What is the greater danger?

Shanazel

Super Moderator
OKay, I'm trying to control my heartfelt desire to rant about the fitness belly dance topic, but:

I HATE it like hell when a student says her main reason for taking my class is because she heard it was "a great workout." :mad: Grrrr. Belly dance is not about flattening the abs or getting the old cardiovascular rate up. If a person only wants "a great workout", she should take a step class or weight lifting or a spinning class and leave the rest of us to dance without having to listen to someone complain because she hasn't yet reached her maximum heart rate. This ain't Jazzercise, you know.
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
I gotta weigh in on this.

Every teacher has to decide how she wants her classes and her dance form portrayed and thought of.

Personally I want people to think of DANCE when they think of belly dance. I teach at a dance studio for that reason, not at a gym or a rec center. (My own personal feelings, ymmv.)

We USED to teach "Belly dance for fitness" classes in the workplace. I'm not doing that anymore because, as has been said here, it's really not the best "designed" system for encouraging fitness. Yes it's good for you, and yes it tones the muscles, but you have to practice A LOT to get the kind of workout and toning you would get for much less time in a regular pilates-style ab workout. Also I personally feel that it makes belly dance appear easy and less serious as an art form.

Bellyfit classes made me a lot of money, but I think there's an artistic tradeoff, and it's not worth it to me now. I would rather be taken seriously as an artist, and have people believe that they can't learn everything they need to know in 6 weeks or 6 months.
 

lizaj

New member
Please Aziyade, PLEASE tell me this was something you dreamed up in the throes of a fiendish belly dance nightmare from which you awoke screaming loudly for it to stop, and this it is NOT based on something you've witnessed in reality, please please....:pray::shok:! On second thought, don't answer :(

The 6 week wonder is my current pet hate, sleazy or not. In London it seems to be the current trend to do level 1 (6 weeks), level 2 (6 more weeks), level 3 (another 6 weeks), then teacher training (6 weeks) and voila: ready to set up a 'school' (people are no longer satisfied with setting themselves up as teachers, they have to have a 'school). Now while I admire the commitment - 4 x 6 weeks takes ALMOST a whole 6 months!! - it is NOT ENOUGH!!
Glad I read that again for a minute I thought they could play the viola as well:lol:
 

Aniseteph

New member
If a person only wants "a great workout", she should take a step class or weight lifting or a spinning class and leave the rest of us to dance without having to listen to someone complain because she hasn't yet reached her maximum heart rate.
:clap: That must be really annoying. Anyhoo, it can't be a great workout or I wouldn't like it so much.

I don't think bellyfit classes are too disastrous to belly dance if the teacher makes it clear about the difference i.e. I am teaching a few moves here and we are using them for exercise, this is not belly dancing. If you want to learn to dance, come to my other class. :cool:
 

shiradotnet

Well-known member
Now what about the fitness link..how dangerous is belly aerobic.the dance without the social or cultural link?
I teach a "Belly Dance for Exercise" class.

It definitely has the social/cultural link. Read on...

The overwhelming majority of the students in that class also take either my Level 1 or my Level 2 class as well. They use the "For Exercise" class as an opportunity to sample aspects of belly dance that I don't cover in the other classes such as veil work (which I use for upper body and arm exercise) and Saidi with cane (which I use for the aerobic portion). They also use the "For Exercise" class to get some extra drilling on normal belly dance moves. For those students who want to bring finger cymbals and get some zill-drilling in, I lead them in playing appropriate rhythms for the baladi and non-cane Saidi sections.

I use exclusively Egyptian, Lebanese, and Turkish music. Since the step combinations are repetitive for drilling, I will inject comments into the non-zill parts of the workout such as, "This is a Turkish folk song. Its title is Bir Demet Yasemen, which means One Bunch of Jasmine in Turkish. The lyrics mourn the loss of love, saying One bunch of jasmine is all that's left of our love. There is no end to my heart's grief."
 

lizaj

New member
You can always say that any dance is a form of exercise. It always has been communities' ways of letting of steam and (be aware of it or not)keeping fit.
I always say is a way to exercise because dancing is. I never claim it to be a "great workshop" (sheesh I'd break out in unladylike sweat at the thought) but I do think any dance..line-dance, ballroom,salsa can be marketed as a way to keep fit.
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
It doesn't help the case any when you read those "calorie burn" charts that tell you belly dancing burns up to 600 calories an hour!:shok::shok::shok::shok::shok:

Here's a repost from Bhuz on the calorie count of bellydance:

In school, I had access to all the nice expensive equipment and I did a comparison of my favorite activities, to see what kind of calorie burn I was getting. Please keep in mind that I had my BMI properly measured by half drowning in the water torture test, my VO2 max measured, and my resting heart rate measured for 5 days before the test. I tested out as "very fit" based on my V02 max, max heart rate, and BMI. (August 2008)

Cardio Kickboxing -- my favorite intense activity -- was what I figured would burn the most calories since I always left exhausted, dripping with sweat, and with the feeling of having a really intense workout. Here were the results:

Total measured time: 44 minutes, 18 seconds.
Maximum heartbeats per minute -- 202 (excellent for CV workout!)
Calories burned in measured time: 344 (really! Not what I expected!)
Calories burned per minute: about 7.786

7.786 calories per minute. That's IT!


Ready for a shocker -- here's the belly dance class results: (I had to work with a video, since I was tied to machines, but I put my all into it, seriously.)

Belly Dance

Total measured time: 41 minutes, 30 seconds.
Maximum heartbeats per minute -- 130
(that was only during the warmup. For most of the class, it was between 99-125)
Calories burned in measured time: 167 (70% during the first 22 minutes, which was the warmup and drilling)
Calories burned per minute: about 4.043

So basically 4 calories per minute, average for bellydancing. But that's an AVERAGE, and most of that was actually from the warmup and drilling.
 

shiradotnet

Well-known member
It doesn't help the case any when you read those "calorie burn" charts that tell you belly dancing burns up to 600 calories an hour!

Here's a repost from Bhuz on the calorie count of bellydance:

<lots of fascinating detail snipped>
I'm not surprised by that person's findings. At one time in the past, I found a source that says belly dance burns about 300 calories per hour, which I think is much more plausible than the 600 calorie figure that you say you saw somewhere.

My take on it is this: belly dancing burns more calories than sitting at home, eating ice cream while watching television.

If someone wants serious calorie-burning aerobic exercise that drives the heart into the cardio zone, belly dance isn't the exercise form I would recommend for that purpose.

However, if someone belongs to Weight Watchers and is trying to obtain the 30-minutes-per-day of "activity", I do feel that belly dance qualifies as "activity" according to the Weight Watchers definition.
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
I agree, for my own self.

Cardio it CAN be -- doing Jillina's drum solo over and over again is one of my favorite cardio activities. But most of my daily dancing doesn't usually get my heart rate up high enough.

I know I've certainly got a LOT more tone in my abs and thighs since I started doing Suhaila's drills. I'm stronger in the "core" area, and it's not from the Pilates class I attend once every full moon or so :) But most people don't dance 90-120 minutes a night either, like I do. I think to really reap ALL the benefits of bellydance, just like with any exercise, it needs to be repeated for more than just an hour once a week.

I'm really curious about how people structure a belly fit class. Maybe I should reconsider this and target the Weight Watchers crowd.

I know Oreet Schwartz has the SharQui fitness method, but I don't know much at all about that.
 

lizaj

New member
It doesn't help the case any when you read those "calorie burn" charts that tell you belly dancing burns up to 600 calories an hour!:shok::shok::shok::shok::shok:

Here's a repost from Bhuz on the calorie count of bellydance:

In school, I had access to all the nice expensive equipment and I did a comparison of my favorite activities, to see what kind of calorie burn I was getting. Please keep in mind that I had my BMI properly measured by half drowning in the water torture test, my VO2 max measured, and my resting heart rate measured for 5 days before the test. I tested out as "very fit" based on my V02 max, max heart rate, and BMI. (August 2008)

Cardio Kickboxing -- my favorite intense activity -- was what I figured would burn the most calories since I always left exhausted, dripping with sweat, and with the feeling of having a really intense workout. Here were the results:

Total measured time: 44 minutes, 18 seconds.
Maximum heartbeats per minute -- 202 (excellent for CV workout!)
Calories burned in measured time: 344 (really! Not what I expected!)
Calories burned per minute: about 7.786

7.786 calories per minute. That's IT!


Ready for a shocker -- here's the belly dance class results: (I had to work with a video, since I was tied to machines, but I put my all into it, seriously.)

Belly Dance

Total measured time: 41 minutes, 30 seconds.
Maximum heartbeats per minute -- 130
(that was only during the warmup. For most of the class, it was between 99-125)
Calories burned in measured time: 167 (70% during the first 22 minutes, which was the warmup and drilling)
Calories burned per minute: about 4.043

So basically 4 calories per minute, average for bellydancing. But that's an AVERAGE, and most of that was actually from the warmup and drilling.
So the post-class curry and Indian lager is sort of counter-productive then..sh$t!:lol:?????
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
I'm going to one up the 6 week wonder with the instructor who has never taken an actual class but learned everything they know from videos.

I know one and we have the same chiropractor. When I fist told my chiropractor I was taking up bellydance to strengthen my back muscles he was very interested to know how it would work out. After several years of repairing the damage she has done to herself from poor posture during dancing if I mention dancing he looks like there is nothing he would like more then to get me to quite. So basically she has ruined the reputation of bellydance in the eyes of a highly respected professional. I believe several of her students have the same problem too so that just compounds and reinforces the impression.
 

Amulya

Moderator
Ariadne, that is a seriouly scary example. I knew a dancer who did similar things: she would teach hipdrops as some sort of bouncey weak hipdrops (she never learned how to do them properly) and couldn't even isolate movements. Her arm work was really crappy and imagine, at that time she was already dancing for 10 years, I wonder if no one ever corrected her.

And now years later she's still teaching: belly dance with chakra's classes *shiver*.
 
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