  • A Few Quick Tips for Double Veil. Here are a few ideas to make double veil easier to learn and perform. Placed online November 25, 2019.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Sarah Selwood, Leeds, United Kingdom.


Developing Related Belly Dance Skills

The articles in this section cover a variety of skills that belly dance performers need to know, including musical interpretation, emotional expression, Middle Eastern nuance, stage presentation, and more.

By Shira

  • How to Improvise
  • Is It Okay to Show the Palms of My Hands to the Audience While Dancing? Is it insulting to show your palm to ethnic audiences? Read this to find out!
  • Tips & Tricks for Dancing With Swords. Lots of ideas for learning to dance with a sword.
  • Bigger Isn't Always Better. The pitfalls of trying to do each move as large as possible.


By Arabella

  • How to Become a Better Dancer Without Really Trying. A few easy tips for upping your game.
  • Hints for Remembering Choreography. Arabella's suggestions for overcoming an issue many dancers struggle with.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by William M. Smith, Iowa City, Iowa.

By Saqra

  • Go to the Light! Saqra shares a dance tip on being aware of lighting when you perform belly dance.
  • Using Your Hair to Extend Movements. How to use your hair, real or imagined, to bring extra life into your dance movements.
  • Drum Solo Builds. How to build the energy in a drum solo.
  • Drum Solo Accent Chains. How to build sequences of accents that make sense together.
  • Alternatives to Shimmies When Dancing to Drum Solos. Placed online December 1, 2019.
  • The 70% Rule. How to use restraint to keep your audience captivated.
  • Continuity of Movement. Use "glowing green goo" to lead your audience's eyes through your dance.
  • Holding Accents. After the accent, then what?
  • How to Improvise in Floor Work. Use this simple format to make your dance flow beautifully.
  • Entrances, Song Transitions, and Stage Presence. Make the connection with your audience and your music.
  • Belly Dancing to Fast Drum Solos. Musical interpretation for drum solos, by Saqra.
  • Adrenaline Effects on Belly Dance Performance. How your body's chemistry affects your dancing.
  • Connector (Transition) Steps for Belly Dance Improvisation. A technique that will help you learn to improvise.
  • Learning Choreography. Easy-to-use tips for learning a choreography.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Denise Mannion, Mount Shasta, California.


Belly Dance Home Practice & Study

  • Learning to Belly Dance: What If There's No Local Teacher?
  • How to Structure a Belly Dance Practice Session at Home
  • Learning to Belly Dance from Videos
  • Learning to Belly Dance from Books and Web Sites

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Lina Jang, New York City, NY.


Belly Dance Instructional Book & Video Reviews

Video Reviews

  • Shira's Video Center. Reviews of more than 60 instructional videos.

Book Reviews

  • Nefertiti Presents. .. Belly Dancing, the Basics
  • Belly Dancing for Health and Relaxation



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How to Belly Dance | The 2023 Dancer’s Guide

Learning how to belly dance is a great way to connect to your body, strengthen your muscles and build your confidence. This distinct form of dance is one of the oldest known styles with a rich cultural history and many mental and physical benefits.

Although often performed solo, belly dance is rooted in connection, emphasizing the relationships between the dancer, the body, the community and the earth.  

If you’re a beginner, you may be asking questions like is belly dancing difficult? Where can I learn how to belly dance? Or, can I lose weight through belly dancing? From in-person dance classes to online lessons, you can learn how to belly dance and explore the history and culture of this unique style with a group or in the comfort of your own home.

Whether you want to step outside of your comfort zone with a new type of dance or challenge yourself to shake your hips like Shakira, one of the world's most famous belly dancers, learning how to belly dance is a fun and energizing way to explore how your body moves while building confidence with each hip lift or belly roll. 

Jump to Section

  • How to Belly Dance for Beginners
  • What is Belly Dancing?
  • Belly Dancing History and Origin
  • Egyptian Belly Dance 
  • What Does Belly Dance Do for Your Body?

How to Belly Dance for Beginners

Belly dancing for beginners starts with learning to isolate various parts of your body before advancing to layered isolations in different patterns to create a unique and mesmerizing sequence of movements.

Foundational movements when learning how to belly dance include hip lifts, shimmies, belly rolls, figure eights and more. Newcomers learning how to belly dance might find it challenging at first, but thankfully, there are many instructors and resources available to help guide you as you master the basic moves. 

Try Belly Dance Classes

Working with a seasoned instructor ensures the movements are performed safely and correctly and can prevent you from picking up bad habits and postures.

You can find classes available to help you learn how to belly dance at all levels whether you are looking for dance classes in NYC, dance classes in Las Vegas, dance classes in Orlando or dance classes near you. 

If learning how to belly dance in person is a little too far out of your comfort zone or you can’t find a class in your area, there are also online dance classes available for you to try so that you can learn belly dance online and in the comfort of your home.

Once you are comfortable with the basics of how to belly dance, try a class with advanced techniques and begin to add your own unique flair to the routines.

via Canva

What is Belly Dancing?

Belly dancing is a distinctive form of dance that focuses on isolated movements of the hips and torso developed from rituals and customs from throughout the Middle East. This style of dance can be either performed solo or in a group and is well-suited to the feminine form.

The dance is often performed barefoot to highlight the connection between the dancer and the earth. Belly dancing costumes are made of flowing, brightly colored garments adorned with scarves, veils and jewelry. Some performers learn how to belly dance with accessories including finger symbols, coin belts or even swords.

Why Was Belly Dancing Created?

Contrary to popular belief, belly dance was not meant to be a dance of seduction or for the entertainment of men, but rather a form of feminine expression and celebration.

In some traditions, women gathered to perform belly dances together after the evening meal as an opportunity to socialize. This is where mothers of young bachelors could meet and observe potential wives for their sons.

In many cultures, belly dance, also called Oriental dance among other names, is a joyful dance performed by friends and family at occasions such as weddings and festivals. One of the foundations of learning how to belly dance with confidence, is that it is important to relax and enjoy the experience. 

via Canva

Belly Dancing History and Origin

Understanding the origin of belly dancing and the rich history of this unique style is an important step in learning how to belly dance. As one of the oldest known styles of dance, with roots in ancient cultures from India to the Middle East, belly dancing has a long history layered with meaning and legend. 

What Was the Original Purpose of Belly Dancing?

A fertility ritual performed by women thousands of years ago in honor of their deities is believed to be belly dancing’s origin and is depicted in ancient Egyptian tomb paintings, Greek sculptures and engravings discovered in Italian caves.

Other versions of belly dancing have been recognized in civilizations stretching from the South Seas and East Polynesia to Africa, Greece and throughout the Middle East. 

One legend with versions across a number of cultures is of Ishtar and the Dance of the Seven Veils. Ishtar, a Babylonian goddess of love and sensuality who was both chaste and fertile, descends into the land of darkness covered in seven veiled costumes to retrieve her deceased husband.

To enter each seventh gate of the underworld, she dances, rolling her abdomen in circles, giving up a jewel and a veil. Despite the trials of her journey, Ishtar triumphs, returning with her seven veils to a bountiful homecoming. 

When Did Belly Dancers Become so Popular?

In the eighteenth century, Europeans traveling in Egypt witnessed a distinctive style of dance, the Egyptian belly dance. A stark contrast to the fashions of England or France, the Europeans were mesmerized by the undulating movements. Belly dance continued to make its way to the West being introduced to America at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

What promoters described as “belly dance” became an instant success in turn-of-the-century America. Despite the remnants of modesty from the Victorian era, belly dancing spread to Coney Island and other major cities. 

The popularity of belly dancing throughout the West extended from colonialists enjoying the dance as entertainment in nightclubs to the film industry both in Hollywood and abroad, where the sequined bras and belted costumes now commonly associated with belly dancing were first introduced.

A pivotal moment in belly dancing history arrived as these Western influences returned to the Middle East, changing the nature and appearance of the dance. Belly dancers such as Samia Gamal and Tahia Carioca became international stars as Egyptian belly dance was frequently performed in clubs and cabarets as well as on the silver screen, inspiring many Westerners to appreciate and learn how to belly dance.  

via Canva

Why is Belly Dancing so Popular Today?

Today, travelers in many parts of the world seek to enjoy belly dancing as part of their experience of the local culture, whether taking in typical Moroccan nightlife or watching hula dancers in Hawaii.

Immigrants and descendents from countries throughout the Middle East and other regions where belly dance is practiced are free to express and share their native style of dance in restaurants, entertainment venues and dance studios throughout the West.

With its uniquely gentle movements and ability to tone often under-exercised muscles, learning how to belly dance as a form of exercise has also gained popularity and can be practiced in dance and fitness classes across the world. 

Egyptian Belly Dance

Although there are many styles that make up modern Egyptian dance, the traditional Egyptian belly dance known as raqs sharqi in Arabic is most common for those learning how to belly dance in the West.

This form of Egyptian belly dance is traditionally performed solo as an artistic and emotional expression and grew largely out of films made in Cairo, Egypt’s Hollywood, that made Egyptian belly dancers famous around the world. The belly dancing costumes of the West were largely inspired by Egyptian belly dancer outfits of this style and time in Egyptian belly dance history.

Egyptian Belly Dance Costumes and Moves

Other popular forms of Egyptian dance include the social and celebratory beledi and sha-abi, often performed in groups at special occasions such as weddings and a variety of folk style dances such as melaya leff among others. Some dances feature props and garments such as canes, scarves or veils and each style has its own rhythms, costumes and character.

Some styles are more akin to the faster paced Turkish belly dance while others include lyrical movements similar to ballet. Elements of many forms of Egyptian dance are incorporated by Egyptian belly dance teachers in the United States and often serve as the foundation of learning how to belly dance in the West.

What Does Belly Dance Do for Your Body?

Is Belly Dance a Good Workout?

Years of research have shown that dancing of any style can have a number of physical and mental benefits. Learning how to belly dance strengthens the abdominals, thighs, calves, arms, back, glutes and hips as well as otherwise hard-to-tone muscle groups.

Learning how to belly dance can also help to improve posture and develop muscle control. Because of its relatively gentle impact on the body, belly dancing is accessible to individuals of all levels of fitness and can even be practiced during pregnancy to help prepare the muscles of the abdomen for childbirth. 

Psychological Benefits of Belly Dancing

Dancing is believed to improve mental health, while belly dancing in particular may promote a positive body image for dancers as they embody the flowing, sensual movements.

As described in Science Daily, researchers have found that “belly dancers see their own bodies in a better light…and are less likely to be dissatisfied with how they look. ” Regularly practicing dance and joyful movement has been shown to lessen depression, increase self-esteem and improve overall psychological well-being.

Researchers in Psychology Today explain that expressive practices and therapies such as music and dance, “could help lessen mental fluctuations before the onset of full depression” in addition to having creative, collaborative and social benefits. 

Social Benefits of Belly Dancing 

Participating in a class for belly dance for beginners will help encourage creative expression while building a sense of community. Many belly dancing classes promote socialization amongst members with a number of opportunities to bond available through gatherings, workshops and festivals.

For those hailing from countries where belly dance is a traditional part of celebrations and customs, practicing belly dance can strengthen connections to their heritage. Those who are foreign to the dance may find that learning how to belly dance helps them appreciate both the movements and their significance to belly dancing’s native cultures.  

via Canva

Even for those with little dance experience, learning how to belly dance can be a source of enjoyment and strengthened confidence. Exploring the sensual movements of belly dance helps connect you to your body and develop your ability to creatively express yourself through the dance.

With a rich and diverse history celebrating the female form and a variety of physical and mental benefits, learning how to belly dance might become your new favorite activity. 

For even more creative ideas and inspiration, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!

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how to learn belly dancing at home

Do you want to learn how to dance belly dance correctly? It is enough to learn a few basic movements and add a special mood to them. We have compiled detailed instructions on how to learn belly dancing so that you can dance no worse than a Colombian pop star.

Tatyana Shamanina


weight loss


How To

Slim stomach

incendiary dance


How to learn to dance a beautiful oriental belly dance at home? Of course, it's not easy. Nevertheless, it is easier to dance it at home than any other dance style. Especially if you have never been into dancing before.

Basic movements

  • Starting position

Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Then slightly bend your knees and raise your chest - this is the starting position for starting any movement in the belly dance. For smooth movements in the dance, you need to tighten the muscles of the lower abdomen and engage the pelvis.

  • Hip lift or shimmy

Bend both knees. Then straighten your right leg to lift your right thigh up. Then lift the pelvis up to the chest, while the upper body should not be involved. The heels must not be lifted off the ground during this movement. When you "pull" up your right hip, lower it and repeat the movement with your left. Namely, straighten your left leg and lift your left hip up.

  • Fast Pace Hip Lift

Repeat hip lift on both sides at a faster pace. Do not pause - first lift the right thigh up, and then smoothly - the left. At an accelerated pace, the hips will swing quickly from side to side - now you know how to perform the shimmy movement.

  • Hip Drop

Start in the starting position with the right foot on the floor and the left foot slightly extended, about a few inches forward with the heel raised. Then bend both knees and keep your chest and arms up. Then straighten your left leg, lift your left thigh and immediately lower it to the level of your right thigh. At the same time, keep your right leg bent during the movement. Next, repeat the mini-bunch at a fast pace so that it looks smooth, without pauses and breaks.

  • Belly

How to quickly learn belly dancing at home? Easy, the main thing is not to miss a single basic movement, including the “tummy”. Starting position - feet are on the floor, the upper body is raised, and relaxed arms are at the sides. Then slightly bend your knees and tighten the muscles of your upper abdomen, pulling them in. Then relax your stomach and tense only the muscles of the lower abdomen. Consistently alternate, pulling in the lower, then the upper press. Repeat the movement smoothly and without pauses.

  • Try a breast lift

The last basic movement that will help you understand how to dance belly dance correctly. The starting position is a raised chest, arms are located on the sides, legs are together, and the feet are on the floor. Next, we pull the chest up to the end so that the shoulder blades seem to slide along the back. Then lower your chest back down. Repeat the link at a fast pace, while alternately contracting the abdominal muscles.

Why do home belly dancing?

Oriental dance will help not only lose weight, but also cope with various pains.

  • Back and Joint Pain

Gentle movements increase the flow of synovial fluid (natural lubricant) in the joints, and also tone the back muscles, which improves posture and prevents back pain.

  • Help in losing weight

How to learn belly dancing at home and lose weight? Easy - one hour session will help burn up to 300 calories.

  • Preparing for childbirth

Belly dancing tones the abdominal and pelvic muscles involved in childbirth.

  • Against stress

Oriental belly dance is not only beautiful, but also healing. The dance feels like a session of physical and psychological relaxation.

  • Period Pain

Soothing dance bands help reduce pelvic congestion, which improves circulation and relieves PMS pain.

Learn how to dance belly dance (oriental dance), quickly, easily and simply!!! | Dance school "Impromptu"

How to learn to dance belly dance (oriental dance) quickly, easily and simply!!!

Belly dance - what is it? One of the types of dance, the ability to attract a man or a woman's developed body? I have been studying belly dance for over three years. I can say with confidence that this is not the time for this type of dance.

In my life I have already comprehended many dance styles (latina, salsa, classical choreography, modern dances, etc. ), but the current series of events led me to the Impromptu sports dance club specifically for belly dancing. I laughed and giggled, imagining myself as an oriental dancer, and believed that with my level of dance training, learning to dance “some kind of belly dance” would be easy for me. But to my deepest surprise, I could not do almost anything!

Now, belly dancing has become for me not only a hobby, a fun pastime, but a way of life, everything has changed: posture, gait, lifestyle, appearance. I am proud to learn belly dance and this thought is in my every move. It is zealous to realize that someone is experiencing the same sensations, and for someone, belly dancing has become life, as it is for me. Gorgeous costumes, seductive forms, sophisticated movements and the admiration of the audience - all this is a belly dance. Oriental dance reveals in every woman a beauty - a temptress. Belly dance came from the East, perhaps that is why it attracts our Russian women so much, who get a lot of pleasure both from the learning process and from the dance itself. Everything that is said about the uselessness of belly dancing is not true. The main thing is a competent teacher. If a dancer has a famous name, this does not mean at all that she is a good belly dance teacher. At the school of oriental dance "Impromptu" I first met a teacher who combines grace, female beauty, the ability to dance and explain every movement in detail.

I consider belly dance the most beautiful, feminine, extremely complex and emotional dance.

Learn more