The following post is by Miss Luisa, an Instructor, Performer , Director of the Belly Motions KIDS Programs  and “Mary Poppins” of Belly Dance at Belly Motions

Did you know it is recommended that kids get at least 60 minutes of age appropriate physical activity every day

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services outlines the key guidelines for active kids to include “moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, muscular strengthening and bone strengthening exercises.”

The Belly Motions KIDS Programs include many fitness recommendations which kids should incorporate into their weekly exercise schedules!  As the Director, I carefully and thoughtfully structure our classes to combine a few other elements I believe are significant in shaping the future of our girls.

Here are 6 of My Personal Favorite Benefits of the Belly Motions KIDS Programs:

1.  Moderate to Vigorous Aerobic Activity!  Belly Dance offers children an excellent form of low-impact cardiorespiratory exercise that also improves flexibility, muscle coordination, and strengthens core muscle groups.  Movements such as Hip Slides, Figure 8’s, Hip Drops and Shimmies (to name a few) all fall under this category!  A children’s Belly Dance class focuses on learning the authentic movements (namely, isolations) of the dance, and would primarily consist of moderate activity with spurts of movements that promote vigorous activity (like shimmies!).

2. Improved Overall Health!  Regular exercise strengthens the immune system thereby kids less sick.  Exercise also enables them to sleep much better.  Add a splash of Belly Dance for Kids to their fitness schedule and you’ll see how all that glitters is gold!

3.  Builds and Develops Motor and Coordination Skills!  Children are constantly developing motor and coordination skills.  In a typical Belly Dance class students are encouraged to repeat, perfect and memorize many intricate movements…not to mention footwork!  

4. Cultural Awareness!  Belly Dance (a.k.a. Oriental Dance or Raqs Sharqi in Arabic) is one of the most ancient dance forms known to mankind.  It offers children not only the discipline and technique of learning a dance, but also an incredible amount of cultural education.

5. Positive Social Skills and Increased Self Esteem!  As children dance together in groups, perform on stage, or simply build the courage to dance in a class setting  they boost  their confidence and thereby “feel good” about themselves.  In many cases girls are extremely shy and the act of simply participating in the class feels like (and truly is) a positive achievement for them.  Good self esteem leads to better interaction at school and social situations in general.

6. Bonding Time with Mommy!  The Belly Motions Mommy ‘n Me Experience is unlike any other.  Sharing the gift of Belly Dance with your little one is the HIP-est way to bond!  2013 celebrates four years of Mommy ‘n Me Belly Dance with a special HipNotica Fitness Workshop on August 14th, and our annual 12 week Fall Choreography Program designed to prepare mothers and daughters for the Belly Motions 9th Year Anniversary Showcase on the BIG stage on February 9, 2014 at the F.I.U. Wertheim Performing Arts Center!

It’s not just Belly Dance for Kids, it’s the Belly Motions KIDS Program!