Belly dance is a Western name for a style of dance developed in the Middle East and other Arabic-influenced areas. In Europe, it is sometimes called an oriental dance. Similarly, In Turkish it is referred to as oryantal dansi ("Dance of the East").
In the Arabic it is known as raqs sharqi ("eastern dance") or sometimes raqs baladi ("national" or "folk" dance). The term "raqs sharqi" may have originated in Egypt.
Historically, most of the dances associated with belly dance were performed with the sexes separated; men with men and women with women. Few depictions of mixed dancing exist. This practice ensured that a "good" woman would not be seen dancing by anyone but her husband, her close family, or her female friends.
Health and belly dancing
The benefits of belly dance are both mental and physical. Dancing provides a good cardio-vascular workout and helps increase both flexibility and strength, focusing on the torso or "core muscles", although it also builds leg strength. Many belly dance styles emphasize muscular "isolations", teaching the ability to move various muscles or muscle groups independently. Veil work can also build arm, shoulder, and general upper-body strength, and playing the zils can build strength and independence of the fingers. Belly dance is suitable for all ages and body types, and can be as physical as the participant chooses. As with starting any new exercise routine, people would be wise to consult their doctor before starting a belly dance regimen and to talk with the belly dance instructor to find out the level of difficulty in the classes. For many belly dancers, the practice offers mental health benefits including an improved sense of well-being, better body image and self-esteem, and the generally positive outlook that comes with regular, enjoyable exercise.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the practice of belly dancing may benefit women preparing for childbirth, as the movements strengthen and tone the pelvic floor muscles and the woman becomes more familiar with the way her muscles work. The hip-circling movements used in the dance may relieve some of the common discomforts of labor.
Belly dancing and weight loss
Besides being an art form, belly dancing has been adapted as a health program. Since it gives a complete cardiovascular workout and strengthens the abdominal muscles, it is gaining popularity among men and women who want to lose weight. An intense sixty-minute session may burn around 330 calories. Since one focus of belly dancing is to gain strength and flexibility in the abdomen, the dance form is said to be one of the quickest ways to achieve firmness and reduce the paunch.
Sasha has been teaching over 22 years, she started when she was a child, she learned from her Armenian Grandmother, she has taught in dance studios, schools, YMCA's colleges, and churchs, she has also had Her own dance company, her troop would perform forfund raising events, parties, weddings. Sasha has also danced in New York. Sasha teaches a variety of Mid Eastern, Armenian,Arabic, Egyptian, and Gypsy dances. Sasha teaches viel work, Sword dance, cane dance,fire dance, folk dance, zills and drums.
Beginners course $15 per lesson. (5 lessons in a month)
Advanced lessons $20 per class (5 lessons in a month)
Veil and instruments $20 per class (5 lessons in a month)