Education

How to learn belly dance at home

Updated: 2012-03-30
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Learning belly dance at home is more fun with a friend!
  
It's not easy to learn to dance at home. However, learning to bellydance at home is easier than almost any other dance style, especially if you've never danced before. Beginners' belly dance moves are:
 
•gentle on the body so you're not going injure yourself even if you get it wrong; 
 
•don't need a lot of flexibility or strength, so you're not going to be struggling to achieve the moves; 
 
•don't involve running around or jumping, so it doesn't matter if you're carrying a few extra kilos. 
 
Many people think belly dancing moves are difficult, but in fact they're completely natural. For most women, the main obstacle to moving their hips like a belly dancer is mental, not physical. It's wonderful to see the look on their face when the penny drops! 
 
The other great thing about belly dancing is that although mastering the art can take years, you can create a simple belly dance choreography with only a few basic moves.
 
If you're attracted to belly dance as a way to get fit and toned, rather than just to have fun dancing, then you need to know that beginner belly dance classes are usually not strenuous enough to reach your goals quickly. To get fast results, you need to focus on specific belly dance exercises.
 
Teach Yourself Belly Dancing
If you want to get started learning belly dance at home, there's a wide range of belly dancing DVDs - but the quality of the teaching on bellydance DVD's varies enormously, and you can easily waste your money if you buy the wrong one.

Some have very little explanation, which is useless for a beginner (I suspect some were made to attract guys who want to perve rather than serious students!). At the other extreme, there are DVD's that do an excellent job of breaking down the moves - but once you know what you're doing, you'll get impatient listening to the explanations over and over again. 
  
What you want is a DVD that offers a detailed breakdown with full explanations, as well as combinations of the exercises without a break.

That way, once you know what you're doing, you can do the class exactly as you would at a belly dance school. The final element should be a short choreographed routine, so you can learn how to put all the steps together to make a dance.

The series of DVD's by Indian twins Veena and Neena is reasonably good, and widely available in shops - but they are quite basic, and many people find they outgrow them fairly quickly. For that reason I recommend Michelle Joyce's DVD, but you'll probably have to buy it online. 
 
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