cherry belly dance

There are many things I wish I had done while pregnant, and belly dancing just about tops the list. Starshine Burlesque’s Little Brooklyn sent us a video of her own pregnant belly dancing performance, and I took it upon myself to find a few more. Since they may not be the best things to watch at work, the videos are after the cut!

Starshine Burlesque — Little Brooklyn*

  • As pointed out, this video isn’t actually of belly dancing … ha. But it’s still a good one!

Pregnancy Celebration Belly Dance — Tribal Belly Dance

YouTube user hnnhvi‘s solo at Earthdance

YouTube user ullets84‘s belly dance — TWO DAYS before giving birth

There’s seriously a whole host of videos of pregnant women belly dancing on YouTube. Some are instructional, and others are just for fun. Either way, it’s a pretty awesome feat.

Comments on Belly dancing + pregnancy = awesome

  1. Squeeee. I love it. I have a video, but it’s a facebook video and I don’t think I can share it. I performed with my troup when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. I love belly dancing and had no problems keeping up with it through out my pregnancy.

    Of course, now that that the baby is outside of my body, I find I have much less time for dance.

    These videos are awesome. Thank you!!

    • Me too! I just recorded a video at 37 weeks. Belly dance has not just been possible during pregnancy–it’s been enormously therapeutic. I have been using a prenatal belly dance workout DVD and also just improvising to music I have.

      Belly dance strengthens muscles needed to give birth, so it helps both during and at the end of pregnancy.

  2. As a former bellydancer (I burned out and have a knee injury, so I am on hiatus for a while), I would definitely take it up again if I become pregnant (which is soon, I hope)!

    It’s a great, safe exercise when done properly, keeps your core strong and helps with balance and flexibility. It’s also full of good, positive female energy. And all of that is a plus!

  3. While I love the first video, it’s not belly dancing :)Not that it takes away from its artistic and entertaining merit though!

    Belly dancing, otherwise known as Raqs Sharqi in Arabic is a dance adapted for the stage from various folk dances of the Middle East including Egypt, Turkey, and Lebanon with its influence primarily from Egypt. There are many styles and modern western adaptations of belly dancing such as American Cabaret, American Tribal Style, and Tribal Fusion which draws on its influence of movements from the Middle East and other dances as well. The American Tribal style video you posted has influences from Flamenco, Romani, and Raqs Sharqi combined with group improvisation using cues to create a totally new dance form.

    For an interesting article on belly dancing and giving birth, check this article out that was written by a woman that visited a Berber tribe to witness a birthing ritual that had movements involved very similar to belly dancing:

    And some of my favorite pregnant belly dancing vids:

  4. Oh yeah! I’ve been bellydancing on and off for 10 years. The hubby and I are TTC, so I’ve picked a new teacher who, among other factors, teaches seminars on using bellydance during your pregnancy. I start with her this week. Can’t wait!

    If you think you’re the kind of person who would never bellydance – I have watched women slump into class over and over thinking this is bad news, and 6 weeks later they have a queen’s posture, are wearing belly-baring tops and bindis, smiling like mad. It’s good stuff. 🙂

  5. ok, ok, I’ll go back to class! I stopped class because they do a bunch of conditioning that isn’t appropriate for 3rd tri 🙁 also mya’s(figure 8s in plane with your hips) were feeling really really weird when the baby was smaller.

  6. Yay! I’m a bellydance teacher and performer and I gave birth to my son three weeks ago. My last performance was when I was around 33 weeks preggo (I’m still waiting to get a copy of the video though). I was still teaching for a few weeks after that but finally decided to sit down a bit more at the end of November 🙂

    I completely found that certain movements were incredibly useful during labour. My doula and I are long time friends from dance classes years ago and after delivery she told me that it was really fascinating to watch what hip movements I was pulling out from muscle memory (because it definitely wasn’t a conscious decision). Hip circles and figure eights definitely were the order of the day. Mayas would be damn near impossible with a head stuck halfway in the middle of your pelvis! :-O

  7. I belly danced through out my pregnancy. It was awesome! And it’s been great for postpartum workouts too! And my son goes to class with me, and he so at peace with the music. It’s awesome. He will just sit and watch (or sometimes walk around with the teacher because she loves holding him). Although I did find it a bit difficult in the end to belly dance, I managed to be bop through out my labor to various reggae. Dancing while pregnant, in general is beautiful. I wish I would have recorded myself!

  8. Beautiful pictures and videos! I’m not sure who said pregnant women can’t bellydance since the art form was created to teach women HOW to give birth! The movement of the hips and belly really helps open the body for delivery. Enjoy!!

  9. I’m going to have to be the wet blanket and say if you already do not bellydance, I would not recommend starting while pregnant.

    Just like with any other physical activity, if it is something your body is already used to doing, it’s usually not a problem. I’ve seen women who do power workouts everyday keep up their routine while pregnant, and have perfectly healthy babies.

    However, any physical activity you are not used to doing, it would be best to avoid until after the baby is born.

    Just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean it’s the green light to start jumping into new physical activities. If you don’t believe me, talk to your doctors. I asked my doctor about starting an exercise routine while pregnant, and he said although encouraged me to walk/etc., no physical activities my body was not used to doing on a regular basis. He wasn’t just referring to me, but to all pregnant women in general. Now is not the time to get experimental with your body.

    I’m not a stickler, really I’m not, and if you already bellydance, I feel you are perfectly fine. But if you feel now that you’re pregnant is the time to get in touch with your feminine-self through bellydance, it would best to wait until after lil bit is born.

    I think after a baby is born is a great time to learn bellydancing. I think it helps immensely with post-postpartum depression, because you have the benefits of a social group, and learning to feel sexy. It gives you that sense of “self” again (which many women tend to lose after having a child, especially if they have other small children already).

  10. I’m loving these videos! Especially the Earthdance. I do agree with Heidi, though. I don’t know from personal experience, but it does make sense that you shouldn’t experiment in this time. I’ve been sore and just plain exhausted from just an intermediate dance class. I’d hate to find out what it does if you learn while you’re pregnant!

    But knowing this, I’m definitely going to keep hoop dancing when I do get pregnant [I don’t belly dance as often as I used to]. Fun and definitely a great way to stay fit~ 🙂

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