Belly dance is an ancient form of dance that has been performed in the Middle East, and particularly Egypt, since ancient times. The form of belly dance has evolved over the years, been through periods of being banned, and now is a popular form of fitness and performance dance. Taking up belly dance can be great for your health, your confidence, and you can even end up dancing on stage or in competitions. But it is a technical dance that can be quite difficult to master. Check out this video of Natalie Hay to see just how much control is needed over every muscle in your hips and abdomen.
So how long will it take me to learn to belly dance?
The answer to this question depends entirely on how far you are hoping to take your belly dancing. If you are doing it for fun, socialising, and fitness, you can expect to pick up the basic moves in around 8-10 weeks. If you are hoping to become skilled at belly dance, it will take you 1-2 years to become truly proficient. If you want to become a professional, however, you will need to dedicate 3-5 years to your training.
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Remember that learning any form of dance is like learning a new language. With languages, for example, some are more difficult for English speakers to pick up because they don’t follow the same rules that English does (e.g. Mandarin). And the same goes for belly dance. It can be difficult to master because the sorts of movements you need to do are far outside of the movements you would make in everyday life or even in other forms of dance.
Factors that can influence how long it takes you to learn
- Previous dance experience can help you to pick up belly dancing more quickly.
- Having a high fitness level can make the muscle control you need to achieve for belly dance easier.
- Some people are genetically better at controlling the muscles needed for belly dance.
- The amount of time you spend practising each week will influence how long it takes you to get good.
- Having a good teacher can make the process of learning belly dancing quicker and easier.
The bottom line
Regardless of your reasons for wanting to learn to belly dance, enjoying dancing is key to whether you are going to stick at it or move on to something else. Many belly dance enthusiasts say that it is “addictive” because it is just that fun to practice and perform belly dance so it is one of those forms of dancing that can capture your attention and imagination and make you never want to stop.
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