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  1. #1
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    Default New Member, Wants to Dance,...but has scoliosis

    Hola Everyone,

    I'm new on this forum. I really want to learn this dance thanks to viewing a performance by Rachel Brice and Ansuya. However, I have scoliosis and some shoulderblade weakness because of it . I've read on-line that this dance helps with muscle strengthening as well as boosting confidence. Do any of you (especially instructors/professionals) have any advice on finding an instructor or dance studio for people like me? I would really appreciate the advice . Thank you!

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
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    I have moderate scoliosis myself and have not found that it is a problem in dance. I've done hatha yoga for years and have found belly dance has strengthened and limbered up my spine even better -- although I recommend both, if possible, because they help each other.

    There are places on the 'net where you can look up belly dance teachers -- Belly Dancing Lessons: Find A Teacher Or Performer, for instance. If that doesn't help, tell us where you live and maybe someone will know whom you can contact.

  3. #3
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    I also have a tiny bit of scoliosis that is not physically noticeable unless a doctor looks at it. Although I am new to BDing, I can tell already that it has strengthed muscles in my lower and upper back. Why not give it a try and do what you can do while dancing. Contact a teacher in your area and go from there.

    I do not know anything about the severity of your scoliosis, however, there are treatments for it. Have you contacted your doctor and asked about treatments such as a back brace? I wish you luck and happy dancing

  4. #4
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    I also have scoliosis(my ribcage on the Right grated against the hipbone!) and I've been dancing for over 12 years and have found it strenghtened my muscles and reduced pain. In fact before starting BD I was on painkillers every day and had physiotherapy every week. Within months I noticed a difference in pain and now never need painkillers and don't do physio. Any good teacher will be doing stretches warmups etc which help a lot (you may find a lot of them similar to physio excercises!) A good teacher will also be watching posture etc to ensure everyone is OK. If your scoliosis isn't to severe you may want to mention it so she is aware(it always looks worse tous )
    Also Listen to your body and if it hurts have your teacher check how you are doing a move or make it smaller. I found that I was ultra aware of my "hump' at first and would try extra hard to make some chest moves stand out. Time taught me that small can look better and with persistance you will achieve the same extension as every one else. Just remember that some muscles will be shortened and they take time to stretch.
    BTW you may find some hipwork much easier as you are already used to adjusting movement to make up for the spine curve.
    My back-curve improved so much that now I have almost even shoulders and there is no grating of hip and rib bones

    I hope you will find the perfect teacher and be dancing soon. Good luck and let me know how things go

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Lydia's Avatar
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    yes i agree with the above lady,s....give it a try but start slow and do mention to the teacher about your condition,i have 2 lady,s in class with this condition and they have good results and there muscles become stronger so you go for it...good luck Lydia

  6. #6
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    Dear Edavis,

    I've had surgery in my early teens to correct my scoliosis and I've had some of the vertebrae in the thoracic part of my spine fused - which is not exactly an asset for a bellydancer who can use as much spine flexibility as possible. However, when I started bellydancing (I was 30 at the time), I just took it easy and paid attention to how my body was responding to the movements, slowly building muscle strength and flexibility. Now, my posture is soooo much better than it used to be, I'm among the people in my class with best torso mobility and I often get complimented on how flexible I am. Bellydancing has been beneficial to me on so many levels - improving physical fitness, offering emotional outlet and building self-confidence, as well as being a profound spiritual experience.
    So absolutely, go for it! Take it slow and listen to your body. Also, you might want to talk to your doctor first (it's always good to check with a doctor before you start any new physical activity) and be sure to mention your scoliosis to your instructor.
    Best of luck and happy dancing!

  7. #7
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    Default Classes

    Another thing I was curious about is if I should go the private lesson route (but this might prove expensive).

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
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    Well, there's another thread about private lessons here under the Instructors and Students title.

    But first, you need to find a good teacher, period. Take a few beginning classes to see how it feels, how she teaches and what your problem(s) might be. If you're finding something difficult then ask her about it. She might be able to clear things up in a few minutes before or after class.

    Ask her if she can recommend a video or dvd to practice with at home. It's often easier to use that method once you've actually had classroom experience.

    Only when you still think you're not quite 'getting it," ask about a private lesson. Sometimes just one or two once in a while is all you need.

  9. #9
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    Wink

    First thing you should do, is ask your doctor what restrictions there might be on your movement. As a dancer and dance instructor who is also a personal trainer, I've encountered clients with scoliosis, and there are certain movements they need to be very careful with. Once you are certain what these are, you can communicate them to any potential teacher. A good teacher will not question your physical limitations, or try to treat them, in a misguided attempt to help you, but instead will try to help you maximize your abilities in those many movement patterns where you are not limited.

    And if you want to perform eventually, please remember that performance is much more about presence and charisma than it is about physical tricks. There have been many great dance performers who, by strict technical standards, were not great: Margot Fonteyn had less than perfect feet, Gene Kelly nearly always turned in the same direction, Bob Fosse had poor posture, jazz dance great Luigi overcame paralysis, etc. etc.

    It's about your dream, and following it.

  10. #10
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    Default Lessons

    Hello Everyone!

    I was curious, does anyone know of any good studios or teacher i the Toledo, OH area?

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