Belly dancing – the mesmerizing swirls and shakes of the hips that evoke images of smoke-filled rooms and forbidden pleasures. For centuries, this exotic dance has fascinated people across cultures. But in today’s world, can belly dancing still be a serious career choice or respected profession? You bet your shimmies it can! Before we continue check out this belly dance drum solo by Poshkus Dance School:

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Now I know what you’re thinking – belly dancing is just for fun at bachelorette parties or something to do at the gym. And yes, it’s totally fine as a hobby or creative outlet. But make no mistake – for many dancers out there, this is their passion, their calling, their livelihood. And they’re making it happen.

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See, belly dancing requires some serious skills. Those fluid undulations and intricate hip circles? Not as easy as Shakira makes it look! A great belly dancer needs stamina, strength, coordination and rhythm. Years of training and practice go into developing the technique, style and stage presence needed to truly master this art form. It’s not something you can just wiggle into.

And it’s not just about the dance itself. Professional belly dancers need to learn the culture and history. They often design their own elaborate costumes with beads, coins, tassels and veils that sway and shimmer with every movement. They become experts in Middle Eastern music, selecting songs and tempos that allow them to connect with audiences. That’s artistry.

Of course, making a career out of belly dancing has its challenges. Raising awareness and legitimacy, finding financial stability, overcoming stigma – you better believe it takes determination. But plenty of dancers are overturning assumptions and making their passion viable.

Look at famous belly dance superstars like Fifi Abdou, Dina Talaat, Nataly Hay and many many others. They perform in packed events and for A-list crowds. Or incredible troupe leaders like Ansuya and Rachel Brice who lead their own companies. There are dancers teaching sold out workshops worldwide, traveling soloists with packed touring schedules, neighborhood studio owners passing on the craft. Belly dancing pays their bills!

With the growth of competition shows like So You Think You Can Dance, the style also gets mainstream exposure. Did you catch the belly dance numbers that stopped the show? Yeah, even TV is picking up on this dance’s universal appeal.

Of course, dancers also have more tools at their fingertips thanks to the internet. Social media allows them to share and promote their work, build fanbases or offer online instruction. There are online magazines, podcasts, resources connecting the global belly dance community. Technology is helping dancers take their careers into their own hands.

So can you make money doing belly dancing in 2023 and beyond? I believe so. As audiences crave new styles and variety entertainment, this ancient art form is ready for a new day in the spotlight. With passion, patience and persistence, dancers can enchant the minds and capture the hearts of adoring fans. Watch out world – those shimmies and shakes are here to stay. Belly dancing isn’t going anywhere but up.

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