“There is a little bit because you are putting your whole body weight in your hips and ankles instead of your hands so you’ll be bending down as well. You’re going to be trying to hold your breath a little bit as well.”
But the problem with belly dancing isn’t its difficulty. It’s not that the exercise seems difficult because it’s painful, or that it’s difficult because the body doesn’t know what’s good for it; it’s that it’s the wrong kind of exercise.
“There’s nothing wrong with belly dancing because we love to do it and it’s a great way to relieve stress, but it’s got nothing to do with being a good dancer that the world is really excited about. It’s really not what people are looking for. They want to be a ballet dancer, they want to be in a show by the greatest directors but they really don’t care about the actual movement. They’re looking for the body work. That’s what makes it all work.”
But while some people find the work enjoyable, others find it difficult to learn and, while many people are passionate about their belly dancing, few are able to complete it.
“It depends on how confident and fit you are,” says Rachael.
“You don’t want the class to be too intense because you’ll be sweating through your t-shirt or it’ll be too heavy at the end of the day and you’ll stop with it.”
And what about the benefits? Are they worth losing weight? Are people still doing it successfully?
Tara says that while you can definitely do belly dancing, there is no evidence of any health benefits.
“That is, of course, one of the big misconceptions and a lot of the myths. And if that’s true you’ve still got to come up with more than a little bit of an excuse or maybe a few of your friends who have given up for lack of interest and now you’re asking the question, ‘Why is that all I have got?'”
But that isn’t why Rachael says the movement is still gaining in popularity.
“It’s not all about bodyweight-loss or being fit, it’s about having fun, it’s about learning new things, and it’s about getting a positive body image,” she says.
But for those who believe in the benefits of the movements, why the lack of success?
“I think that people see them as an
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