You might’ve seen from my rather enthusiastic tweets lately that I’ve signed up to a belly dance studio and started taking a few classes.
And can I just say- its amazing!
For the last few years, I’ve been wanting to have a go at it, because it always looks like such a sensual experience.
The way the women move their bodies is enchanting, and I’ve always thought it looks so empowering because women of all shapes and sizes look sexy and totally gorgeous whilst doing it!
So, I bravely took the plunge and signed up for a Groupon voucher for a place in North London.
3 classes for a tenner is a total bargain!
And I headed on over on a sunny Monday evening to seal my fate.
About belly dancing
Belly dance originates from the Middle East and is (traditionally) performed to Arabic music.
A dance for women and performed at celebrations or social gatherings, it involves isolating parts of the body to create undulating movements that are memorising to watch.
Many of us recognise the shimmies, the weaving fingers, the hip flicks, belly waves and heavily lined eyes of beautiful belly dancers from films (like James Bond below- naughty!).
Or popularised by the seductive Mata Hari, a spy during WW1:
I’d only ever really seen belly dancing on films, or once in a shisha bar, but I knew it was beautiful.
If you’ve ever met me, you’ll know I am SOOOO awkward and terrible at dancing!
I can’t follow a rhythm, I’ve got two left feet, literally 0 coordination- you name it, I’m it.
My experience with dance classes has always been willowy lycra-clad women swaying totally in time to the music, so you imagine my trepidation walking in to a dance class where I thought I was going to have to “look sexy” (eek!), follow instructions and try not to trip up others in the process.
(BTW- the last time I did a dance class it was the tango and I ended up crying because I felt like a giant next to my teeny partner and felt THE furthest away from sexy I’d ever felt).
So I rock up and imagine myself being kitted out in one of those spangly, musical shawls around the waist and hoping to god I wasn’t going to need to only wear my bra!
But imagine my surprise when I arrived to see women chatting, laughing, some wearing clothes straight from work and others wear baggy athletic wear. Not a spangly scarf or lycra twinkie in attendance!
And now, 8 classes in (and having signed up to take part in a Christmas show!) although I still look like Big Bird flapping around at the back of the studio (and I don’t think that will ever change) the impact it’s had on my own relationship to my body, my sexuality and my sense of self has been incredible.
Why it can help boost your sex drive
So I wanted to share with you 4 reasons why I think belly dance can help improve your sex drive:
You can have fun with belly dancing because it doesn’t involve serious, stick thin women barking orders. You can laugh, sing, shake and bend your body however you feel. No-one judges you, and there’s women of all different shapes, sizes and backgrounds.
It’s not vigorous exercise- instead of breaking a sweat, you’ll be practising how to wiggle your boobs up and down, shake your bottom and twirl your fingers like you’ve got an invisible maraca.
It’s about enjoying yourself and the moment, and not about “performing” in any way.
And having fun is a total antidote to stress, which is like a wrecking ball to the libido.
2. It creates a new relationship with your body
Our instructor explained right at the beginning of our class how women in the modern age often lack a sense of connection to their bodies. We spend our days living in our own heads, and the beauty of belly dance is that it forges a connection back between your mind and body.
Dance and using our bodies to communicate is one of the oldest forms of expression, and if we’re disconnected from our bodies, and especially from our pelvic/hip region (where as women, our power resides) it can leave us feeling deflated, empty, lost.
So belly dance counters this through creation, expression, and teaching you to trust your body so that if you just stop “thinking” and let it move, it’ll do so in ways you never imagined you could.
It feels SO liberating.
We did an exercise which I’d *really* recommend you to try to practise this.
Our instructor put on a track that was incredibly sensual- slow tribal drum beats- and asked us to close our eyes and just listen to our body about how it wanted to move. We were to start with slow sweeping hip movements, perhaps writing our name with our hips or drawing pictures, and then going from there, not thinking, just allowing our body to move.
For me, the first time I did it I felt SO uncomfortable– I didn’t want to shut my eyes and kept peeking- were other people laughing at me? What were they all doing? Was I doing it right?
But as time went on, the awkwardness subsided and we did the exercise again and again. And instead of peeking (mostly!), I went deep inside myself- imagining fires, the scent of sage burning, listening to my body and being constantly surprised of how it wanted to move. I felt this sense of femininity, sensuality and presence which I’d never felt before.
And it’s intoxicating!
3. It helps awaken your sexual/sensual side:
Because the music is incredibly sensual, the rhythmic drum beats conjure up images of deserts, mystery, fire and the exotic.
By moving your body in ways you may never have before, opening the pelvis and rocking the hips, this is supposed to release your sexual energy (oo-err). Belly dance activates these areas to open them up and help you become more conscious of them.
Whether you believe in things like chakra’s (and how the pelvic sacral chakra is blocked if you have low desire) this or not, moving the hips in this way creates a sense of sexual charge or energy that will help you begin to make your way back to feeling a sense of desire.
4. You begin to see yourself as a sexual being:
This is something I *never* (I repeat- NEVER) imagined would happen.
Maybe it’s because belly dance is so closely associated with the erotic in my mind that it’s natural to do so.
Or maybe it’s watching yourself in the mirror doing hip circles (badly, I might add) and thinking that you don’t look as horrendous as you imagined.
Or maybe it’s that sense of sailing back into your body and out of your own head, beginning to trust the way you move and tapping into this strange sense of being feminine.
But anyhow, pop the champagne and roll out the red carpet, because belly dancing will (if you stick at it) make you remember what it feels like to be sexual.
And that’s priceless.
So, belly dance may just have the power to get you laid. And, if your vagina has been feeling less bright eyed/bushy tailed and more like road kill, it might be just the thing you need 🙂
Do you feel inspired to take up belly dancing after this post?
I’d love to know.