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Narah ~ Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Performer and Instructor

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Frequently Asked Questions about Bellydance

  1. How long will it take before I “get good” or can “really dance”?  <<Click here>>
    • This depends on the individual.  Factors that help you learn more quickly include:
    • regular practice outside of class
    • previous dance experience
    • flexibility
    • endurance
    • strength
    • good motor planning
    • and motivation.
    • Just like any other movement pattern, you have to practice what you learn in class in order to improve. Take your teachers suggestions and actually apply them and you will progress at a much faster rate than if you just come to class once a week. I suggest practicing a  minimum of 15 minutes a day (more is always better in this case; break it down into increments throughout the day if you have to) on technique, taking advantage of any extracurricular activities (go to video night, see performances, attend haflas), taking advantage of any of your teachers’ classes throughout the week that you are qualified to take, and stretching, strengthening and cardiovascular exercises. Having a nice practice costume helps you get in the right mood for practicing too.  See my Bellydance Practice Recommendations for more information.

  2. Do you have to be a certain body “type” or age to bellydance?  <<Click here>>

    • I have heard that people think you have to have a big belly to dance and I have also heard that you have to look like today’s version of the supermodel.  Neither of these are true: This dance serves as a source of joy for people of all shapes, sizes and ages. There are certain elements of physics that come into play in which height is involved, but you do not have to be a certain height, size or shape to execute bellydance movements.
  3. Was this dance created to entertain, or please, the sultans?  <<Click here>>
    • I have to say that this is one of the most ludicrous things I have heard. The dance originated in fertility rituals that celebrated the virility of people, the rivers, and the earth. It evolved into secular entertainment, but retained it’s fertility roots. Even in modern times, the dance is used to sooth Moroccan women in labor, and is taught to young girls in many regions to prepare their muscles for childbirth.
  4. Is this dance only danced by women?  <<Click here>>
    • While often the dance is performed by women, many male dancers have learned this dance quite well and blended wonderfully into the bellydance community. Historically, men danced as well.
  5. Is the cabaret costume, or "the bra and skirt combination" what bellydancers are “supposed” to wear and is it the most authentic?  <<Click here>>

    • While it is what is most commonly thought of first when someone says “bellydancer”, the bra and skirt combination was a Hollywood creation which came about in the 1920’s and 1930’s. It was the result of the fantasy movie creators had about the Middle East. Currently in the Middle East, this is the most common costume worn by bellydancers, though it originated in the US. In some regions in the Middle East, bellydancers wear evening gowns or another version of a fully covering costume. In America, bellydancing has evolved into many forms and so has the costuming, so you will see many varieties of costumes (just look through this site and my links).
  6. Will it help me lose weight?  <<Click here>>
  7. How do I choose a dance name?  or How did you choose your dance name? <<Click here>>

    • This answer is going to be pretty short.  I was given my dance name, so I don't have experience in that department.  My advice would be to explore the meanings of names in Arabic, Turkish, etc and choose one that speaks to you.  Narah means "fire" and "bint" means "daughter of" in Arabic...


    Please also read these FAQ sites:


Aziza Sa'id

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