That’s right I am tackling all kinds of tough questions this month! I have been asked this question quite a few times by prospective students and what better place to put the answer than here on my blog? One of the many questions I get is, is there an ideal body type for bellydance? The short answer is no, there is not. But as you know, I’m not usually into short answers! The long answer is below.
In the commercial arena, yes there may be an ideal body type for bellydance. What I mean by that is what marketing and movies has said a bellydancer is “supposed” to look like. Perhaps we all have the same vision and perhaps not. This body type may not be able to execute all of the movements as I know them to be but it contains the “look” that is most easily commercialized. Does it have anything to do with the culture? Mostly not. Does it have anything to do with the dance itself? Maybe, if the stomach is bare, but it ends there.
Anyone can learn to bellydance. Will everyone master it? If they practice, yes! None of that has anything to do with the ideal body type. Will your body type prevent you from doing certain movements the way you want? Maybe. For example, I may think it’s super cool that a bellydancer can do a level change in two beats while articulating but I am not going to be able to make that happen. Why? Not because I can’t execute the articulations but because the dancer in the video doing it is about 5inches shorter than me and can get to the ground and back up a lot faster. See where I’m going with this? Your ability to master the dance has nothing to do with being a size 4 or a size 10. It has everything to do with your willingness to attend classes and workshops. With your willingness to practice everyday and allow yourself the time to learn.
So what is the “ideal body type” for bellydance? The ideal body for bellydance has a smile, joy for the dance and a willingness to learn.