Ancient World Dance

Ancient World Dance

By Amaya  © 2007


Call it whatever you like; Belly Dance, Earth Dance, Gypsy Dance, Arabic, Oriental Dance, Raks Sharqi, Lebanese, Turkish, Tribal, Urban, Gothic, Techno Fusion....all are correct and all are limiting.   To think that we dance with only our abdominals or bellies is like thinking ballet dancers only use their toes.  This misnomer “belly dance” works and isolates muscles all over the body---fingers, wrists, necks, ankles, pelvis, thighs, spine, arms, and... yes, the torso, too!  A total body workout!

Popular in America since the 1960s,  dance classes have usually attracted middle-age women but now we see their daughters joining in!  Because of the dancing pop-star Shakira and also the fitness craze (even Brittany Spears has taken some lessons), BD teachers are finding their classes growing with younger women and the need for fresh music, costuming and more instructional dvds!  A teacher today must be proficient in anatomy, physiology, exercise terminology, know contraindications, music theory, choreographic skills, and much more to be successful.  Dance certifications, complicated and memorized choreographies, $1500 costumes, agents, trainers and marketing companies are all part of this modern day business.

Our dance is now without boundaries, countries, or borders. There are as many different styles of this dance as their are dancers.  Although it has Middle Eastern roots in origin, it has grown to encompass the industrialized world. It attracts and empowers women & girls of all ages and sizes to connect with their bodies, gain self-confidence and become spiritually strong. This centuries-old dance is being performed in Tasmania (I have personally taught 60 ladies there!) to Tijeras, NM! Like other ancient arts such as yoga, a dance student will find herself glowing and resonating with women and sisters throughout the planet. Perhaps we should rename this phenomenon to something like “Ancient World Dance.”