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About Belly Dancing
Belly dance is the oldest known surviving dance form, estimated at over 3,000 years old. In ancient Middle East and Mediterranean cultures, it was not performed as entertainment. It was primarily a birthing preparation and ceremony; women would hone their muscles to prepare for pregnancy and childbirth. At the time of delivery, the feminine community would gather and dance to assist and celebrate the birth.
In belly dance, movements such as hip drops, circles, figure eights, and shimmies gently and repetitively move these joints and ligaments in the lower back and hips through their full range. In the process, these muscles are toned and flexibility is increased in a safe and effective manner.
Toned back and abdominal muscles improve your posture and help prevent back pain caused by the unnatural curving forward of the spine that occurs when muscle groups are weak. Even small, typically under-exercised muscle groups deep within the back are strengthened.
The muscles surrounding the hips, the largest joint in the body, are exercised during hip drops and figure eights. These moves enhance flexibility and suppleness and can lead to improved balance when walking as well. Arms and shoulders are exercised doing lifts, circles, and the rippling motions of snake arms. The prevalence of arm movements are such that their toning effects are often evident quickly, even to beginners.
In 2002 Alanna started teaching Belly Dance and formed her Troupe Shabaana. She has performed for the Cleveland Indians, and other well known celebrities along with numerous Art Festivals and special private events. She is the first Belly Dancer to teach on a college level in Ohio. She loves all styles of Middle Eastern Dance but would say the Turkish style is her favorite. Alanna has a very fun approach to teaching that makes everyone feel at ease.