I love trying new and different things. I have wanted to try a belly dancing class for quite a few years but a hectic schedule prevented participating in enrolling in a course. My girlfriend in Italy is an accomplished belly dancer and I loved watching her journey throughout the years. Recently, I said “enough is enough” and enrolled in a belly dance class taught by the uber amazing Hannah Nour.
There are so many benefits to learning bellydance. It is confidence-building, fun, and a great way to meet new people. Also, it is great cardio! Needless to say I was/am super excited (read: psyched to the max!) to attend her Introduction to Bellydance class. In preparation I watched a few bellydance videos online–so beautiful and inspiring.
Here are five tips for you before you attend your first bellydance class:
1. Go in with an open mind and heart – For most bellydance is out of the ordinary. It isn’t like a spin class or step class, where you can learn the moves quickly. Bellydance is an art and in an introduction class you aren’t going to emerge a professional but you will learn the basics and love every minute of it!
2. Smile, laugh, smile as you learn – I have learned in my experience with dance that even if you are smiling, your dance moves look better. If you look flustered and frustrated, your experience will suffer. Relax, However if you are smiling and more importantly having FUN while you are learning and concentrating, it will make all the difference.
3. It’s not all about your outfit – I hemmed and hawed for a half hour on what to wear when I finally settled on yoga pants, a black tank, and my hip scarf. Most instructors will tell you to wear loose, comfortable clothing. In the class there was a variety of everything but I do suggest wear something that makes you feel happy and sexy. For me, the hip scarf I purchased in Miami EONS ago did the trick for me. And yes bare feet are the norm but don’t stress about having a flawless pedicure–no one is staring at your feet!
4. Respect and listen to the instructor – Hannah told us the story of the bellydance class diva (we have those at the gym as well!). This woman wanted to do solos and was in her own world most of the time. Sure, you are there to let your star shine but you are there to learn from an expert.
5. Expect to be sore the next day! – I am in precent decent shape but the next day my abs and arms were a bit sore! My advice would be to stretch before class which I didn’t do because I was in a mad rush to get there. Hannah conducted a new warm up and warm down but I usually need an extra stretch. Next time I know!