Guest Author - Linda Heywood
The Sufi Dervish of the Mevlevi order whirl in a form of physically active mediation. It is a worship dance where one can abandon the ego and focus the mind on God. Spinning in repetitive circles is seen as a symbolic imitation of the planets orbiting the sun. Dancing has been used as a form of worship across all cultures but it can be easily incorporated into daily life as a form of exercise.
Raqs sharki means Dance of the Near East, Raqs baladi means Dance of the Country and in the west it is known as Belly Dancing. This form of dance is admired in America and Europe and there are classes available in most cities and towns. The very popular Bellydancing Superstars Show performs all over the USA and around the world.
Belly dancing is an excellent way of keeping the waist trim and the hip joints supple. The seductive movements and graceful posturing combined with the lush costumes and melodic drum beat make belly dancing a very feminine exercise regime. In the east belly dancing is used by pregnant women as a way to keep their stomach muscles strong.
Sadia ~ Belly dancer from Wisconsin
Bellydancing Superstars Show
Something more modern is Zumba Fitness. A group exercise class designed to help us ‘Party’ as we keep fit. Mixed and ladies only classes are setting up everywhere in local schools, social clubs and gyms. There is no membership and an instructor takes the class through a series of dance routines to the distinctive music of Zumba. A collection of CDs and DVDs can be purchased and played through a game station for anyone to use at home.
Zumba is a fusion of dance and music genres. The routines are very energetic so make sure there is plenty of water and a towel at hand. Wear trainers and comfortable clothing and dance yourself fit. People of every age join these classes but take care if knee joints are weak as the dancing can be quite strenuous.
With the rising popularity of the reality dance shows on television there has been a revival in ballroom dancing. Salsa classes are a good way of meeting new people and spending an hour or so feeling sexy. Learn to rumba or foxtrot with your partner and introduce something new into your relationship. Buy yourself a pair of tap shoes and learn to dance like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
For an even more daring dance routine why not try pole dancing. After months of practise the end result will be toned muscles and supple joints. If you are too shy to join a class why not buy a pole and get your husband to fix it up for you? Then spice up your love life by dancing for him in the privacy of your own home.
And if you cannot find the dance class of your dreams, why not start your own?
“When the music changes, so does the dance.” ~ African Proverb