Monday, September 5, 2016

Why I Love Belly Dance & Why It Is An Awesome Cardio

Written By: Deanna

When it comes to cardio, or any type of working out, it's important to find something you love, right? Which is why I wanted to write this blog post - see, I've found something I love more than I realized I ever would love something. Fitness as a whole, but today we're going to talk about one thing... Belly Dancing!

Have you ever tried it? Chances are you've drooled over one or two of the gorgeous outfits you've seen related to belly dancing, but have you ever thought about trying it?

A few years ago, I took the plunge. I was nervous. Hell, when I decided to try belly dancing I shocked even myself, well actually I shocked only myself because I was so self conscious about it I didn't tell anyone! It was a secret only me and my librarian knew for a month before I even told my (then) fiance. I didn't actually think it would turn into anything special, but I quickly realized I loved it. So, I picked up a couple of scarves off Ebay for less than $5 and I got some DVD's and books out of the library. Since the, I've been hooked.

For anyone interested, I've found Element Belly Dancing to be one of the best/basic DVD's. My local library has it so yours might, too! But I'm also going to give you a little bit of a less right here and now. Let's start with three basics.

The Hip Circle
Stand with your legs a little less than shoulder width apart and relax the knee, bending slightly. Take a deep breath and relax the upper body (ideally you shouldn't be moving the upper body at all during this). Now, shift your hips to the left, careful to make sure you're upper body doesn't move. Slide your hips to the front. Then to the right. Finally, slide to the back and back to the left. That is a hip circle. Once you get good at those motions, you will be able to combine them effortlessly.

The Hip Drop/Pop
Stand with your legs a little less than shoulder width apart and relax your knees. Bend slightly, then a little more. A lot of this move will be affected by how much you bend the knees, so the more you bend them, the more you will "drop" and the more visible it will be. Step forward with your left foot slightly (about 3-4 inches) with your knee still bent. Straighten your knee, careful to keep the rest of your body still (your upper body shouldn't be moving) when you have fully straightened your knee, your hip bone should have been raised towards your ribs. Drop your knee, bending it again, and you have completed your first hip drop! Depending on how you choose to do the movement will depend on if it is a pop or a drop. If you make the show out of dropping it, then it will be a drop, but if the action focused on bringing the hip up, it's called a pop.

Figure Eight
Okay, this one is a little tricky, but I have faith in you. You're going to stand with your feet should width apart and your knees slightly bent (I bet you guessed that, didn't you?). Taking a deep breath, you're going to shift your balance til your right hip is forward. Shift the hip back, making a semi-circle as the left hip moves towards the front, the left knee is now bent and the right knee is straight-ish depending on how your standing.

This one takes a lot of playing around with, but you'll get it!

The best part of belly dancing to me, is there are so many benefits - give it a shot and see how many benefits you notice for yourself!

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