Ashley Tolbert
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The Magical World of Bellydance

An Age Old Dance With a New World Twist

Longwood Company of Bellydance 

Sexy. Erotic. Sensual. These are some of the terms that come to mind when an average person thinks of belly dance (and it should NOT be). For someone that has actually learned and danced for over two years, I think of flowing, spectacular, and breathtaking

Just the sound of a coin belt sends a shiver down my spine and gives me a nostalgic feeling. I love the idea. I love the form. I love the freedom of what belly dance can give a person. Any person. I may not dance with a group anymore, but I sure as hell tear it up where ever I can. Work, home, stores—I don't care as long as I can move my hips.

Belly dance can be traced back all the way to Ancient Egypt, and back then it was mainly for sexual pleasure for men. It can be sensual if you would want it to be, but it all depends on how you project your dance. It is mostly used now to express how someone is feeling. Man or woman. It has been transformed into something magical that could take you to another world!

There are all types of different styles in the world of belly dance. There is traditional, tribal fusion, cabaret, and so many more. Each different style has its own type of costume that you should wear (technically). It's not limited to just that style of dance, but it should be kept within a good range. You don't want to be doing a traditional dance and have on neon colors with black light paint. Most dancers enjoy getting henna, which is like a temporary tattoo. It is used in many cultures, not just for dancing, but it is a way to decorate our bodies.

Along with the dances, everyone is encouraged to use props if they would like. Anything you could think of could be used as a prop, but there are some very popular ones. The main ones used are: veils, Isis wings, swords, and poi. It may take some time to master the use of these props, but always remember, DO NOT FIGHT THE PROP! IT WILL WIN. ALWAYS!

I fell in love the first time I saw someone perform belly dance. It was so mesmerizing, and I wanted to do what they did. The way they moved, the way they could just look at you and give you confidence, the way people looked up to them. I have a lot of fun dancing still, and I even make up my own dances! 

On top of all the amazingness of belly dance, it's even amazing exercise! It takes hard work and dedication to get each and every move correct, and that means you have to be able to stretch and bend (for the most part). If you can bend over and do simple stretches, then you can belly dance. No experience required!

So if you are trying to figure out a new workout routine and you hate the gym like I do, give belly dancing a try! You can look up all kinds of videos on YouTube that can teach you step by step! Even if you don't need to workout, do it anyway and learn about another culture! 

Rachel Brice is a very well known belly dancer, so make sure you look up her videos as well! If you are looking for music to dance to then you should look up Beats Antique! Their music is incredible!

Emerge yourself into another world completely different from your own and have fun! 


Sword

Amazing Costuming

Veils

Henna

Face veil

Bra Worn During Performance - Hand Crafted

Bra Worn During Performance - Hand Crafted

Bra Worn During Performance - Hand Crafted

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The Magical World of Bellydance
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