Is This Middle Eastern Dance Class Really the New Zumba?


Ann-Sophie Fjelloe-Jensen

I’ve spotted belly dancing classes advertised everywhere of late, and while I hadn’t thought much of the Middle Eastern dance as a form of exercise, I was pretty intrigued.

It helps that Beyoncé and Shakira famously shook their hips in the music video for Beautiful Liar, and who can forget Bey’s famous abs belly dancing in the Baby Boy video? Perhaps it’s the Kylie Jenner effect that’s seen the rise in the trend: She has been posting multiple Snapchat videos of herself and a friend laughing and dancing captioned “Belly dancing practice!”

Even the NHS seem to be on board with the trend, adding a belly dancing tutorial to their online NHS Choices Fitness Studio hub. It’s pretty apparent that this dance style is having a real moment right now, so I decided to dive deeper into its origins and give it a go myself. Surely it can’t be that hard, can it? Keep scrolling to find out.