Belly Dance for Weight Loss: Myth or Reality?

So you are doing your best to come back to normal (whatever that means), self isolating, or in quarantine and you are eating a bit -or a lot- more tan usual. On top of that, you don’t see yourself doing squats with an app. All you need is to stay active and positive, but how?

Keep yourself active bellydancing

weight loss bellydancing

We could argue whether bellydance will help you to stay in shape or not but what is true is that we need to keep our bodies active and our spirits happy.

And with this article I’d like to help you with both.

And by the end of this article you will be belly dancing and training your body with love and care. Deal?

How avoid gaining -too much- weight in the Covid-19 world: Bellydancing!

This is what you’ll find in this article: 

Free access to your first belly dance class

How bellydance can help you during the pandemia

I have already seen loads of offers for us to learn every-single-thing during these times of Covid-19.

I feel like, as an artist, I have something really valuable to share with humanity in this precise moment.

belly dance and self esteem

After all, we humans need some food for our souls, and a scape valve for our emotions in every possible way. This is the alchemy of dance.

  • Beauty
  • Stories
  • Music
  • Movement
  • Free expression
  • Joy

Arabic dance is a really effective way to keep you healthy and strong at every level.

At the minute, there are loads of people with all their life routines upside down, their life on hold, in shock or carrying on as best as they can.

You are not alone. I am also one of those and I’d like to dance by your side.

But I wouldn’t like for you to have an overload of information. An endless to do list. This situation is unusual and you are probably quite busy just coping with it.

This is why I have divided this article in little sections, so you can always come back to it whenever you want and take it were you left it. Save this article now in your browser, you don’t want to forget where you found it!

Arabic dance is not a magic wand but I’m sure it will help you out.

joy of bellydance

If you want to:

  • Connect with your joy
  • Keep your body weight stable
  • Express sadness or anguish
  • Raise your mood
  • Learn something new and different
  • Start one of those instagram challenges
  • o simply keep yourself entertained

Go on, keep on reading.

Before I continue, I’d like to clarify something. I wrote this article because it’s a very common thing amongst women to search ways to “improve” this or that part of our bodies.

It’s very likely that you are here because you’d like to loose some weight or get fit.

Well, I’d like to tell you that you are perfect as you are. Right. Now.

In my opinion, all marketing around dance or fitness classes, being those, kizomba, aerobic, Belly Dance, bollywood or anything else, should always be around one single thing:

the joy of dance.

my first steps in bellydance

Due to the current situation, I am teaching a mix of online and offline classes. You can join us even if we don’t live close by.

To book your face to face lesson click here.
To book your online lessons click here.

first steps belly dance

IMPORTANT NOTE: if you are enjoying this article, you’d love to watch the class I’ve prepared for you. Get your FREE ACCESS now. Click here. You’ll love it!

How many calories does belly dance burn?

I will give you the number because I know that’s what you want to get, but please, bear in mind that there’s more to get from belly dance than calorie burn.

In one hour of belly dancing you could burn up to 300 calories.

And now what? What’s the meaning of that? What value does that number have next to the trillion other benefits of belly dancing?

As you will figure out as soon as you start dancing, there are more important things than calories burnt. Getting obsessed with calorie counting could mean missing the rest..

Belly Dance and body shape, will it change?

Belly dance has got the potential to change your body, either if that’s what you are looking for or not.

Belly Dancing you will engage muscles that you don’t usually move, and this has an effect on how your body looks on the outside and how your body feels on the inside.

You can expect your waist to get thinner, your thighs to be stronger, your abs to be more visible and some generalized weight loss.

But all the above does not necessarily have to happen to you. There is only a guaranteed result: bellydancing will bring you all the joy.

happiness chemistry bellydance

And there are also some more nice side effects, just to mention two:

  • Increasing your good mood -serotonin and endorphins included.
  • New friends that will be with you for life.
first steps belly dance

IMPORTANT NOTE: if you are enjoying this article, you’d love to watch the class I’ve prepared for you. Get your FREE ACCESS now. Click here. You’ll love it!

Tone your waist with the Maya

When it comes to target your waist muscles, Maya is the movement that comes to my mind. So if working on your obliques is your objective, here you have my video tutorial.

⚠️ This movement is for intermediate dancers. If you wish to start from the beginning, I recommend you to join my online live classes clicking here.

2 movements for your Abs: Camel and Belly Roll 

The camel and the belly roll movements require a high level of coordination, apart from the use of your abdominal muscles.

The belly roll is focused only on your abs, while the camel also works on your spine muscles.

Here you have the video tutorials:

⚠️ This movement is for intermediate dancers. If you wish to start from the beginning, I recommend you to join my online live classes clicking here.

Shape your butt with the arabesque and hip drop

bellydance to shape your butt

Are you following the last trend and pursuing Kim Kardashian’s butt? Forget about it, because you can only have your own butt!

And you know what? Your bum has got the same use and is as good as hers! I’m not here to encourage anyone to follow any trend.

Jokes aside, what you CAN actually do is to work on your glutes, so they are stronger, toner and as a consequence, healthier.

Just a quick note: I explain this in the video as well anyway, but to get a very effective arabesque, you need to generate the movement from your glutes and not from your lower back. In technical language, I’d encourage you to work on the turn out.

In any case, it’s better done than perfect, and the internet has got its limitations, so here you have the two movements to work out your glutes.


With a well executed arabesque, you’ll work the gluteus maximus.

Hip Drop:

With the Hip Drop, you will work a bit more on the gluteus minimus and medius, on the sides of your hips. 

Tone your arms and back

We usually underestimate the power of a correct posture, and sometimes good posture is the bes ways to keep your muscles active and toned.

I would like to challenge you to learn the basic posture for arms and hands, and keep it for a while:

And if that is not enough and you would like to get some more artistry, here you have one of the best tricks to move your hands as a pro.

What type of exercise is belly dance?

bellydance endurance exercise

Like swimming, walking or aqua aerobics, belly dance is a mild aerobic exercise (endurance).

bellydance cardio

This means: belly dancing increases your heart rate, activates your blood circulation and speeds up your breath, but there is no need for sudden movements or jumps.

doctors recommend bellydance

Mild cardio training is one of the most recommended by specialists, and it has got a really low risk of injury.

Arabic dance is gentle with your joints and adapts to your fitness level, so, you can dance as a way to start getting fit and you can also dance if you are a complete athlete, because you will always find a challenge for you.

But don’t get this wrong, belly dancing will make you sweat. I end up most of my classes all sweaty, so my students do!. And you can sweat with me in Online Live Classes.

There is no magic wand for weight loss, but belly dance can help

I absolutely refuse to sell you the idea of losing weight just practising belly dance.

If you are here looking for the magic wand, I am sorry, I don’t have it. What you will find in belly dance is even better.

Weight loss is the consequence of a very deep and wide internal process. In this process, dance can play a role – an important role, in fact, but it’s only one of the factors.

embrace yourself bellydancing

As my friend Maricarmen Grisolía from says:

“In order to lose weight, what you eat is the main thing, responsible of more than 70% of the result in your process. But our relationship with food and with ourselves, it’s at the end of the day what determines what we eat. This is why dancing, apart from being a physical activity -which is important- can also contribute to your weight loss, helping you feeling better in your body and improving your mood, which will reduce your tendency to eat due to anxiety and stress.”

Your motivation, self-esteem and well being are part of any weight loss attempt, and bellydance could bring you this.

first steps belly dance

IMPORTANT NOTE: if you are enjoying this article, you’d love to watch the class I’ve prepared for you. Get your FREE ACCESS now. Click here. You’ll love it!

Why dancing to lose weight is the worst you can do: my story

My life story is the story of a war against my body. A story that has fed my anxiety, toxic thoughts and low self-esteem. It’s a story of self hate and I’m going to condense it in a few lines for you.

anxiety and bellydancing

I was severely bullied at school between my 7th and my 14th years. I grew up without friends thanks to my physical appearance, just because someone decided that my aspect was not appropriate. I was called cow and fat with all the hate, even at my house.

Rolls of fat, big tummy, cellulite, double chin. Everything in my body was disgusting to the people who were supposed to love me.

How the hell could I learnt to love myself if I didn’t even know what love was?

Sadly, love and social inclusion are conditional for many. One of those conditions is your aspect.

Belly dance came to my life to save me from this nightmare when I was 18. I started dancing in a way that felt very natural, it was all easy. I connected with my body on a way that I could have never imagined.

And I started being praised for my dancing. And I started learning to praise and give value to myself for my dancing.

And I am still on my way to love me just because I exist.

And I started giving value to my body for many other things as well: it’s strength, it’s coordination, it’s good memory. And being fat or not was not that important anymore.

The effect that childhood suffering had on me is still living with me, and it will probably stay with me for life. But I now have got Ms. Dance to remind me that my value is way superior that a number on a scale.

And belly dance is continuously giving me a way to express everything I have inside which is a lot. A lot.

I have been told many times that I am a source of inspiration. As I also have heard “I don’t have a dancer’s body“.

Not that bad overall.

I reckon that I inspire people as other people inspire me. You probably know Lizzo already, she is one of those inspirational ones.

I have not told you that at one point I reached 100Kg, and that I lost 30Kg of those with the only help of dance and my own willing. Nowadays I don’t have any idea on how much I weight, but I don’t care, because my worth -and yours- is way over that number on the scale.

Our humanity is way above a number on a scale.

bellydancing humanity

Bellydance has provided me with much more than a beautiful and desirable body. Bellydance has given me self esteem, confidence, friends, creativity, freedom, health and joy. A lot of joy.

And that is what I like to share most. The joy of  belly dancing.

Why did I named my project Dance Pandemic?

First of all you need to know that is my original and main project.

This very website and project,, was created and kindly passed on to me by the amazing Charlotte Deshorger, who is know focused or her online membership, Undeniables Online, and mentorship, Undeniables Elite along with Aziza from Montreal.

And after this short clarification, let me tell you about the origins of the name, DancePandemic.

In Strasbourg, July 1518, a lady named Fray Troffea started dancing and could no stop. At least this is what wikipedia tells us.

A few centuries afterwards, in 2016, I was walking in Camden Town (London) and I found a book which was all about these dancing plague: “A time to dance, a time to die” by John Waller.

I love an irony and, saving the differences (what happened in Strasbourg was a tragedy) I felt that I needed to call my project DancePandemic.

I thought a lot about the name. I considered the chance of giving people a negative feeling around my brand, and I was just about using my own name, Zahida Palma, instead.

But in the end, my heart told me what she’s always telling me, that life is a joke and that’s how we have to take it.

I am committed to stay strong and healthy and therefore, be able to help others in their personal trip on this historical moment, and on this crazy life.

In these times, I believe it’s more important than ever to spread a Dance Pandemic.Would you help me to spread a DANCE pandemic? Here is what you can do:

bellydance classes croydon

Join our Face to Face Classes in Central Croydon

Every Tuesday in the heart of Central Croydon

Beginners 6pm-7pm
A fun class teaching you the foundation moves of bellydance. Perfect for absolute beginners.

Intermediates 7pm-8pm
Once you’ve mastered the basics you can move on to the intermediate class where we master more challenging moves, learn props and different styles and enjoy learning some great choreographies.

Class Venue:
Project B
3 to 7 Middle Street

Middle Street is first on the left down Crown Hill, near to Primark. There is a Kentucky Fried Chicken shop on the corner

Access to your first belly dance class FOR FREE

your first steps in bellydance

If you have enjoyed this article and you have enjoyed following me in the videos, I’m sure you will be interested in the free full belly dance class I’ve prepared for you.

To get into the class, all you have to do is to fill out the form below – or any of the forms in dance pandemic and confirm your subscription in the email that you will get.

In a few minutes you will get the link to the class. Straight to you inbox.

If you have found this article interesting, I’d like to ask you a favour:

  • Share it! with those friends you know will enjoy, or in your Social Media.
  • Leave a comment! I love a comment and I always reply.
  • Add this page to your browser’s favourites, so you can come back to it whenever you want.

Thank you very much for having chosen I hope to see you soon again!

Start Bellydancing from scratch with my program

Bellydance With The Moon: 29 Days to Start Bellydancing

Icons made by Vitaly Gorbachev and Freepik from

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