Females of all Age Shapes and Sizes Can Belly Dance

Ever since I, Ritambhara Sahni started Belly Dance Institute Mumbai by Ritambhara Sahni way back in 2005, Ive been receiving calls from so many women who hesitate to dance because of their bodies and age. The perpetual body shaming rhetoric has seeped into every fragment of our society and has left so many women unsure of themselves. 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 im talking about the small incidents of body shaming that happen daily, often as casual asides.
Well, to start with let me elucidate what comprises as body shaming. 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?
Ive received so many calls over the years being the director at belly dance institute Mumbai, asking me if they could dance since they were fat or would it be ok since they were old! Im grateful im 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 [if the dance art facinates 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. Dont 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 youre only 30 and don’t let your friends pass snide remarks because youre 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.
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 on what they felt about their bodies and ages before and after joining Belly Dance Institute Mumbai by Ritambhara Sahni.