How to belly dance like ona
The 4 Tips That Will Have You Belly Dancing Like Shakira
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Have you ever been to a wild party and found yourself standing on the edge of the dancefloor awkwardly clapping along while you watch everyone else dance and go crazy? No? Is that just us?
Well, we’re going to go ahead and pretend that we’re not the only ones who are like this because this article is all about teaching you Fairies how to shake what your mama gave ya.
For those keen on learning how to belly dance and make their way towards the centre of the dance floor, the first rule you need to know is to own your own style. The reality is, if you feel awkward when you dance, then you’ll look it! You need to feel the music and not be afraid to have a little fun.
Having said that there are a few techniques that can help you “fake it till you make it”.
To do a hip lift or shimmy, you need to bend both knees. Then, straighten your right leg, which should raise your right hip, lifting it upward. The hip bone should shoot up towards your rib cage. Make sure to keep your heels flat on the ground as you do the lift and try not to move your upper body at all.
Now, you need to bring your right hip back down and try the same movement on the other side. Just straighten your left leg and raise your left hip upward.
Repeat the hip lift on both sides at a faster pace, while skipping the break in the middle between the two sides. It should look like your hips are lifting on the right and then on the left smoothly and fluidly.
At full speed, your hips will shimmy from side to side at a quick pace, which is known as the “shimmy” move.
Step one, check!
To do a belly roll, first begin with your feet flat on the ground and your upper body lifted, with your arms relaxed at your sides. Now bend your knees.
Next, contract just your upper abdominal muscles, drawing them into your spine. Then, contract just your lower abdominal muscles, drawing them inward. Push out your upper abs and then push out your lower abs.
Keep repeating these movements in a sequence and try to make the contracting in and the pushing out of your abdominal muscles fluid, with no pauses or breaks.
To mix things up a little, add a little hand movement to your routine by mimicking the back and forth motion of a windscreen wiper. Just use your index finger and middle finger on each hand, side by side.
Another popular hand movement to spice up your dance routine is one that sees you mimicking the action of changing the light bulb. Try it a few times in time with the music until you follow the beat.
Cover photo by: @siempreweddings
Posted in Expert Advice by wedded wonderland
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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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Where does the belly dance begin. Tips for beginners
Tips for beginners in belly dancing
Don't even think about going into the gym or standing in front of a mirror at home and immediately start shaking, waves, hits, sharp movements of belly dancing - first you have to work out the starting position. It usually takes at least a month and a half for this body position to become natural. At first, the body may resist, but by exercising regularly, you will quickly get used to the new sensations.
Learning the basic position of belly dancing
So, let's start. Stand in front of a mirror so that you can see yourself in full growth. A side mirror wouldn't hurt either. Considering the correct position of the body from the bottom up:
1. The distance between the feet is equal to the length of your foot. This allows you to distribute your body weight evenly on both legs. Feet parallel to each other, toes forward - so that the knee joint does not twist and the patella (patella) does not move. We touch the floor with all toes: it is easier to maintain balance.
2. Knees are soft but not bent. So you save yourself from damage to the menisci and dislocation of the patella.
3. Hips relaxed.
4. Gluteal muscles relaxed. Do not stick out your ass, otherwise you will increase the load on the lower back, and it looks vulgar. Deflection in the lower back, of course, looks impressive, but this position disrupts the natural flow of blood and oxygen to the abdominal organs.
5. The pubis does not protrude forward.
6. Hip bones in one line.
7. Keep your belly out to look slimmer. Let men walk taut - everything should be relaxed with us, without unnecessary pressure on the abdominal organs.
8. The chest moves slightly forward, and the solar plexus area moves back. The weight of the body is concentrated more on the toes than on the heels. In this position, you will reduce the load on the lower back.
10. The shoulder blades are brought together and seem to hold a small pencil. In this position, the muscles of the shoulder section are stretched and keep the tone.
11. Shoulders at the same level, lowered.
12. Arms extended to the sides at chest level. This is the optimal height so that the muscles of the hands become stronger, over time a beautiful relief will appear on them.