10 Must-Dos in a Belly Dance Class

  1. Respect and do not judge. – Respect yourself and your co-students. Make sure you are aware of the people around and you do not disturb anyone. If someone accidentally takes your space, kindly ask to have it back. Respect yourself also. Judgment of self and others is such a joy killer. If you start judging yourself for your abilities or comparing yourself with others, stop paying attention to these thoughts and shift your focus onto better things, like how it feels to have your feet on the ground, are you holding your posture up correctly, or simply listen to the music and lose yourself in it.
  2. Ask questions. – Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher questions, it always serves everyone. And remember, you are a paying customer!
  3. Stay aware of your posture, feet, and hands. – Do not concentrate only on the part that is doing a particular movement and forget about the rest of your body. Don’t brush over your posture, feet, and hands as unimportant. They are the frame in which your hips and whole body resides. And this frame should be beautiful. Make sure at any moment that you are keeping the right posture. Stay aware of every single centimeter of your hands – from the shoulders to the tip of your fingers. Feel the earth with your feet, know you are stable.
  4. Breath and feel the moment. – Breathe deeply and evenly through the movement, sensing your breath flow past your nostrils and your lips. Do not let your thoughts drift you away. Stay in this very moment. Now is your time for yourself. Do not let other things steal it from you.
  5. Part your lips gently. – Relax your neck and your shoulders. Don’t clench your jaw or your mouth, stay loose. This will also help you to breathe out of your mouth and in through your nose, allowing for a bigger exhalation through the mouth and a deeper inhalation– refilling and re-energising your every move.
  6. Relax. – Think loosey goosey! Watch yourself in your body; are you tensing up all the time? If you’re not having fun in class you’re missing the whole point. If you stress in your mind you will tense up in your body. Make joy your first focus and some magic will then happen with your movement; it will flow easier and feel better. Beautiful Belly Dance not only looks good, it feels good.
  7. Watch your mind. – Start challenging your negative self-talk. Do not let thoughts like “I am not good enough, I am not beautiful enough …” bring you down. Do not react to that, just chase away those LIES. This is a key to open up a door to your true feminine beauty.
  8. Soak in the music. – Listen to the music while you dance. It will give you the inspiration you need to move under its rhythm and melody. Your aim is to become one with it. Consider buying yourself a CD with oriental music, so that you can practice with it and have fun listening to the captivating tracks during the week.
  9. Make belly dance friends. – Try participating in the community, don’t isolate yourself in class. You have all gathered, because you like oriental dace. Maybe you have other things in common, too. Get to know like-spirited women from your community. This will bring bigger meaning to your dance.
  10. Dress up. – Buy yourself a hip scarf. It does not have to be a belly dance one. Any everyday scarf that is long enough and of fine material will do. It will help you feel your hips better. In addition, buy some affordable jewelry such as oriental looking earrings or a beautiful pin or flower to compliment your hip scarf. Costuming is a big part of the Belly Dance experience. It adds color and spice and increases your interest. Maybe you would also like to put some makeup on :). Feel like a little girl again and get creative! You can find A recommended list of Belly dance training cloths here.
Inspired my Shemiran Ibrahim’s Belly Dance Student Guide (www.ShemiranIbrahim.com) merged with own experience.

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