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OU Belly Dancing Club

  Welcome to the Open University Belly Dancing Club

     For information on the Wednesday Bellydancing class and the Thursday Bellyfit class please see Membership and Classes

     Forgotten when or where your class is? Check out the Club Calendar.

     Are you interested in Bellydancing but not sure about what it entails?  View one of our class sessions here!



The Open University Belly Dancing club began in 2008 and was set up to promote the art of belly dancing within the Open University Community. The club offers a variety of lessons at various levels and is open to all.
Belly dancing has been a recognised art form for thousands of years. The origins of this dance form are actively debated among dance enthusiasts, especially given the limited academic research on the topic. Much of the research in this area has been done by the dancers themselves. Many dancers subscribe to one or more of the following theories regarding the origins of belly dance:

  • It originated in India, travelling to Uzbekistan through the slave trade.
  • It emanates from indigenous dancers of ancient Upper Egypt.
  • It descends from a religious dance once practiced by temple priestesses.
  • It formed part of traditional birthing practices in the region(s) of origin.
  • It spread from the migrations of Romany people and related groups.

The type of dancing taught at the OU is the Egyptian style.

Belly dancing is a great way to get in shape. A single belly dance session works hundreds of muscles, burns calories and can help reduce stress; an hour of belly dancing can burn as much as four hundred calories. It is suitable for all ages and body types. The dance can be as physically challenging as the dancer or student chooses. Most belly dance styles teach the ability to move and relax various muscles or muscle groups independently, encouraging strength and flexibility of both muscles and joints. For example, dancing with a veil can help to build strength in the upper-body, arms and shoulders; most movements work the abdominal muscles, especially the camel, tummy-flutters and stomach rolls; the long muscles of the back are strengthened by both percussive movements such as hip kicks / drops, and by fluid movements such as hip circles, figure-eights and camels. Belly dancing not only strengthens, tones and tightens the body, but also improves flexibility and posture. It focuses on balance and centering the body which plays an important role in the balance of mind, body and spirit in various strands of Eastern medicine, complementary therapies and physical therapy.

The OUBDC also seeks to promote the music and culture of the belly dance and to this end, runs regular workshops and events to promote these elements. One such recent event included a workshop by the well known Tabla player Guy Schalom. Guy not only provided music for the dancers and their teachers, but also led a session on rhythm and dance.

The club is run by volunteers supported by a professional belly dance teacher. New committee members are always welcome.


 Our AGM was held on 28th February 2018.  For Committee details elected at the 2018 AGM - see the Committee page.