Studio Spotlight - Tamar Sparkles
What is belly dance?
Belly dance is believed to be the oldest form of dance, having roots in ancient cultures such as Jordan and India from 3000 to 6000 years ago. First of all it was a fertility dance and danced only by women for women during pregnancy, births, and preparing girls for womanhood. Belly dancing has been revered as a spiritual dance. Dancing with bare feet to be connected to the women's body, and Mother Earth. Above all, the dance itself is an expressive dance. It is natural for a women's bone and muscle structure with undulations, the body isolation of muscle groups and flow of movement.
Who introduced belly dancing to you?
My good friends Lara and Laurie introduced it to me whilst at a Hafla (Arabic for Party). I enjoyed watching various performances and joined in at the end! It was there that I learned I could do some of the moves of belly dance. My friends encouraged me to go to class to learn more, which I did immediately!
How has belly dancing improved your life?
Belly dancing has completely changed my life. I was bullied at a young age at school, and going to belly dance classes changed the way I saw myself and the world. It gave me confidence I never knew I had.
Furthermore, I didn't just start learning a new dance, I started learning a new language, new music, new culture, made friends and opened up my social life.
What can belly dancing do for others?
Belly dance is extremely good for your mental and physical health. It's a fun way to keep fit, a great to way to lose weight and strengthen core muscles. It promotes suppleness, good posture, better digestion along with encouraging a healthy diet. Its good for back and joint pain and prevents osteoporosis and strengthen bones.
As a result, it helps to release stress, encourages body confidence and self esteem.
Belly dance can be what you want it to be. You can do it for fitness, fun, to meet people, but you can also immerse yourself into the exotic and fascinating history and anthropology behind it. Music can influence society and society can influence music.
Lastly, what are your top 3 belly dancing songs to get you moving?
Luxor Baladna (Saidi) by Upper Egypt Ensemble
Egyptic by Beats Antique
Two Gypsies by Solace