Oriental dance is created for women who are coming to learn this dance style for the very first time and want to learn the fun, beautiful and feminine art of Middle Eastern dance.
What is Step and Twist?
Step and Twist is primarily a torso-driven dance, with an emphasis on articulations of the hips.[This structured and easy to follow class is perfect for students to get to know the basics of Oriental dance. Each week, a new movement is introduced and drilled, building on and incorporating elements from the prior weeks. Particular focus is given to developing correct posture alignment, flexibility, arm movements, fundamental shimmies, basic hip accents, introductory undulations, easy to follow travelling steps and combinations.
The graceful hip drops, rolls, and pivots of this dance form utilize muscle groups in the abdomen, pelvis, trunk, spine, and neck, working with the body instead of against it. Oriental dance is based on movements that come naturally to the female form. There is a wealth of health benefits awaiting those who practice this form of dance.
1. IMPROVED POSTURE AND MUSCLE TONING: Our spinal column contains more bones and ligaments than any other part of the body. Its 33 vertebrae are stacked together in a column joined together by cartilage and ligaments, and almost every movement of the torso depends upon its flexibility and function. Muscle groups that attach to the ligaments and vertebrae create movement in the trunk and pelvis areas. Oriental dance tones these muscles and maintains flexibility in a safe and effective manner.
2. STRONG ARMS: Arms and Shoulders are exercised when doing lifts, circles, or the rippling motions of snake arms, toning muscle. This toning effect is often evident early on, since holding the arms aloft are an important element of the dance, even for beginners.
3. STRONG BONES: Because a woman is on her feet, moving during the dance, it is considered a weight-bearing exercise. Weight-bearing exercise can prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones, and the overall toning can lead to an improved self-image, as the dancer becomes more balanced and poised. Oriental dance is considered a low-impact exercise, meaning the risk of injury is minimal when movements are done correctly.
4. WEIGHT LOSS: Oriental dance can burn up to 300 calories per hour.
5. PREPARATION FOR CHILD BIRTH: The movements of Oriental dance make an excellent prenatal exercise regimen that strengthens the muscles used during the childbirth process. The toned abdominal muscles and natural hip tucks, which are similar to the “pelvic rocking” taught during prenatal classes, teach the expectant mother how to move her pelvis. For women who desire natural childbirth, this form of exercise through dance, with its emphasis on muscle control not only facilitates natural childbirth, but also makes an excellent post-natal exercise that helps encourage abdominal tone.
6. STRESS REDUCTION: In this day and age of almost continuous stress, the subtle rhythms of raks sharki and the traditional movements are calming. The repetitive movements of the dance and the concentration needed to do them can help a mind filled with daily stress to “let go” for a while and relax.
7. BETTER DIGESTION: We move muscles of the abdominal and pelvis region which massages deeper internal organs. The result is better intestine and organ health.
8. EMOTIONAL BENEFITS: Dance is a well recognized form of psychotherapy used primarily for its ability to promote healthy body image, positive social interactions, and confidence. It is also a notable form of stress relief and management.
What to Wear
Oriental dance is done barefoot, so come in comfortable clothes with clean feet. Also, a coin skirt or scarf should be brought to wrap around your waist during class.
What to Expect
Expect to learn to love yourself and your body more in this fun class. No Oriental dance experience necessary and beginners are very welcome to join! You will not only learn how to dance to all Middle Eastern music, but be the next dancing star at the next wedding you attend.
Class: Women only