Bellydance Basics: Slow Moves
For many people the first introduction to the art of bellydance is through the movies. Whether we are talking about the films of Hollywood or the movies from Bollywood, the movies have a way of moulding the image of many things for the masses. We often see the bellydancers in film shaking things up and wiggling about all over the place. In truth, bellydancers move at a variety of speeds and moves can take on a completely different look if done at differing tempos. Moving at slower speeds can also work muscles surprisingly harder than the faster moves.
Why Slow Moves Build Technique
Slow moves in bellydance allow the body to really feel the full scope of a move. If a new bellydancer is just throwing her body through the movements, the muscles used will not fully experience the movement. Even fast moves can be slowed down to allow the dancer to feel every aspect of the movement. Each movement in the art of bellydance has a fair number of muscles working to create something both beautiful and powerful. Slowing down and feeling which muscles are in use, will make for greater grasp of technique when the move is sped up. If you are taking a bellydance class and the instructor does not take the time to slow a move down to really see what it is all about, ask. It will change the entire look of a fast move when it is mastered slow.
Why Slow Moves Build Muscle
Moving slowly may seem contrary from the fitness aspect of bellydance. Slow moves are not going to make your body sweat off the pounds. Slow moves will not make you really feel the burn. at least not right away. And that is the point really. As far as the fitness aspect of bellydance is concerned moving slowly will not only give the dancer the chance to really stretch the body and elongate muscle while building moves that will be bigger and have more range. Slow moves are also fantastic to really work every muscle to the fullest. Consider isometrics. Isometrics and Yoga both require the body to hold a position for a period of time to strengthen down to the core. So too is the case with bellydance slow moves.
Next time you are learning a new move in bellydance, consider slowing down. Way down. Painfully slow will take on a whole new meaning in a few weeks of drilling at one fourth or even one eighth the speed you are most accustomed to. Give it a try with some of the moves in past articles. The simplicity of just wiggling through a move will become more controlled as well over time.