As a Belly Dance teacher, I feel that any dance form is self empowering and provided you do it with all your heart, it finally leads you to self love and I say this from experience. What is self love? Self love, in my experience is loving and accepting yourself the way you are. It's not as easy as it sounds. Self love is a journey within, it is our growth as a human being. Self love is accepting, who you are as a person, and with all the traits, even the ones which you dislike. Self love is telling yourself I can do it, when everyone around you pulls you down.
The journey is difficult, but once you begin to understand it, it becomes interesting because self love will open up your life, it will lead you to a very happy space, where you will be happy irrespective of your circumstances and you wouldn't need validation from others. Self love will finally lead you to discovering yourself.
So how does belly dance lead to self love? When a student comes first time to the class, the question mostly is - do you think I can do this? They find the dance form difficult. Also they start comparing themselves to others. My answer is always - yes you can, but you must train your mind for it. This is how their journey starts. My thought here is that one should always give it a try and not get scared just because one thinks it's difficult. Belly Dance is an experience which leads you to tapping into your feminine energy and grace. Never judge yourself based on how others are doing. The idea is to just experience it and go at your own pace. Don't just treat it as a dance form, but as a form of expression. Let your body talk and you'll soon be doing things you never thought possible.
As a teacher, I always make sure that I start to sow the seed of healthy thinking. Healthy thinking is believing in yourself and taking it one step at a time. Not being harsh on yourself is also something I advocate. This is the first step to self love. Girls, if you want to do something and negative thoughts come into your head, don't fret. Just roll with the punches and don't let them stop you from doing anything. I promise you will win! - EK