5 Things You Didn’t Know About Stretching for Belly Dance


Add Grace to Your Belly Dancing and Prevent Arthritis 


Everybody know how important it is to stretch before you belly dance to avoid injury and to increase flexibility. But stretching serves so many more purposes than this! Check out these 5 things you didn’t know about stretching.



1. Stretching is an instinctive activity performed by animals and humans. Both animals and humans tends to stretch after waking. Like yawning, watching another person stretch triggers responses to make you want to stretch. Give into that impulse to stretch, it’ll make you a better belly dancer.


2. Too lazy to warm us before stretching – get a massage! We all know never to stretch cold muscles, but do you always perform a quick warm-up before stretching (like 2 minutes of jumping jacks or running on the spot) before stretching? Massaging the muscles can help warm them up just like physical activity. And who doesn’t want a massage before belly dancing?  


3. It is thought that the best stretch for gaining flexibility is proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). With this technique, stretch the muscle in a relaxed manner for approximately 30 seconds, then flex the muscle for 8 – 15 seconds, then stretch it again. This will drastically improve your belly dancing.


Gillian stretches on the beach

Gillian stretches on the beach



4. Stretching can help prevent arthritis. Stretching produces synovial fluid lubricates the joints which in helps prevent arthritis. In fact, the stretching inherent in belly dance will ease and prevent arthritis. 


5. Stretching will make you graceful. Stretching stabilizes the body’s natural balance and posture, and aligns the joints leading to better coordination. This will make you less clumsy and add grace to your belly dancing!

Manon performs a side-stretch

Manon performs a side-stretch


Got a sore back? Wanna work on flexibility in your legs?  Check out the warm up section in these Shimmy Belly Dance episodes.


Back and spine: Episode One: Hips, Hops, and a Shimmy


Hips and Glutes: Episode Four: The Hippy Camel 


Legs: Episode Five: From Camp to Cabaret


Full Body: Episode Six: The Sultan’s Chest