If you missed the Belly Dancing taster session we held this week with inspirational trainer Janet Rose of Belly Dancing World, you really did miss a treat.
Now I know that some people might think that belly dancing is just a fad and that there is nothing much to it, but you would be mistaken in thinking this way. Belly dancing has been around for centuries and have been around in England for longer than many people might think. It was intriguing to find out more about the subject and to see lots of picture ranging quite far back in our history of women belly dancing.
Many of us just expected that Janet would quickly get us started wiggling our hips (and I have to admit that I was one of those that could not wait to get started) but she did not.
Janet is so passionate about belly dancing that she wanted to share her knowledge on the subject before we got into trying it out. I must admit, this gave me more a respect for the art. Janet talked about the history of belly dancing; shared some pictures, music and the costumes worn for belly dancing. The outfits dancers wear are amazing, festooned with jewels, sequence and coins, so that you that you get the jingling sound as dancers move. The material are brightly coloured and very soft against ones skin. Enough to add to the sensuous movement and feel of the art.
The truth of the matter is that you do not have to show you belly at all. And in many Countries where belly dancing is a tradition, women are not permitted to show their bellies, they are required to ensure that their tummy area is covered at all times. So this is certainly a misrepresentation of the art through film. However, in belly dancing circles in other areas of the world, including England, wearing a navel jewel and showing ones tummy is accepted.
Actually the dance art is not called ‘belly’ dancing at all, but don’t ask me what the proper name is, because I can’t remember right now, but I am sure Janet would be more than happy to tell you if you would like to contact her.
Another myth that Janet laid to rest was the fact that most of the movement is not in the hips, but in the knees. Now you’ll have to try it to understand what I mean.
We had so much fun during the session, I can’t remember having laughed so much and had so much fun in quite a while it was a great evening. I took my daughter along with me and really enjoyed having the opportunity to try something new with her. Something we could both try together for the first time. We have been talking about it now all week. I have even caught her doing some of the moves. I think she enjoyed it too.
Janet taught us about 4 steps/moves and as well as dancing to what we might have thought as more traditional belly
dancing music i.e. music from places like Egypt, Turkey, Africa and the Caribbean, we also danced to some more modern stuff like a track by Black Eye Peas (Boom Boom Pow, my daughter says the tract is called).
Janet brought Josie along with her: a student and friend. Josie is 62 – amazingly agile and gorgeous.I think belly dancing must be great for keeping you young too. Josie treated us to a beautiful dance with her ‘Wings’ of Isis’, which she bought whilst on holiday in Egypt recently. Secondly only to the dance demonstrated later on by Janet, this was probably the most beautiful dance I have witnessed.
Janet is not only a women with an inspiring story, but with a large amount of energy, or should I say an almost limitless amount of energy, warmth and spirit. Her agility is unparalleled.
I know she would be embarrassed for me to mention this, but I think she had all the male members at the Centre in a trance. It was fun to watch.
As for me, I think I have finally found my method of exercise. We have already had request to run a series of classes and I will be speaking with the centre manager next week to book some dates. I will let you know when these are, as soon as we’ve finalised everything. Janet has already agreed to come along and to be the instructor on these sessions.
So for anyone who missed the fantastic taster session. You will have the opportunity again soon.
To get the best of all exercise should be its belly dancing for me! The following morning I awoke really feeling the effect the exercising every part of my body. A couple days later and I can still feel it. But the great thing was, it was not boring, but great fun and I just have to do it again.
Thank you Janet for a night I will remember for a very long time and one that will go down as an experience shared with my daughter.