Updated: Jun 9
by Nizana El Rassan
Many people have discovered that included in a variety of benefits of Middle Eastern Dance ("MED" known under a variety of names and styles such as Belly Dance) are health and well being related properties. These pertains to physical, mental and spiritual aspects, and you can benefit from all of them with these dance styles. We all know that movement, exercise, and stretching have attributes that contribute to strength and flexibility. Being physically active, such as through MED, increases blood circulation, improves stamina and contributes to good balance. Muscle memory is aided by repetition of dance movements, encouraging improvement in technique. Long term physical benefits of dance in the physical realm also include avoiding "use it or lose it" as you age.
Many dancers start dancing at a later age join long time dancers who find it extremely effective at staying active. Other dancers have come back from cancer, car accidents, difficult pregnancies and so on and it has been a lifesaver to them. It's a dance style you can start slowly at, do only what you're comfortable with doing and work your way towards better health and well being. Mental aspects of healing are also many. There is brain development and maintenance from remembering and practicing rhythms, technique and choreography. There are endorphins released in the body creating positive chemical releases to help make you feel happier. Camaraderie with other dancers and students of the dance is uplifting. Learning new things also promotes brain maintenance, whether study of the culture, music, costumes, history or the many different styles. Related to the belly dance world are other opportunities for healing such as through drumming or zilling. Others have found their peace and happiness through costuming, crafting, photography or writing. All of these activities can be very healing experiences; seeing the fruits of your labors is very rewarding. For example, as an instructor, seeing your students growth and progress is exciting and lifts my spirit! Nailing an improvisational performance and seeing your written work and photography published is exhilarating! Whether dancing or participating in MED and fusion off-shoots, the healing properties if this cultural art form is cross generational. It offers pretty much something for everyone, enhances your physical, mental and spiritual being. So what are you waiting for, let's dance!
Nizana has long been involved in Middle Eastern Dance as a performer, instructor, student, troupe director, choreographer, event producer, and competition judge. Nizana's articles and reviews have been published in seven Belly Dance magazines and newsletters including Fanoos! Having studied with a wide variety of instructors, in addition to performing Egyptian flavored American Style Belly Dance, Nizana dabbles in folkloric and fusion styles. She is known for her expressiveness and connection to the audience. Nizana is available for instruction and has workshops scheduled in Florida and Washington State.