Some believe belly dancing requires colorful costumes, a shapely and thin body, and traditional Middle Eastern music. For decades, this was the norm. Not anymore with gothic and tribal belly dance. These dance styles incorporate darker music and clothing while still keeping the snake arms, hip rolls, and chest isolations so admired in traditional belly dancing.
Bellydance for the Beautiful Freaks (5 out of 5)
Tempest, instructor and featured dancer in Bellydance for the Beautiful Freaks, was my first ever belly dance instructor – all from the privacy of my living room. I’ve always wanted to dance but until recently, felt my body size excluded me. Tempest is sleek, but makes a point of saying that anyone who wants to can learn her moves.
I really like her style of teaching, and found myself catching on right away. In addition, she does an excellent job of giving cues. The music is phenomenal, and includes the beats of gothic artists such as Jill Tracy and Collide. Tempest also includes some flamenco-inspired moves in Bellydance for the Beautiful Freaks, making this a true fusion winner.
Contemporary Bellydance and Yoga Conditioning With Ariellah (5 out of 5)
Ariellah is another stunning performer, who I first saw on some performance-oriented gothic belly dance videos. Contemporary Bellydance and Yoga Conditioning With Ariellah combines my two major fitness loves – yoga and bellydancing in a somewhat challenging, but still manageable for most people, DVD.
There are three sections of yoga warm-ups, which sometimes I use alone, and about an hour and 15 minutes of belly dancing drills and moves. In addition, there are also some of Ariellah’s performances on this video and the darkly vibrant music of bands such as Lumin and Solace. This is another winner, especially for those who are also interested in yoga.
Keep in mind that to learn how to dance, you should devote at least an hour a week and repeat the steps multiple times until you are very familiar with them. The recommendations and reviews of this article do not constitute medical advice.