Am I Too Fat/Skinny/Old to Belly Dance?

Many people think that there’s only one kind of “dancer’s body”: tall, skinny, and young. But unless you have serious mobility problems, you can almost certainly belly dance, no matter your shape, size, or age. Even so, some people don’t think they have “the right body” for belly dance.

Let’s take look at some of the most common worries:

But I’m Too Fat/Skinny to Dance!

Belly dance is show business, so dancers who are “conventionally attractive” do have an advantage in the professional arena.  However,  you’ll find dancers of ALL shapes and sizes in the non-professional belly dance community, even at the most advanced levels.  And even in the professional arena, you’ll find successful dancers of all shapes and sizes.

That’s one of the things I love best about belly dance.   It looks completely different, but equally good, on every woman’s body. So instead of forcing your body to meet some arbitrary “ideal”, you flatter it by choosing the movements and styling that look good on the body you have now.

  • If you carry fat on your belly, you’ll learn how that helps you do delicious shimies
  • If you have wide hips, you’ll discover how articulate your hipwork will look
  • If you think you’re too skinny to belly dance, you’ll learn muscle control techniques that help a slim figure move in a snakey, feminine way

Whether you’re tall or short, curvy or lanky, bite-sized or super-sized, you have the right body for belly dance!

But I’m Too Old to Dance!

Belly dance is low-impact, and much gentler on the body than many other dance forms. So while ballerinas often peak in their 20s, many belly dancers often continue performing into their 50s, and some go even longer. New York City dancer Morocco is in her 70s and still going strong – and that’s after a lifetime of the physical demands of professional performer.

If you want to perform professionally, an early start is helpful: most pros start studying belly dance in their late teens or early twenties. However, there are exceptions: a friend of mine took her first class at age 36, and still became a popular professional performer.

And it’s never too late to start belly dancing for fun; many women decide to study belly dance in their 60s, and some start much later.

With the exception of serious mobility problems, I can accommodate most physical limitations in class. Just be sure to let me know what they are, so I can help you modify the movements as needed. And remember: listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, stop and let me know right away.

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