Belly Dance in Mumbai by Ritambhara Sahni says…
Females of all Age Shapes and Sizes Can Belly Dance
Ever since I, Ritambhara Sahni started Belly Dance in Mumbai way back in 2005, I’ve been receiving calls from so many women who hesitate to dance because of their bodies and age.
Alright, Let me tell you something…I have always been plus size/fat/chubby whatever you would want to call it since childhood.
A lot of comments from people would discourage me as well in my childhood because I was “not perfect” according to them.
Before starting belly dance in Mumbai I use to teach Hip- Hop, Bollywood, Contemporary and many other dance forms. But when I would dance people would forget about my shape or size and only focus on my dance.
I did get discouraged….
at first but very soon in my childhood I realized that this is too meaningless and it should not get to me. To be honest I would never want to be skinny or slim. I have lost weight and come to 55 Kgs. but I dint feel like me. I dint like myself “being perfect”. Lets say I find my beauty in carrying that extra weight. Makes me feel like me. I feel fit and I feel awesome and that’s really what all of us should feel to feel right about ourselves :). If you are holding back and not belly dancing because of your age, shape or size…do look at me in this video below.
The perpetual body shaming rhetoric has seeped into every fragment of our society and has left so many women unsure of themselves.
I hear a new story every single day from girls/women who call my belly dance in Mumbai centre and then feel that should not join because of the comments they received.
When I divulge into the sensitive topic of body shaming, I’m not narrowing it only to fat shaming, which is sadly the most common platform for sneers and crude remarks.
Today I’m talking about the small incidents of body shaming that happen daily, often as casual asides.
#Bodyshaming and #Bodypositivity
Well, to start with let me elucidate what comprises as body shaming.
However, this is an opinion put forth by people who make you feel bad about how you look, which they feel don’t conform to the cultural norm or their personal beauty ideas.
Apart from the beauty pageants, all of us seem to have a shortcoming in the eyes of others.
How many of us have had to listen to, You’re fat! You’re dark! You have a flat butt! And you have a big butt! You’re as flat as a man’s chest! Oh! The list goes on and on…
This has left so many self conscious, making so many women despise the lines of age that show on her face, the imperfections of her healthy body or a darker color that compliments her pretty face.
We have consciously told our reflections in the mirror that we are old, fat and ugly because of another persons idea of the beauty norm. But who gets to decide and define what normal is or particularly what beauty is?
Belly Dance is empowering
I’ve received so many calls over the years. Being the director at my belly dance in Mumbai various centres, asking me if they could dance since they were fat or would it be ok since they were old!
I’m grateful I’m receiving these calls, so I may tell everyone out there that yes you can dance because age and size are figurative numbers in the face of your bodily spirit.
Dance will give you a healthier body and leave you feeling years younger. And in particular belly dance. This empowering feminine dance embraces the woman in you, the confident person who can smile in the face of adversities. And at the end of the day, it is this confidence and pure joy that makes you feel and look beautiful.
If you doubt this for a moment, look at Oprah Winfrey, Melissa McCarthy or Bharti Singh! Their confidence is charismatic and to them, age, size and features are insignificant.
So, the next time you’re feeling blue, I’d suggest you don’t find solace in a magazines’ beauty regimen but instead get enrolled in a belly dance class online or offline [if the dance art fascinates you ] and rejoice in your body.
Be the beautiful person you are and fall in love with your reflection, dance the negative impressions away and erase the façade society wanted you to believe. Don’t let a man call you fat for having his baby, don’t let your family tell you’re old and have reached an unmarriageable age when you’re only 30 and don’t let your friends pass snide remarks because you’re not a pale skinned foreigner.
Because, no matter what they say you’re still young at 40, still healthy and fit despite the clothes that won’t fit post pregnancy and still attractive with a bronzed complexion.
Beauty in your own eyes
Let beauty be in the eyes of the beholder and let that beholder be you. We are who we are because of our genetics, so no matter how hard you try to reverse that, you will for the most part be the same. But what can make a difference is a positive attitude enriched with confidence and happiness. So, let’s come together and belly dance towards the beautiful you that radiates an aura of happiness.
Some student reviews/testimonials at my Belly Dance in Mumbai centers:
on what they felt about their bodies and ages before and after joining Belly Dance in Mumbai by Ritambhara Sahni.
Kavita Mehra :
Being a mother and having a 22 years daughter made me think if I should belly dance. Belly dance has been a dream to learn. I met Ritambhara and watched her belly dance at her belly dance in Mumbai centre at Andheri and i had nothing more to wonder about but to join her class at her belly dance Andheri Centre. I have changed my relationship with my body now physically, mentally, emotionally. I am a new me within and out.
Sania Sheikh :
Because of hormonal issues i gained 23 Kgs and then also got diagnosed with another hormone issue which is thyroid. I felt if I would learn belly dancing I would never look like what belly dancers look like but yeah I was so wrong. I had never met Ritambhara but I met the instructor who worked with her and enrolled at her belly dance in Mumbai centre at Andheri. I just don’t think about my weight and inches anymore.