Belly Dance for Fitness and Weight loss
Belly dancing for fitness has been popular since the 1970's. In fact, it was the reputation of belly dance as a fun and effective exercise that prompted many YMCAs, community centers, and dance studios around America to first introduce belly dance classes to the American public. Since the '70s, fitness bellydance has evolved along with the fitness movement, and new forms are constantly appearing. Fitness bellydance is normally done as an exercise regimen, not as an artistic dance expression.
In addition to the West's recognition of the benefits of bellydance, women in many traditional Eastern cultures for centuries have understood the importance of bellydancing for good health. They practiced it to make their bodies strong, toned, and flexible, especially for the purpose of childbirth.
The Moves: In fitness bellydance, some belly dance moves are used in addition with a wide variety of exercise modalities such as using hand or leg weights, aerobic techniques, traditional exercises (sit-ups, leg lifts, etc), pilates, yoga asanas, resistance bands, etc.
Music: Any genre of music can be used, but modern music with a Middle Eastern flavor is common.
Costume: Fitness bellydancers usually wear workout apparel such as leotards, tights, yoga pants, or loose fitting clothing. Hip scarves or simple hip belts are popular.
Authentic bellydance by itself is a wonderful workout. However, as bellydance techniques are increasingly recognized as valuable exercise, new methods of fitness bellydancing continue to develop.
Watch some short videos of belly dance moves that are great exercise.