Any time a high-profile, sexy celeb reveals her AMAZING new workout, it's bound to be the next big thing. You know, a couple of months ago, it was "OMG, get in shape by doing Pilates, because Pippa does it! Just look at that bum!" This week, we're all supposed to try belly dancing, because Rihanna swears by it. In fact, a friend of hers told The Daily Mail that the pop singer loves belly dancing so much that she's been "getting all her dancers to join in. They've even had a few private Arabian-themed parties." And oooh, FYI, this means we'll see Rihanna do her best Shakira impression in her tour later this year!
Well, um ... the woman does make her living by dancing and singing. Why shouldn't she be adept at belly dancing?
And how should that mean that we "real women" would be good at it or enjoy it, too?
Sure, most of us are amateurs. We don't have that perfect, flat, 22-year-old belly of Rihanna's, so sure, it kinda feels like if we were to try belly dancing to get in shape, we might feel like we're total dorks.
Personally, I tried a dance class at a belly dancing studio not too long ago. It wasn't belly dancing; it was cardio striptease, but the teachers have the same sensibility for all of the classes. They encourage you to embrace your sexuality, your womanly "wiles," and use that to just move and have a good time, and before you know it, you're supposed to be burning calories without even knowing it! Haha.
The reality: I took a lot of dance classes when I was younger, and I love it as a way to get in shape over other activities that are too boring (treadmill) or athletic (any sport!) for me. So I guess I'm a bit more coordinated than some, but that doesn't mean I felt sexy or comfortable right away. I kept screwing up one particular move that everyone else seemed to get 1-2-3. And sure, with all the hip-movin' and booty-shakin' to WHAM! (oh yes), I felt kind of ... ridiculous. But over the course of the hour-long class, I got the hang of the routine our very fun and very very gay male instructor was teaching us and, afterward, had some serious endorphins coursing through my veins.
Given my experience, I don't think belly dancing as exercise or recreational fun should be reserved just for someone like Rihanna or Shakira -- even comedian Margaret Cho, who swears it got her in shape and helped her achieve peace with her body image issues. We can do it too, and certainly not look like goons, I swear! Honestly, I don't look or feel like a pop star most days of my life, but give me a chance, and I think I could give Rihanna a run for her belly shakin' money.
Would you try belly dancing as a workout?
Image via MikeARB/Flickr