Dekyong Sun from Elands talks us through the sensual side of Belly Dancing.
Most people today would associate belly dance with those beautiful young women, in frightfully expensive beaded and curvaceous costumes, performing in nightclubs and restaurants.
Excellent and beautiful performers, but the origin of belly dance, more correctly stated as Middle Eastern Dance, goes back through human history and evolved around desert campfires, market places, and the harems found most particularly in Turkey.
The dances of today have evolved from these origins to become a uniquely Western expression, allowing the strong individuals in our society to express their creativity through a series of techniques common to all. My own troupe, The Gypsy W.E.B. is eclectic and representative of the culture of the Manning Valley – and is community oriented.
I feel deeply passionate about belly dancing. It brings the joy of creativity, the joy of sharing passion with like minded women and the satisfaction all true teachers feel when their students ‘get’ what you are passing on and that light of passion ignites in their souls as well.
When a new student enters the world of belly dance, they recognise a deeply entrenched knowing in their souls. It’s as if we have all been there before – certainly our ancestors have. The rhythms of the Middle East are mesmeric, and the body just simply wants to move and feel the richness of our feminine heritage.
Belly dance is not a weight loss program. Rather, it works those internal organs, most particularly our feminine organs. It begins with our contact to the earth, moves through our legs to our hips and then through our spine to our breasts, our arms and our expressive facial features.
All of our body is involved, and it is therefore a wholistic approach to good health. We become conscious of our bodies in a joyous way.
I have lived in the Manning Valley for over 25 years and am currently teaching in Wingham, through my group The Gypsy W.E.B. (Wingham, Elands and Bobin). While teaching belly dance is not a great money spinner, I consider it a spiritual service and continue to teach, as I have done since the mid ‘90s.
I initiated the Mid North Coast Belly Dance festivals which were held over 4 years and which allowed over 120 women annually to express themselves in a myriad of ways.
I also am a member of the Manning Valley Performing Arts Inc., which brings to Wingham an annual costume ball, enjoyed by many. The organisers and performers all came together through the belly dance festivals.
If I weren’t a belly dancer, I would feel that life was empty. Even if I ceased to teach, I would continue to dance around my living room.
And, I would continue to evolve that feminine power within, that is so needed on our beautiful planet today. I always say, any woman, any age, any size, any style, can do belly dance. It’s a gift from the Divine Feminine; we only have to claim it.