Where to learn, do and see Belly Dancing in Brisbane
Belly dancing is a combination of exercise, artistic expression and culture, and provides a great social form of fitness for women of all shapes and sizes. There are lots of places around Brisbane where you can join classes and see performances.
For thousands of years, women in the Middle East have come together to dance, whether it is events and gatherings, or just in the home as a way to keep fit. This vast array of folk traditions have become known in English as belly dancing, a name that is not particularly flattering or meaningful, and some places prefer to use the term Middle Eastern dance.
Belly dance combines beauty, expression, culture and fitness
Belly dancings popularity comes and goes, depending on trends and media representation. It was glamorised in classic Hollywood movies and had a resurgence in Australia in the 1990s and the community remains strong in Brisbane.
Benefits of Belly Dancing
To put it simply, for many women, Belly Dancing is one of the most intense workouts that they can do. It is also something that is more than just going to the gym and doing repetitive exercises. It is about an expression of self through the body, participation in a community and learning control along with power. All this stands on a rich tradition that spans many cultures.
There are belly dance courses all around Brisbane. Beginner classes usually welcome all levels of fitness. For experienced dancers, there are a range classes as well as one-off workshops. Brisbane Bellydance helps you find classes, performances as well as gives contact details to book belly dance performers for your event or venue.
Layali Amera is one of the key belly dance teachers in Australia
Opalesque Dance based in Woolloongabba takes a fusion approach to belly dancing, adding elements from sources as diverse as Indian dance and flamenco, and uses both modern and traditional musical accompaniments. Check out their free trial classes for beginners or for more advanced dancers you can sign up for the intermediate classes. Miramar Middle Eastern Dance runs a range of belly dance workshops at various locations around Brisbane, including in the parks. Check out their Facebook page for upcoming events. Academy of Middle Eastern Dance runs classes in Carseldine, Sunnybank and Stafford, with classes planned for Karana Downs. LINK=https://www.facebook.com/tribalmedicinestudies/]Tribal Medicine Studies[/LINK] runs workshops on a range of traditional and holistic medical practices. This includes healing through dance. The focus is usually on fusion belly dance courses.
Belly Dance Performances
If you are interested in watching belly dance performances, there are also plenty of opportunities to see a range of shows. Often performances can be a good time to see what belly dance can be about, as well as see and meet a potential teacher.
Brisbane Bellydance has information on various belly dance events. Generally, the easiest place to see belly dancers in action are in restaurants. Ahmet's in South Bank has the reputation as the premium Turkish restaurant in Brisbane and they have a live belly dancer on Friday and Saturday nights. Also in South Bank and featuring belly dancers on Friday and Saturdays is Mado Turkish Restaurant. This out of the way Turkish restaurant has become popular due to its growing reputation.
In the Northern Suburbs, head to Sultan's in Boondall for great Turkish food and performances on Friday and Saturday evenings. Mecca Bah with locations in Newstead and the Gold Coast serves middle eastern food and features belly dancers on Friday nights.
All photos were taken at the Layali Amera Dinner and Show which the author attended as a guest of Bellydance Brisbane