The actual term “belly dance”—which many professional dancers are trying to expunge from descriptions of their art form—is traced to the Victorian era, when someone translated the French danse du ventre. Of course, the real Middle Eastern dance is much older, dating back at least 2,000 years to ancient Arab tribal religions as—you guessed it—a fertility dance. Whatever the sexual implications that come to mind, belly dancing is a great way to exercise, isolating major muscle groups and working them together or in opposition to other parts of the body. At Waterfront Workouts: Belly Dance, the terrific dance teachers of the Dodge YMCA conduct the weekly class in one of our finest new parks under the Brooklyn Bridge. You will have fun, and if it’s your first time, you will be sore the next day in all the right spots. Good for beginners as well as those more experienced in the art of raqs sharqi—the Arabic term for the Eastern dance.
Fri., July 8, 7 p.m., 2011