The term “belly dance” is a something I think all women today have tried to attempt, whether in an aerobic class, friend’s house or just out of fun and curiosity. But do not be fooled, this style of dance has been traced back to the Victorian era and although the most featured body part is the hips, it takes, passion, dedication and great coordination to conquer this art. Belly dance takes many different forms depending on the country and region; both in costume and dance style, and new styles have evolved in the West as its popularity has spread globally over the years.
Amber Arredondo is 25 living in Las Vegas Nevada. An inspired dancer herself, she tells Nucentz magazine about her introduction to the dance.
NuCentz: How long have you been belly dancing?
AA: 5 Years
NuCentz: What inspired you to get involved in belly dancing being that it is such a unique style?
AA: In 2007 I attended the “International Belly Dance Competition” here in Las Vegas and I saw so many beautiful dancers, dance to so many different styles I was in awe. But there was one that really stood out to me and her name was Delilah. Delilah performed with a live band, and came out so confident and beautiful. That was the moment I decided I wanted to become a belly dancer. Shortly after I started taking classes at a local recreation center and I haven’t stopped since.
NuCentz: So I understand there are several styles of belly dancing, do you have a favorite, and why?
AA: Modern Cabaret is my favorite style because it is very feminine and I love the Arabic pop music.
NuCentz: So you mentioned “cabaret”, which leads me to the next question. What do you think the biggest misconception about belly dancers? One of the biggest misconceptions about belly dancers is that we are glorified stripers and promiscuous. So many people don’t realize that belly dance is an incredible form of art, no different than ballet, hip-hop or jazz. There is a huge belly dance world among us that people do not know about, including me at one time. But this is something I along with so many others take seriously and really enjoy. It really is amazing.
NuCentz: Do you choreograph your own routines? Where do you get your inspiration?
AA: It depends on the venue. When dancing in a restaurant I usually improvise and let the music lead my body, but for a stage show or festival I will choreograph my own performance. Music is what inspires me. A lot of times I will hear some music and a sequence of dance moves pop in my head, usually when I am in the car! (Laugh)
NuCentz: Your costumes are so detailed; do you make your own?
AA: I don’t make any of my cabaret costumes because of the extreme beading, sequins and jewel details but I usually make all of my fusion/tribal costumes. You can buy almost anything belly dance on the Internet. Amazon, Etsy, bellydancestore.biz are just I few I frequent.
NuCentz: In your opinion what makes a good belly dancer?
AA: A good belly dancer is confident and passionate!