Like I mentioned before
, after a few years of feeling the need to learn the Arabian dance, I grabbed the opportunity when it came my way. Thanks to the instructor who came to live in my block, it all started in October 2015. By then, I was done with my five months of healthy eating as it was visible that I had achieved my target of reaching my ideal weight. I was content with the fact that my jeans fit well and my tops fell comfortably over my upper body.
Inspite of being slim all my life, I have always been someone with no muscle cuts as I’ve never concentrated on toning my body. I did do a bit of running and aerobics here and there over the years but nothing lasted for more than four months; and one-day-workshops don’t count. My thighs and biceps looked normal only because of the delicate flab underneath the skin.
I tried the dance watching YouTube videos prior to this and it did not seem very easy. Added to that, I always needed company to push me, which wasn’t always available, to dance or exercise. So, finally in the belly dance demo class, I realised that I was relatively stiff but not bad. I observed the other attendees and found a few familiar faces there that weren’t sure of continuing with the course due to various reasons. Right then, I made up my mind to join the class nevertheless.
I found a number of things I loved about belly dancing:
1. Something new.
I remember I always loved reading all my new English textbook stories once we got the books home. Similarly, as I love dancing, my new class was something I wouldn’t miss for anything or anyone. The timings affected my little one’s lunch and nap time but we adjusted and compromised with a few things on those two days every week. Also, belly dance belts are suddenly very striking and so I own quite a few different types already.
2. Flexible body.
Belly dancing is a lovely dance and an amazing way to exercise. Do it correctly under a certified instructor and you will know what I mean. If I wasn’t pregnant at the moment, I would be practising the arm and chest movements and the Figure Eights just to keep myself flexible until the next level begins.
3. Toned biceps.
After my delivery and subsequent feeding, my upper arms grew like I was in competition with my husband who is broad built. I hated every photograph that exposed them. I had to change my wardrobe if I needed to hide them but now I didn’t have to anymore. I was proud of myself.
4. Strong thighs.
The warm up exercises and the toe taping moves helped strengthen my generally weak thighs. And yes, hours and weeks of belly dancing helped too. No pain, no gain goes with this too.
5. Sexy abs.
I slimmed down with the healthy eating but the almost-hour-glass figure showed only during the end of level one. I could wear my pre-pregnancy outfits and look twenty again. The compliments I received were exhilarating.
6. Independent dancer.
In the past, I’ve always had to wait for boys to accompany me to a class of bachata, salsa or jive. Even if I attended without a partner, I needed boys to practise with as I couldn’t do thecha-cha-cha or foxtrot alone. It was, to an extent, annoying. Here, I was a belly dancer all by myself without having to depend on anyone else to practise. I could practise the chest and hip movements even while cooking or washing the dishes. It’s funny when you imagine it, but it also makes boring chores fun.
7. Reduced by few more inches.
Each and every one of us in class noticed that our clothes were loosening up quite a bit. Do I need to say more? Happiness beamed on our faces.
People who dance often are happier and hotter. My mates and I now love life even more than before and know our self-worth. Some of my comrades are from the conservative clans, but they have opened up their minds and joined a dance course not everyone is comfortable with, here in India. Although, we are all different from each other, our love for the dance has brought us closer with confidence.
Belly dance, originally a solo Middle-Eastern dance, allows the strengthening of your muscles in a gentle way. My sudden baby bump forced me to read several articles on the dance during pregnancy and to my good fortune, it confirmed that this dance helps women to have a normal delivery and for calming the pelvic and abdomen muscles thereafter. In any case, before you take a decision, follow your gynaecologist and your dance instructor’s advice and above all, listen to your body. #WomanInMe
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