Dance is a metaphor for life. Through dance, we can learn to exceed what we think our body can do, yet know its limitations.
Belly dance is great for all types, ages and types of people. It has many powerful benefits for mind and body.
1: Lots of Physical Benefits Total body movement, such as belly dance, enhances the functions of other body systems, such as circulatory, respiratory, skeletal, and muscular systems. It is one of the few exercise forms that tones up the pelvic floor. In belly dance, we habitually raise the sternum. Realignment of the sternum produces an increase in the capacity of the lungs. More oxygen means more energy.
Belly dancers often look younger than their years; this form helps women to stay more youthful and healthier for longer. Health benefits are reflected in beauty benefits. Toned body, shiny hair and good skin.
Lymph flushes out toxins. A belly dance class will make lymph flow 15 x faster, so dramatically speeding up the elimination of toxins.
To help stay healthy, the Government recommends that everyone take part in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five times a week. It seems incredible that something that feels as fun and sensual as belly dancing counts!
A Dance for Mind and Body
2: Better Sleep People who take regular exercise such as belly dance sleep better.
3: Improves Muscle Tone in a low impact way. Belly dance provides an increase in core strength, which provides stability in the body and enhances posture. Belly dance can be a great alternative to boring abdominal exercises. As a result of regular practice, tummy muscles are activated, stretched, and toned belly muscles for feminine abs.
4: Improved Body Language The body is the vehicle that stores emotional pain. When body language gives out victim signals, it can trigger abusers and predators. Much research suggests that the way we view our selves is affected by others perceptions of us. People respond to confident, assertive body language by non-verbally communicating the affirmation that the person they are interacting with has good self-esteem.
5: Sacred Dance Belly dance with its circles, spirals and figure-eight configurations describes life at its universal cataclysmic inception. People find that through these creative movements, they can express their unique individuality and personality. The dance frees the spirit and nourishes body and soul.
Through dance, people can tune into the rhythms and pulses of the Universe. Dancing like this expresses the human longing to reach out beyond the confines of the ego and the personal body, to connect and become one with the universal body. Dance in its purest form is an expression of the life force. When we dance we are always in the present moment, the now.
There is evidence to suggest that Middle Eastern dance was used as a form of Goddess worship in the past.
6: Healing Dance In the Middle East and other parts of the world, dance is practiced with the specific intention of healing all forms of dis-ease. Ceremonies that involve dance often cover a wide range of healing objectives.
7: A Birth Dance belly dance was/is also used to facilitate easy childbirth and recovery.
8: Burns Calories avoiding weight gain can become harder as we get older. Belly dance can burn over 400 calories per hour and it feels like fun!
9:Dancing Helps to Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis Because the steps and torso moves put a healthy strain on the bones, it helps them to stay healthy and dense. This makes them less prone to osteoarthritis.
10: Beautiful Movement
Other skills develop when we learn to dance, especially poise and grace! A body always looks better if the person has excellent posture; this is a reflection of positive mental and emotional states. Have you noticed how confident people have good posture? Standing better makes the physique look trimmer, the individual look more confident and taller. With regular practice of Belly dance, this becomes the default method of standing.
11: Good for The Mind
Belly dance is meditative and requires the mind to engage with the body; this gives the dancer a break from thoughts and worries that can sometimes torment us. These effects are similar to the benefits of yoga or Tai Chi.
Studies have shown that physical activity is known to increase particular neurotransmitter substances in the brain (endorphins), which create a state of well-being. In various studies, it has been demonstrated that exercise is almost as effective as anti-depressants in treating depression. In a good Belly dance class, we are in a group interacting in a positive and supportive way; this can create feelings of acceptance which is essential for psychological health.
Belly dance can keep the mind active as well as your body. Remembering intricate steps stimulates the working memory. Research suggests that dancing reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
Not only can exercise slow mental decline, but it may enhance brainpower. There is some evidence that listening to music while you exercise stimulates mental functioning more than silent activities. So regular dancing might even help you improve your IQ score!
12: Belly dance is a Powerful De-stressing Technique
Stress can kill, so it is important to have a practice to deal with it. In Western culture; in particular, people are not encouraged to express their emotions freely. For some, expressing feelings through creative movement is more accessible than with words. This creates relaxation. Mind found that 83% of people used exercise to reduce stress. Belly dance feels so creative and happy that it does not feel like exercise!
Exercise, community and creativity create a synergic combination to destress and relax.
13: Builds Friendships
Belly dancing tends to be a shared pursuit. Spending time with friends can stimulate the mind and protect against mental decline. Being part of a group, team or community is one of the keys to a happy life. Emotional support and a sense of purpose support good mental health.
14: Exciting and uplifting
Belly dance teaches about culture and history, that will expand vision and challenge established beliefs systems. Belly dance encourages the celebration of different traditions and lifestyles, as well as builds understanding and respect of other cultures. This dance is hypnotic and exciting, relaxing, and uplifting. Belly dance can cause us to embark on an exciting voyage into new musical realms.
The sense of achievement felt when complex moves are achieved, enhance self-esteem. When you can see and feel improvement with practice, it can give confidence an enormous boost.
15: Dance Shows and Performances, Performance is fun! Dressing up in beautiful costumes is something many people enjoy! Performing together builds team spirit, forges friendships and boosts self-esteem.
Belly Dance is a holistic mind-body practice!
Ishtar's Belly Dance Classes and Workshops
Dance tuition for all levels, (including complete beginners) ages and types of people
Belly dance classes consist of technique, various modern and ethnic forms of Middle Eastern dance and Bollywood.
Styles taught; Basic technique, Egyptian and Turkish cabaret /folkloric, flexibility and conditioning moves, drill combinations, khaligy, Bollywood fusion, gothic, cabaret and healing dance.
The classes involve toning exercise, choreography, trance dance, floor work, dancing with props; (Zills, veil and canes, swords, fans).
Occasionally, there is meditation and visualization.
Ishtar values a warm, inclusive, non-discriminatory and friendly atmosphere in all her events.
For information about classes workshops and private sessions visit;