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Bellydance Basics: Steps to Confidence

Jennifer Czepiel

Why bellydance builds confidence

Bellydance and Confidence

We often start a fitness regimen because we feel that this is the way to self confidence. While moving your body, and getting a fit and svelte body can help you build confidence about your appearance, there are deeper things to consider. One of the benefits of bellydance is that there is a deeper sense of confidence that comes from learning about your body.

Why is Bellydance More Body Friendly?
Bellydance is a form of fitness that allows everyone, of any size, age, or ability, to really see themselves. When we do other forms of fitness it is about working out until we fit into the mould of the gym diva. With bellydance it is about learning what your body is capable of, and how the moves look different on each person. Bellydance is natural. This is probably the most key point that I make in classes. Ask any of the thousands of bellydancers out there and you will hear the same sentiment. Ladies, we are made to move this way. There is no pressure to conform to some over extended position, or to overexert with weights. Just let your body move, and the positions will happen.

Size Does Not Matter!
One of the biggest draws to bellydance for most women is that this is a non judgemental space. Walk into any bellydance class, no, any performance, and you will see real women. Women come in all sizes, and all can be beautiful. Bellydance is about strength, and grace, which can come in any size. If you are healthy and fit, you can still be naturally curvy. There is not a height, or weight requirement for bellydance no matter what stage of the game you are at. Enjoy yourself, enjoy your body. Know your moves and your limitations. If you are not entirely happy with your body, getting started in a typical gym or fitness class can be more difficult than the workout itself. With bellydance, we are free to let our body become something beautiful to us, not just the impossible standard.

It is More Than a Class, It is Community
It may sound so very cliche, but bellydance is a community. Once you take your first steps into bellydance, you will understand. There is a support system of women, and yes, some men, that will grow and learn with you. Instead of walking into an aerobics class, sweating for an hour and going home, you learn to communicate with your body and with other dancers. We watch as each move, even when done the same way, is translated differently by the various body types in the room. We see that perfect execution of a move is not dependent on size, and it is beautiful.

When you take your first step into bellydance, spend some time really communicating with your body. What do you love? What needs work? How can you develop your own language of moves that work for you?

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