Have you ever seen a belly dancer perform and thought to yourself, “How does she do that?!” The serpentine and fluid movements of a belly dancer are mesmerizing and beautiful.
The voices in your head may be telling you that you are too uncoordinated to learn belly dance. But the truth is that anyone can learn how to belly dance with the right instruction and consistent practice.
I’ve heard from many women that it can be challenging to find a group belly dance class near them. And many women feel self-conscious learning belly dance in a group setting. Well, lucky for you, it’s easy to learn belly dance at home!
Belly dance is the perfect dance to learn at home
- You need very little space and no specialized equipment
- You don’t even need shoes! It’s actually best to belly dance barefoot.
- You can belly dance on any surface- hardwood floors or carpet.
- Belly dance is a no-impact dance so it’s easy on the joints
- You’ll feel safe learning in total privacy with no concerns of anyone watching
Sounds great, right?!
Ready to get started? Here’s the basics to get you belly dancing at home in no time!
#1: Choose How You Want To Learn Belly Dance At Home
If you’re learning belly dance at home, your main format choices are with a DVD or an online program. You can also learn on YouTube and that can be a great way to get started. But it’s also important to know that YouTube isn’t great for learning belly dance in a comprehensive and systematic way. This can make it hard to progress and consistently grow in your skills.
If you have watched some belly dance YouTube videos and it seems like something you would like to learn in a more in-depth way, I recommend you progress to a DVD or online program. Here are the pros and cons of each:
Belly Dance DVD’s
The “pros” to learning belly dance from a DVD is that there are some great belly dance DVDs available to purchase online and they can be a great introduction to belly dance. They are also great for expanding and building upon your skills. There are also many teachers and belly dance styles to choose from.
However, the “cons” are that you may quickly get bored and want a new variety of content to learn, grow and challenge yourself with. Also, with a DVD there are no opportunities to get personal feedback on whether you’re doing the belly dance movements correctly and be able to ask questions and get personalized help.
Online Learn Belly Dance Programs
There are many “pros” to learning belly dance from an online program. Many online belly dance programs have a ton of content to choose from so you never get bored and there’s often new content introduced on a monthly basis for even more variety.
Another good thing about an online belly dance program is that you can progress through different levels as your skills improve without having to buy new DVD’s on a regular basis.
Depending on the program, there may also be the opportunity for live classes and personalized help from the teacher. Some also have thriving communities that go along with your membership so that you can connect with other women and maybe even make some new friends!
There aren’t many “cons” to learning belly dance from an online program, but the main one is that you need to have a decent internet connection. If you do, then you’re good to go! If not, it’s probably best to go with the DVD option until you do.
#2: Choose Your Belly Dance Style
There are many different belly dance styles, but to make things simple, the most popular ones can be put into two different categories: Classical Egyptian Style or Tribal Belly Dance.
What many people recognize as the “classic” belly dance movements come from Egyptian style of belly dance. It’s the style you will most likely see performed in restaurants and in movies. In America, this style has been adapted to its own unique style called “American Cabaret”.
American Tribal Style® uses traditional belly dance movements transformed into an entirely new and unique genre that was “Born in the USA.” It’s often performed as a group ensemble, with each dancer taking cues from the others and dancing in formations of duet, trio and quartet.
#3: Choose Your Belly Dance Level
If you’re a total beginner, be sure to look for a DVD or online program that specifically teaches to students with little or no experience so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Once you feel more comfortable you can expand to DVDs and online programs that incorporate more complex movements, drills and dance choreographies.
#4: Start With The Basics
When you’re first learning belly dance, it’s important to start with posture and the basic foundational movements. There are some basic categories of movements in belly dance- moves like circles, hip drops, shimmies, figure 8’s and undulations. This is like the “vocabulary” of belly dance and will help you to become fluent in the belly dance language so that you can experience the fun and flow of belly dance as quickly as possible.
#5: Belly Dance Drills
Think of drills as the “shooting hoops” of belly dance. Drills are different exercises to strengthen the muscles that create the different belly dance movements. As your muscles get stronger it becomes easier to belly dance and you’ll feel more fluid and in control. Another bonus is you’ll be getting a rock solid core as well as get a complete all over body workout.
#6: Do Some Fun and Easy Belly Dance Combinations
Once you have some of the basics down, it’s time to start putting them into some fun combinations so you can actually feel like you’re belly dancing. I mean, duh, that’s the whole point! A combination is easier than you think, it’s just two or three movements put together into a little routine. And when you start doing these fun combos, you’re going to be hooked! See, belly dance was easier than you thought!