There are thousands of webpages on the internet hailing the benefits of bellydance (also known as Middle Eastern or oriental dance). Most of them state an increase of self-esteem as one of them. But have you ever wondered why this is the case? What’s the way that bellydancing increases your-self esteem?
I have wondered it too, many times, and in this post I want to tell you what I have learnt based on my experience. Keep on reading!
1.- Dance halls are full of mirrors
Before dance, I was only ever taught to look in the mirror to criticise myself. I’m sure it was the same for you.
Learning dance in a typical dance room forces you to watch yourself in the mirror- they are full of them! Sooner or later you will have to do it, although at the beginning you may try to avoid it. When you get used to looking at yourself to improve and not to criticise, you’ll feel like magic has happened, and your worries about your image will disappear.
Well, not always. Bt I promise your ta with some practise you’ll get better at accepting and loving yourself.
2.- There are no limits
When you think you know your limits, your teacher comes and teaches you a new step, or encourages you to go further with the one you learnt the prior week.
One day, you realize that you have overcome that self-imposed barrier. What you believed to be your limits were imaginary. You can’t imagine how good is to free yourself from mental limitations until you experience it.
3.- Dancing makes you capable of anything
When you work to know your limits, you also discover just how much you are capable of. Knowing your capabilities is one of the main foundations of a solid self-esteem.
Once you feel able to do one step, it is much easier to feel able to do whatever you want.
4.- Dancing makes you brave
Do you think that you can’t do 5 turns in a straight line? Do you believe that you will never be able to do a backbend? If this is the case, you are wrong. Your problem is that you don’t dare. Your problem is the fear! When you realise that your limitations don’t really exist, you become invincible.
5.- Your body is yours.
This sentence seems obvious, but is not that obvious in terms of dance. In your first lessons you may feel that your body doesn’t move how you want it to, and you notice muscles that you haven’t ever used before. With some time, and especially practice, you will own your body. This has a lot of consequences, and fortunately all of them are good!
Try this, close your eyes for a while and imagine yourself as invincible, being able to do anything, without limits, owning your body, and enjoying your appearance. That thing that you are feeling right now is your self-esteem growing. Do you see now that dance improves your self-esteem?
Have I forgotten something?
I’m looking forward to reading in the comments about how your self-esteem improved when you started to dance.