Asra - Winnipeg's Premier Middle Eastern Dance Artist
Frequently Asked Questions about Classes Do you have to be in good shape to bellydance? Well, like with anything physical, it helps to be reasonably fit.  One of the good things about bellydance, however, is that the basic movements are very natural to the body.  You do not have to be young, thin, or particularly strong or flexible to learn to bellydance.  In a typical class, you will find women (and possibly men) of all shapes, sizes, and ages. I have an injury/bad back/bad knees.  Can I still take this class? You should talk to your health care provider about starting any new activity, especially if you have an injury or chronic joint problem.  Generally, bellydance at the beginner level is low-impact and easy on the joints.  Asra is trained in teaching safe dance technique and any problem moves can usually be modified to make them safer for you.  As a guideline, if your health care provider would approve a yoga class or other low-impact exercise then Asra’s bellydance class should be fine for you. Please let Asra know if you have any health issues or injuries. Ohhhh, sexy!  That's really sexy, right? Some women take bellydance classes as a way to feel sexier or to dance for the man in their life.  If that’s you’re goal, then you will learn some dance moves that should fit the bill.  (I always say, what you do with the moves when you go home is none of my business!).  What you will find, though, is that there is alot more to this dance than some cheesy Hollywood misconception. Bellydance is not about being seductive, it's about interpreting the mood and feeling of the music with your movements, which is the basic idea of any dance, really.  Bellydance is more often joyful, playful, cute, passionate, dramatic, funny, sweet, or sad, etc. In the Middle East, where this beautiful dance form was born, bellydancing was not invented as a seduction technique and was seldom done in front of the opposite sex until relatively recently.  Women danced for each other as a way to socialize, and men danced seperately.  The moves for both sexes come from the same folk dances, and are very similar.  If you ask someone who's been to a Middle Eastern night club they will tell you that the men do the same moves as the women! Do you have to show your belly? No, and many dancers choose not to.  There is a huge range of costume choices, allowing each dancer to wear what she feels best in and what is most flattering to her body type.  Costumes are chosen according to the type of music and dance performed, where the dancer will be performing, and what the dancer feels comfortable wearing. Does it take long to learn? It takes a lifetime to learn!  There are so many dance styles, moves, teachers, rhythms etc, you could never learn it all, and the more I learn about this dance, the less I feel I know.  The good thing is, you don't have to know everything.  Depending on the student and how much you practise, you could learn enough to do a simple but pretty dance in one beginner class, maybe 8 to 10 weeks.  Student recitals take place every spring and are a good place for beginning dancers to get a taste of performing without the pressure to dance perfectly.    
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