There are many women who belly dance for pure excersise and not for performance. "Oriental dance consists of natural movements that work with the body, not against it. In a most effective manner, the movements exercise and refine the entire physical body and its functions. The rolling and undulating moves gently work the muscles and joints in a full range of motion, at the same time, the movements massage away tensions," according to Atea. Sallamah Chimera, a Gainesville (Florida) belly dancing instructor, teaches 3 isolated movements:
Dance from the Heart show, Va.

Belly dancing requires training to strengthen the muscles so the body will move the way you want it to. According to Sallamah, this training firms up flesh, trims your figure and straightens your posture. Once the muscles are disciplined, the movements become graceful. According to Sallamah, these are the basics in training your muscles: First, ISOLATE the muscles so that each portion of the body can move independently. Second CONTRACT the muscles to give them control, strength and coordination. Finally, STRETCH every part of the body so you know each exists as a separate, though connected entity.

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