Chappaqua Dancer Breaks Down Cultural Myths Of Belly Dancing

Local dancer describes her work as a Belly Dancer
Chappaqua Dancer Breaks Down Cultural Myths of Belly Dancing
Source - https://pixabay.com/en/girl-dancer-turk-belly-dance-red-733408/

Trained in modern dance, Gina Bergamini wanted to keep her studies up after completing school by taking dance classes a few nights a week. When one was cancelled, she decided to take a belly dancing course in its place. Offering her limitless potential for creativity, she grew into this cross cultural dance and has gone on to becoming both a performer and a teacher. Nonetheless, aware of the connotation that it can sometimes carry, she never told her parents what she was doing. They found out, though, when a commercial for one of her classes appeared on local cable in

Chappaqua. “Carol, come look at your daughter,” she says her father yelled up the stairs to her mother, but the reaction implied here is among the misconceptions that comes with the territory.

When Ms Begamini performs throughout Westchester or New York City, she generally appears in the belly dancing attire that caught on in America during the 1920’s but putting the belly in the dance isn’t really historically accurate. “Those that do perform,” she says, “it’s a choice whether you bare your mid drift or not.”

Of course, then in the continuing ed courses that she teaches in Chappaqua and Armonk, the same rules apply, but part of the appeal to many women as a fitness regimen is the traditional accessories that come with the costume. Veils, beads and coin belts that jingle, she says, “It brings out the willingness to play a little and you’re basically dressing up to exercise.”

Health aside, belly dancing – as she found out – takes on an infectious feeling that won’t go away. “They’ve been bitten by the bug,” she says, as cultural and artistic considerations morph out of the initial inclination to get fit.

In contrast again to a common misconception, women then seek out performances rather than seemingly being the sole domain of male desire. Having never encountered any problems


at private parties that are mostly for families, she says, It’s the wives and daughters that usually ask for the dancers.

Back in class, one’s belly has little to do with whether this low impact workout applies to them. I think it embraces all different ages, all different bodies and whatever your movement history or your fitness is, you can do this, she says.

That especially since belly dancing – unlike ballet – was built with a woman in mind. “Belly dancing is based on a woman’s body. It’s what our bodies can do so there’s that sense that this is about me,” she says.

In turn, you’ll end up with a nice limber spine and abdominals strengthened at the core. “You can be voluptuous but underneath you would have very strong abdominals,” she sys.

Following a pregnancy that could appeal to women hoping to tone up again, and at this point, even her parents have come around. Seeing firsthand the family orientated and artistic nature of performances – which are devoid of anything crass – they’ve now offer a critique of her work when in attendance. Why did you wear that outfit, how come you used that music, she says she hears – or in other words, they are very proud, she concluded.

More Westchester :

Yonkers #CharlesREX at @FAOS #New YorkPhilharmonic http://expertscolumn.com/content/new-york-philharmonics-charles-rex-fine-arts-orchestral-society-yonkers


My article originally appeared at :

westchesterguardian.com/6_28_12/wg_6_28_fin.pdf



Please login to comment on this post.
There are no comments yet.
Town Supervisor Assesses Somers And Nyseg In Wake Of Sandy
Somers, New York, Author Recalls 1959 High School Championship Baseball Team And Season