Bellydancing works the body in beautiful ways. This dance strengthens the abdominals, thighs, calves, arms, back, buttocks, and hips. Bellydancing increases body awareness and with practice, dancers are able to exercise hard to reach muscles, which can be difficult to tone via traditional exercise methods.

 

Additionally, bellydance improves posture, tones female reproductive organs, aids digestion, burns up to 300 cal/hour, increases energy, improves flexibility, boost confidence, release stress and more. Movement mimics how women bring children into the world. The dance even readies the stomach muscles for childbirth. The isolations of the hips target the abdominal muscles which help women strengthen their muscles to prepare for pregnancy and childbirth.

 

For thousands of years, bellydance thrived as a way women gather and enjoy and express divine feminine energy. This dance was never designed to seduce, but that is a nice fringe benefit 😊 if you choose.

Make no mistake about it, Bellydance is African dance. Like humanity, this diasporic dance was birthed deep within Mother Africa, traveled up to Egypt and Morocco and then spread around the world picking up variations and enhancement from each culture. Today, professional dancers perform at an artistic event, restaurants nightclubs, weddings, and other events. The ancient art of bellydance is still seen as an informal dance, one that people of all ages do for fun when with friends and family. The styles of bellydance continue to evolve a change in numerous ways.  It can be difficult to even determine what is and isn't "bellydance". This is a dance that you can learn to do for fun, entertainment, and fitness!

Bellydance does the body good…

Bellydance does the body good…

 

Bellydance is one of the most ancient forms of dance, passed down from generation to generation of women. Bellydance began as an African dance form that is beautiful, mesmerizing and HEALING.

 

This style of dance is taught in pairs and groups using improvisation and cues. Celebrate the ultimate feminine spirit and sisterhood through this exquisite dance!

What is

Bellydance?

What is

Bellydance?

 

The History of Bellydance​

Bellydancing is considered to be the oldest form of dance by many historical experts, and roots of the dance have been traced to Africa. Some anthropologists even argue that some of the pyramid builders in ancient Egypt were bellydancers! Traditionally bellydancing was always performed by women, for women. It was never a sexual display performed for men like many people believe. (Now – seduction is a fringe benefit 😊)  Bellydancing was performed during fertility and pre-marriage ceremonies. Women would gather and celebrate each other’s beauty, femininity, and stage in their life, such as entering womanhood.

The History of Bellydance​

The Spirituality of Bellydancing

For many dancers, bellydancing isn’t just a hobby or form of exercise. It is a spiritual experience and a moving meditation. In Indigenous cultures, a type of bellydance, is performed as a blessing ritual. This dance is performed by a dancer who tells a story of the four natural elements—earth, wind, fire, and water. The dancer blesses these elements and sends out good wishes to the audience with her movement. You too can put the ritual in your exercise with your positive intention for self and the world as you enjoy this beautiful art. 

The Spirituality of Bellydancing

 

Inspiration

"The dance is really when the dancer is no more. If the dancer is still there then it is not a creative act, then it is at the most a skill. The technician is there but not the dancer – one who knows how to dance is there but not the dancer. Because the dancer knows nothing; the dancer remains in a state of not knowing. She forgets all her skill, she forgets all the techniques that she has learned she forgets herself, she is utterly lost. She is in the hands of the Goddess. She cannot even say ’I am dancing’ – she can only say ’Goddess has taken possession of me, I am possessed. Goddess is dancing in me. I am the field where Goddess is dancing, I am the hollow bamboo and Goddess is singing. She has made a flute of me." 

 

~ from Osho (adapted by mystical shaktihood)

 

Inspiration

 

What is Afro-Caribbean Bellydance?

This belly-licious dance is a blend of what is now known as traditional bellydance, African, and Caribbean-styled dance, As taught to us by Dr. Sunyatta Amen.  Our dance is a moving meditation, a healing salve to the soul. It opens energy channels so prana (chi) flows freely and keeps us young. It brings vitality to our physical bodies and when revered as sacred, it teaches us how to spiritualize matter... it becomes a manifestation of the Divine in action. Shimmy up joy from your soul and have fun swaying your hips while working up a sweat! The groove is energized and celebrates everything about divine YOU.

What is Afro-Caribbean Bellydance?

 

Dr. Sunyattta Amen ~

The Mothership:

Sunyatta Amen is a 5th generation herbalist and natural lifestyle expert with a mission to teach the world to live a natural, sexy life.


Hailing from a family of traditional healers, she shares her knowledge of health through the ancient art forms of herbal medicine, belly dance, yoga, vegan cooking classes, and her signature Sexual Tai Chi workshops. Sunyatta travels extensively teaching ancient exercises crafted to revitalize the body’s core and reproductive system.


Sunyatta has helped thousands of women resolve weight issues and womb issues such as fibroids, cysts, long menstrual cycles, and infertility. Her holistic approach to men’s health issues and sexual dysfunction is unparalleled with optimal health solutions.


Her signature classes include Bellydance Bootcamp, Womb Yoga, Sexual Tai Chi, Funk Soul Yoga, and Bellydance-Dancehall Fusion. She also teaches a cooking class favorite called Kama Sutra Kitchen.

Today, Sunyatta serves as Lead Herbalist and Tea Mistress at Calabash:  Teas & Tonics.
All of the original members of Soulful Hips and Got Moor Hips have trained with Dr. Amen for 5+ years and completed The BOCA Bellydance Teacher Training Certificate.

"The BODY is our temple... The FOOD/BREATH/MOVEMENT/SEX are our prayers" ~Sunyatta
 

Dr. Sunyattta Amen ~

The Mothership:

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About

Bellydancers of Color Collective (BOCC) 

Bellydancers of Color Collective (BOCC) was founded in 2017 by Adina Gittens-Smith and Leila Rosado Nelson to celebrate and restore the dance lineage of bellydancers throughout the diaspora of African people—to connect and honor the artistic human experience, strength and beauty of people of color through the art of bellydance, drum, and other traditional dance forms. We believe in shaping the lives of people through dance, especially helping women embrace and love all of who they are—physically, mentally and spiritually.

Bellydancing is considered to be the oldest form of dance by many historical experts, and roots of the dance have been traced to Africa. BOCC seeks to collaborate and connect dancers of color throughout the world – shifting the story of the dance and connecting back to its source.

Traditionally, bellydancing was always performed by women, for women. It was never a sexual display performed for men like many people believe. In fact, in most cases, the presence of men was not permitted. (Now – seduction is a fringe benefit 😊!)  Bellydancing was performed during fertility and pre-marriage ceremonies. Women would gather and celebrate each other’s beauty, femininity, and stage in life, such as entering womanhood or preparing for marriage.

In 2004, Adina and Leila were introduced to the sacred art of bellydance in Washington, DC at Mamasitas Dance & Wellness Studio. At a young age, both had fallen in love with the beauty of dance, and both felt an immediate connection to the art of bellydance and the people they met at Mamasitas. Under the tutelage of Dr. Sunyatta Amen and Sharhira Jones, they fully embraced the joy, passion, technique, acceptance, and feminine power of Afro-Caribbean Fusion bellydance. Adina and Leila were certified in Bellydance Instruction in 2014 by Dr. Sunyatta Amen.

 

BOCC specializes in Afro-Caribbean Fusion Bellydancing classes, events, and performances. All levels of dancers are welcome! BOCC believes dance is a moving meditation, a healing salve to the soul that opens energy channels so prana flows freely and keeps us young. We believe bellydancing brings vitality to our physical bodies, and when revered as sacred, becomes a manifestation of the Divine in action. We teach you how to shimmy up joy from your soul and have fun swaying your hips while working up a sweat! Your inner girly goddess will enjoy the moves, passion and grace that celebrate all the goodness that comes with womanhood.

About 
Bellydancers of Color Collective