Alternative Fitness: Belly Dancing

Being fit and getting into shape isn’t always easy, and let’s face it, it is not as easy as eating that piece of pizza two feet away from you. Packing yourself into a gym with a bunch of sweaty people and trying to not look pathetic or figuring out how to work one of the weight machines is not most people’s idea of a good time. I have been there and done that and I still make a fool of myself at the gym. This being the case, I decided that I wanted to find alternative ways to stay healthy and tone my body without the sideway glances. This series will be dedicated to finding exciting non generic ways to get fit without breaking the bank or hitting the gym.

Belly Dancing

Belly Dancing is more than women in less than modest clothing flailing and shaking their hips around. According to ‘Belly Dancing- An Ancient Art’ by Terry Hammons, it originated in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Northeast Africa and is considered one of the oldest known dances. . This art is slowly growing in popularity as a way to get in shape. Since you shouldn’t believe everything you read online I decided to test it out for myself. Breaking out my yoga pants and gathering up as much of my self-esteem as I could, I got off my couch and drove over to Taylor Yoga, which holds weekly belly-dancing exercise classes.

Being a newbie along a bunch of veterans was a little intimidating but luckily the teacher made it very welcoming. The place was teeming with positive energy; the smiles on the faces of the women around me both excited and concerned me for what I had gotten myself into. The range of my classmates’ fitness level varied and proved that you don’t need to have a rocking bikini body to have some fun and learn some sexy dance moves.

We learned a combination of moves and dance that were fun and worked our core and abs. The simple steps we then added to music and twisted into combinations. The hip scarf with decorative coins and sequins helped show how much you were moving. The experience was full of laughter and friendly competition with the other students in the class. I was skeptical on how much it really worked your body until I woke up the next morning and sitting up was a challenge. It was a lot more fun than running on the treadmill for an hour.

Learning the new dance moves boosts your confidence. As the class went on, I was beginning to stumble less and anticipated what was coming next. I would definitely recommend turning off Netflix one night a week-- instead,try belly dancing;, it’s a workout without seeming like one.

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