What is bellydance, you ask? Originating from the Middle East, it is both a folk dance as well as a performance art.
Depending on the style of the dance, which ranges from Egyptian, Turkish or Latino, the moves are described as playful and lively, or elegant, graceful and full of emotions. It is known to improve flexibility, as well as support spinal and abdominal muscles! On Saturday 3rd June, the Reading University Bellydance Society, consisting of a group of girls that have never belly danced before, took part in the Summer Spectacular showcase. It was the society’s first ever public performance, which was hugely exciting!
We started with just a couple of basic moves and within a few weeks we became dedicated to our routine, and individually we each fell in love with what we did. It was brilliant to be able to watch dancers of all abilities, and we felt privileged to have the opportunity to dance and showcase our hard work. As a society, we run weekly 1-hour sessions with the aid of professional teacher from a local bellydance school Santa Maria Academy. We teach both traditional and fusion bellydance moves and practice choreography to develop muscle memory.
All this is proceeded and ended with a yoga/Pilates style warm up and cool down. Apart from this being an amazing opportunity to learn or develop a new skill and make friends, we plan to take our members to a real bellydance show for inspiration and to see professionals in action! We will also be organising a variety of themed socials throughout the year; Egyptian style night, Halloween or a Christmas social to name a few.
Most importantly, we aim to perform at local shows such as the Snowflake Spectacular (Dec 2017) and Summer Spectacular (June 2018)! Lastly, we would just like to welcome and congratulate you on getting into Reading University, and hope to see many of you during Freshers Fair on 21st of September as well as our Taster Session on the 27th September at 8:15pm at the Great Hall at London Road Campus! We will be meeting outside Palmer Building to collect those unsure of where that is from 7:15 to make our way down by 8pm.
Shimmy love, Your committee xx
You can contact the Bellydancing society via their social media links:
Special thanks to Alice Channing and Agnieszka Katarzyna for the article.