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Belly Dancers Used to Have a Belly

I’ve danced all my life.  Dance students, seriously dedicated dancers, don’t just watch music videos…they study the masters, they study the history of dance, the time period and country where the dance originated.  So I have to think that the great belly dancers—the ones who were belly dancing BEFORE it became “Hollywooded—must shake their heads when they see stick-thin belly dancers.  It was actually okay for belly dancers to have…well, BELLIES!  Yes, I know, I said the “B-word.”  Come on, say it with me:  BELLIES.  It’s ok to say it.  Heck, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it’s ok to have one.  I’m gonna let you in on a little secret:  traditionally and aesthetically speaking, belly dancers are plump.  Yes, I said the “P-word.”  I want you to say that one with me, too.  Come on, I’ll say it with you:  “PLUMP.”

I have more secrets:  Just because someone has a plump mid-section does not mean their core isn’t strong, or that they should be hiding in the back of a dance class.  I have been outdone by “heavier” dancers at MANY an audition.  I’ve seen pudgy girls lift AND hold their legs higher than mine have ever been.

I think what happens is that the images part of our “daily programming”—billboards, commercials, movies, fairy tales, television—get etched in our minds and become embedded thanks to all the daily reinforcement.

I’m not telling people to be unhealthy, or to stuff themselves with unhealthy foods.  I’m saying to dust off the old encyclopedias, or fire up your laptops & do a search on “belly dance history.”  You’ll be surprised at what you find!  It’s a non-weight-bearing exercise and size DOESN’T matter!


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