But I thought belly dancers were meant to have a belly

Emma_Williams

New member
as in some tummy podge or flat and not toned to perfection - this is all i hear when i moan to my friends and family about my wobbly tummy.
Does anyone ever get this said to them and does anyone here on purpose not tone their tummy so it shimmies and wobbles more???:rolleyes:
 

~Diana~

AFK Moderator
I've gotten that quite a lot actually. I think it is because most of what people see are the supper skinny dancers. This is cause media thinks that is what sells for the majority of people and only take women who fit that image.

I don't on purpose not tone anything. I work so that my body is in healthy shape no matter what it looks like at the end.
 

Kharmine

New member
It's the only joke they know about belly dancers, probably.

You might try saying yes, but you'd like to have a belly a little less jelly-ish and more like, say, flan -- which is my aim, personally!
 

shiradotnet

New member
This is one reason I'm not fond of the term "belly dance". The term places too much focus on one specific body part, and generates misconceptions like, "you have to have a belly to belly dance".
 

Yshka

New member
IMO bellydance tones your body wether you like it or not. It does, the only way not to tone up is not to dance. I had a student once who quit dancing because she hated the way her lower belly got accentuated more (by toning the muscles it was showing more) and she wanted her ultra-flat 6-pack back... :think:

Re the topic, I've never met anyone who didn't feel a bellydancer needs some meat, so to speak. Then again, to me, if a dancer has what it takes, she will be great no matter her body shape, as long as it is toned and looks trained (which again, the dance just does if you work it hard enough). Being big does not necessarily mean being flabby.

More often I get "I have enough belly to be a bellydancer!! *and then imagine a big white guy lifting his shirt and wobbling his beerbelly...* Ugh.:confused:
 
Last edited:

Mosaic

Super Moderator
Everybody is meant to have a belly:lol: We'd look pretty funny running around without one!

When some drunken smart a#%& went on about having a belly to a bunch of us, I answered:

A bellydancer (I don't like that word) is much more than his or her belly, a dancer is, legs, arms, chest etc - including mind heart & spirit, all parts create the dancer;):D

He looked suitably chastened and wandered off
~Mosaic
 

Kharmine

New member
Nicely said, Mosaic!

Personally, I rather like the term belly dance because it's nice to be a little celebratory about a part of our anatomy Western women are always being pressured to turn practically concave. But as a pet name, a term of affectionate familiarity.

I remember a master yoga teacher pointing out to us in class that even healthy, weight-appropriate, very advanced yoginis will never have six-packs abs with hatha yoga alone.

OTOH, you won't see one with a "gut" hanging out, either.
 
Nicely said, Mosaic!

I remember a master yoga teacher pointing out to us in class that even healthy, weight-appropriate, very advanced yoginis will never have six-packs abs with hatha yoga alone.

OTOH, you won't see one with a "gut" hanging out, either.
This is a problem I have with belly dance. I've noticed that most teachers in Sydney talk about the knees driving all the movements, and never suggest using the abs at all. It's the first dance style I've learned that doesn't talk about controlling your stomach muscles.

The result is that I see a lot of belly dancers with nice trim hips and a saggy belly. I don't have a problem with belly fat, but sag - no!
 

Yshka

New member
Dear Mosaic, that is a great way of putting it!

As to the word bellydancer, I try and tell people also bellydance is more than just a wiggly belly (don't get me started explaining, I luuuve talking bellydance lol) I used not to like it, and called myself Oriental Dancer for a while, but truth is general people around here don't seem to relate to what an 'oriental' dancer is, and start asking then what is it I do, Asian dances, exotic dance, stripper, or maybe bellydance??

I find 'Bellydancer' around here is a word that people know, people will know what a 'bellydancer' looks like and will have a less vivid imagination about what exactly she does in my experience :lol:.
I also have a theory that, since 'bellydance' is a very well known word that does bring connotations in various area's, people already know at least half or it's 'correct' meaning (as in the kind of dance, outfit, that fact that it originates from the Arabic world). I think that if we continue to use it while promoting the dance as an art, people will start realising more that 'bellydance' is art, and the effect of any negative connotations will decrease.

It does bring emphasis to the stomach area, but people who really want to know will ask, and people who are just out to make silly bellydancer-remarks can be stopped at least in the moment through *education*. :cool:

*pulls white guys shirt back down and borrows Mosaic's quote*:D
 
Last edited:

Mosaic

Super Moderator
Dear Mosaic, that is a great way of putting it!

As to the word bellydancer, I try and tell people also bellydance is more than just a wiggly belly (don't get me started explaining, I luuuve talking bellydance lol) I used not to like it, and called myself Oriental Dancer for a while, but truth is general people around here don't seem to relate to what an 'oriental' dancer is, and start asking then what is it I do, Asian dances, exotic dance, stripper, or maybe bellydance??

I find 'Bellydancer' around here is a word that people know, people will know what a 'bellydancer' looks like and will have a less vivid imagination about what exactly she does in my experience :lol:.
I also have a theory that, since 'bellydance' is a very well known word that does bring connotations in various area's, people already know at least half or it's 'correct' meaning (as in the kind of dance, outfit, that fact that it originates from the Arabic world). I think that if we continue to use it while promoting the dance as an art, people will start realising more that 'bellydance' is art, and the effect of any negative connotations will decrease.

It does bring emphasis to the stomach area, but people who really want to know will ask, and people who are just out to make silly bellydancer-remarks can be stopped at least in the moment through *education*. :cool:

*pulls white guys shirt back down and borrows Mosaic's quote*:D
I know that the word bellydance is recognised worldwide and it is easy to use because of that & yes I do use the word, but 90% of the time add the fact that BD should be called Raks Sharki.

I actually posted about that in the interview thread by Dev (4th post down)
http://www.bellydanceforums.net/other-dance-stuff/7056-interviews-3.html.

As for pulling white guys shirt down, this particular guy was wearing his pants low on the thighs in that weird fashion boys wear them their pants (yuck) so all except for maybe 2 inches of his boxer shorts were visible. You have no idea how much my hands itched to pull his pants up to his neck & then tighten the belt extra hard!:lol: Those guys don't walk they waddle like idiotic penguins trying to stop said trou ending up at ankles (poor penguins I shouldn't cast them in the same light - their waddles are cute:D)

Oh as for what I said to that guy, you are very welcome to say that, you might even think of extras to add!;)
~Mosaic
 

lizaj

New member
I have no desire to be any smaller than a UK 14. As an older belly dancer, I don't have to fret about being a marketable belly dancer but I prefer to be in some sort of shape for my health's sake.
I think dancers develop strong legs more than anything else. So MMmmmm a belly well I have seen dancers of all shapes and sizes so I hope not to embarass them by naming them as example of looking good whatever.....
Bea C is a bonny lass and the best stick dancer I have seen and has worn costumes thats suit her ampleness to the T. Elegant and sassy.
Anna B is so slender with a negligable belly and a gorgeous , vivacious dancer.She never looks less than good in dresses and pants whatever!
It's quality not quantity that counts and how you use that belly (and the rest of it) not how much there is of it.
 

Emma_Williams

New member
Hi Girls - I am not moaning about my belly as such - I do this every day anyway haha what I was wondering is if anyone else had said to that you or had this idea that to be a belly dancer you needed some fat in that area....strange what people think of when they think of a belly dancer thats all :) Not beating myself up i dont mind my podge and my sticky out booty...if its good enough for j lo its good enough for me lol
 

shiradotnet

New member
This is a problem I have with belly dance. I've noticed that most teachers in Sydney talk about the knees driving all the movements, and never suggest using the abs at all. It's the first dance style I've learned that doesn't talk about controlling your stomach muscles.

The result is that I see a lot of belly dancers with nice trim hips and a saggy belly. I don't have a problem with belly fat, but sag - no!
I have an issue with teachers who fail to teach the use of torso muscles in doing this dance. It's NOT limb-driven, it's CORE driven. Yes, there will be limb movement when your torso muscles pull your hip up into a hip lift because the leg is attached to the hip and will move as the hip moves, but the focus / power / energy / motive for most belly dance hip work comes from muscles in the torso.

There certainly are some moves (such as Raqia Hassan's shimmy) that are powered by what the legs do. I don't deny that. But the default should be using the core muscles.
 

Kharmine

New member
Hear, hear, Shira!

My teacher is always emphasizing when we should be using our core muscles, and even when we should be tightening our butts. You can't make good isolations without muscular control, and if you don't have a core that's up to some of the moves we do you could definitely hurt yourself.

And, yes, Emma, I've heard that shouldn't belly-dancers-have-bellies? comment myself. I'm with Mosiac, I've yet to see a dancer without a belly! It's just one of those dumb cliches people use without much thought. At its best, I think it acknowldeges that no one expects to see a dancer with a flat stomach and a washboard torso.
 

adiemus

New member
I have to chime in with a 'me too' - that 'so don't worry about your belly, because that's what belly dancers need' is supposed to be affirming, but instead I find it irritating to the extreme.
I love my curves, I'm not overweight, and I do use all the range of muscles in the so-called 'core'. In fact, all of us do to a certain extent, or we'd never be able to sit up, take step, or even roll over! The core stability fad is well over-worked (see my blog post on it here), what we need in raqs is to isolate and selectively recruit the muscles, and integrate those movements with those of the hip and thigh and butt.

Actually, thinking about your last comment Kharmine,
It's just one of those dumb cliches people use without much thought. At its best, I think it acknowldeges that no one expects to see a dancer with a flat stomach and a washboard torso.
I think it's used without ANY thought and only because the word 'belly' is used in conjunction with 'dance'. So few people have actually watched raqs that I think they're just playing on words.
 

LunaXJJ

New member
This is one reason I'm not fond of the term "belly dance". The term places too much focus on one specific body part, and generates misconceptions like, "you have to have a belly to belly dance".
Haha, I remember seeing someone on a youtube comment say something like "Oh you must be a poor dancer because you're moving your whole body to belly dance."
 

da Sage

New member
Hi Girls - I am not moaning about my belly as such - I do this every day anyway haha what I was wondering is if anyone else had said to that you or had this idea that to be a belly dancer you needed some fat in that area....strange what people think of when they think of a belly dancer thats all :) Not beating myself up i dont mind my podge and my sticky out booty...if its good enough for j lo its good enough for me lol
I've heard this a lot. Some people believe it, others are just having fun with the pun.

I may be a "belly dancer", but the dancer part comes first.
 

khanjar

New member
IMO bellydance tones your body wether you like it or not. It does, the only way not to tone up is not to dance. I had a student once who quit dancing because she hated the way her lower belly got accentuated more (by toning the muscles it was showing more) and she wanted her ultra-flat 6-pack back... :think:
I wondered about that recently, I have even cut back on beer thinking it was too much beer that was making the belly protrude, I guess it must be muscle tone through dancing, as I cannot pinch even half an inch at my sides and similarly at the front. Gee, never had muscle tone before.
 

Ranya

New member
I get this comment (you need fat/belly etc...) from morrocans.... hmmm.

(not only when commenting on me, but in general when they speak about bellydance...)
 
Top