For many people, the belly dance is the oldest form of dancing. The complex movement of the torso traces its roots to ancient Indian cultures and the Middle East. However, contrary to popular belief, and what Hollywood movies depict, belly dancing was not done to entertain men.
What Belly Dancing Really Is
Rather, since it started, it was intended to be a ritualized expression performed for other women. Women of the old did the belly dance during fertility rites or when they were celebrating an upcoming marriage of a young woman. During these rites, men were not allowed to witness the hypnotizing dance.
The woman’s body is perfectly formed to perform belly dancing. Her bones and muscles are formed to allow movements from the torso, compared to a man’s structure where movement emanates from the feet and legs.
When a woman performs a belly dance, she moves different parts of her body sensually, which might be the reason why popular culture thinks the dance is meant to entertain men.
Performing A Belly Dance
You need several lessons before you can perform a belly dance. During these lessons, you’ll have to take off your shoes. Taking off your shoes is important in belly dancing because it connects your expressions to Mother Earth, just like the ancient belly dancers did.
Belly Dancing Outfit
Also, you’ll need to get colorful costumes for the dance. The costume flows around your body, and normally has scarves accents to complement the complex movements of your body. If you’ve seen Shakira perform a belly dance, then you might appreciate the role of the costume in the dance.
Shakira’s famous belly dance has her in a tank top with her arms adorned with scarves that move with the slightest movement from her torso and arms. You might think she’s been swayed by the wind when you watch the movements of her costume.
You don’t have to match Shakira’s outfit though. You can get Finger cymbals, which date back the 200 B.C. The Finger Cymbals are made from brass, adorned with exotic jewels. Through in an intricate belt to emphasize the movements of your torso and you are good to go.
Rich families of the old had their daughters wear the intricate costumes as a display of their wealth. They also had their women wear the jewels on their clothes to make it easy for them to flee with their possessions when trouble raised its ugly head. Because we don’t live in such tumult times, you don’t have to affix all of your priced possession on your belly dancing outfit.