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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Belly Dance for Body and Soul: Nahara teaches all levels of belly dance at Josie’s International School of Dance, in downtown Ossining

Aug 26, 2012 08:43PM ● By By Nahara


Beautiful, sensual, passionate and just plain fun, “belly dance” is actually an umbrella term ascribed to any pelvic-centered dance originating from North Africa, the Middle East or Turkey. How did this dance, whose vocabulary is dominated by hip movements, become “belly” dance? The theories abound, and it’s likely that none will ever be proven. Connoisseurs would agree on one thing, though: belly dance inspires and lifts the soul.

Of course, the exercise is an additional benefit, but it’s not the reason belly dance students and teachers go home each night with a smile on their face and an ancient rhythm in their head. It’s not just exercise, it’s art.

And it’s not just dance, it’s cultural dance. A serious student quickly discovers belly dance and its heritage are inseparable. Hence, non-native scholars across the globe soon find themselves playing foreign instruments, studying foreign languages, tasting foreign foods and traveling to foreign countries not to visit the tourist attractions, but to dance with famous dancers as well as everyday people.

In fact, the beauty of this dance is that it originated from everyday people, and it continues to be embraced by that set in its countries of origin as well as here in the United States. At its core, belly dance is a folk dance; that’s why classes are open to all ages and body types. It is a gentle form of exercise that allows you to connect body, soul and mind while making new friends and having some laughs.

In short, it is a dance that can enrich your life—and when it’s performed, it enriches the lives of others.

Veterinarian by day and belly dancer by night, Nahara teaches all levels of belly dance at Josie’s International School of Dance, located in the heart of downtown Ossining. She also performs for theatrical events as well as celebratory events such as baby showers, bridal showers, weddings and birthdays. Her dance repertoire includes Egyptian Raqs Sharqi (oriental), Egyptian Raqs Baladi (folkloric), American belly dance (sword, veil), and Tunisian and Moroccan dance, and she is available to teach workshops in any of those dance styles. For info, visit