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:
(neck, shoulder, waist, abdomen, and pelvis)
The upper torso and spine lead and dominate the whole body.
(hands, wrist, elbows, fingers, and arm sockets)
There should be no limit to the control of the arms. It
is important to master control over the wrists and hands.
The wrist and every finger may be tensed, relaxed, flexed,
placed, circled and rippled.
III. FEET & LEGS
(toes, soles, heels, ankles, knees, thighs, and leg sockets)
In Eastern dance, the contact of the sole or heel with the ground
is highly expressive as is the circling of the ankle. The foot
can caress the earth, strike it, or spurn it.
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.