Can Belly Dancing Help you Lose Weight?

All those pursuing belly dancing classes on a regular basis have a single common question to ask: Can belly dance aid weight loss? There could be two reasons behind investing time and money in a belly dancing class. First, you are truly passionate about the dance form. Second, you are looking forward to a fun activity to burn those extra pounds. If it’s the latter, there are some essential proven facts you need to know about the correlation between belly dancing and weight loss to get your expectations right.

Read: Dance to lose weight, the ZUMBA way

Can Belly Dance Aid Weight Loss?

If you know someone who is a seasoned belly dancer and has been in regular practice for a considerable period of time, you might have noticed a fluctuation in their weight loss patterns. Clearly, there is no fixed trend that can be established. The following factors would help in understanding the trend better:

  • Belly dancing is nothing but a form of exercise. A normal session can help in burning up to 300 calories. Therefore, those who practice it regularly can easily lose belly fat over a period of time. Classes alone may not be enough; you would have to indulge in regular practice for a designated period of time. For instance, if you attend classes once a week and be a couch potato for the next 6 days, there are chances that you would end up gaining more weight than losing
  • The type of sessions would also determine if belly dancing can actually help you lose weight. For example, some sessions would include non-aerobic exercises and slow hip movements as warm-up exercises. Others would indulge in a rapid aerobic activity that keeps your heart rate higher for an extended period of time. The latter would naturally help in burning more calories. In fact, if the sessions are truly intense, you would continue to burn off excess fat even after it’s over
  • Your diet also has to be in tandem with your weight loss regime. For example, if you indulge in belly dancing and continue your alcohol binge at the same time, weight loss will clearly not happen. Your diet should support your belly dancing activity, for distinguishable results

Read: Aerobics for weight loss: Does it work?

Can belly dancing aid weight loss, truly? Yes, it can be considered a form of an exercise as the body parts move in different directions and warm-up sessions prior to the practice could help you more with your weight loss plan. It is not strenuous, but enjoyable. If you think of the practice as a fun activity, then you might lose more weight than you imagined. As everything you do is somehow related to your brain activity. If your brain adapts it as a fun regime, then it only boosts your plans. So, indulge in a session to see for yourself.

Image: Getty

Read more articles on Weight Loss.

This is how belly dance will make you fit!

I discovered belly dance sometime last year. Like most people, I’d resolved to hit the gym regularly at the beginning of the year but the shift from cheesecakes to salads seemed onerous. The very sight of a tread mill made me shudder and soon, I got comfortable with cooking up the most ridiculous excuses to shun workouts. Although I do not suffer from a negative body image, I yearned to love my body a bit more. And so, I gifted myself a belly dance class on my birthday and it turned out to be a life-altering move.
By the end of the class, I had embraced my curves in its entirety, through hip movements and shimmies that alternated between being imperceptible and powerful. My body trembled to the magical beats of the darbuka and the sweet melody of the oud almost instinctively. There was also something utterly appealing about rolling up my tee to reveal my midriff, straightening my shoulders and doing that shimmy, while swaying my arms sensuously. By the end of the class, I knew my body had finally found its language.
Dance like the arabs
Belly dance is believed to have originated in the Middle East. But over the years, in the region, the dance form emerged as a `social dance’ that’s performed at family gatherings. As a performance art in its modern avatar, belly dance is infused with elements of Western dance forms. “The Egyptian version of the dance was originally consid ered sacred. That changed with Egypt’s decision to promote belly dance to, in turn, pro mote tourism,” says Payal Gupta, director, Payal’s Dance Academy.
It was also referred to as the `dance of birthing’, being performed at fertility rituals by temple priestesses decades ago.Its dance movements were believed to help relieve a pregnant woman of her pain.
“One of the most natural dance forms for a woman’s body, belly dance is deeply connected to the womb. This, in turn, empowers a woman on a psychological level,” says Meher Malik, director, Banjara School of Dance.
When practised during pregnancy, belly dancing is believed to help the foetus move into the optimal position for birth. The dance’s smooth, fluid movements strengthen core muscles without applying too much pressure on them. “The dance technique has been used by Arabs for hundreds of years to condition women for child birth. It helps activate the pelvic muscles and relieves back pain during pregnancy.It also increases blood circulation, thus helping the foetus get more oxygen. But certain moves such as shoulder rolls and hip circles need to be steered clear of,” says Chaitali Soparkar Kohli, a freelance belly dance instructor who also teaches the dance to expectant mothers.
B for benefit
The biggest misconception about belly dancing is that it helps you lose the flab on your belly. Although it does strengthen your core and give you stronger abs, if you are aiming for a six-pack, you are better off sticking to your gym routine. “Belly dancing doesn’t require you to become thin. In fact, you need that fat on your stomach to balance swords and coins. You might not lose your belly, but you’ll begin to love it,” says Kohli.
Besides improving your balance, co-ordination, posture and flexibility, it is also low impact, thus allowing you to practise it even when recovering from an injury.”When the posture itself is so beautiful, it triggers something in your conscience. You look at yourself in the mirror and feel good,” says Bindu Bolar, Tribal Fusion belly dance artiste and director of Lights, Camera, Dance.
Over the course of my classes, I realised that belly dance is an accommodating movement technique. “You belly dance barefoot and you don’t need a partner to lead you,” points out Kohli. “When you’re on your own, you’re bound to feel free and liberated. As far as its beauty benefits are concerned, belly dancing gives you healthy and younger-looking skin. It also helps you sleep better and stick to your body’s natural cycles. The fluid, dramatic movements trigger the production of endorphins, or happy hormones, which help you de-stress in no time.”
Belly dancing in India
Having grown up in a Brahmin household, I knew my folks would never allow me to take up the dance form.While most families in India happily encourage their daughters to learn traditional dance forms such as Bharatnatyam and Kathak, learning to belly dance earns you rather uncomplimentary tags. “It’s been eight years since belly dance first came to India, but a shift in the Indian mindset has begun only now. While performing at an event, I need to know about the audience beforehand.The crowd’s mentality and the grace of the artiste retains the aesthetic value of the art,”says Bolar.
A pioneer of the dance form in India, Meher explains that she has witnessed a visible change over the last dec ade. “Earlier, I only had thin girls coming to me. But now, my school has over 7,000 women, of all ages, shapes and sizes.” As an aspiring belly dancer, I feel that belly dancing chal lenges the hideous concept of body shaming and teaches us to embrace our curves. Stick to it and over a period of time, you’ll see that the smile stays, the fat melts, the confidence soars and a Goddess is reborn.
Know your belly dance well
– Belly dancing has more to it than weight loss. Apart from helping you burn 250 to 300 calories per hour, it also helps with better muscle control and improves memory. – Learn from your guru but let your personality speak through your moves. – Pay attention to your arm movements and do them in front of the mirror so that they don’t hang or look superficial. – It is alright if you don’t want to expose your belly. However, wear a hip scarf or a coin belt to accentuate your movements and tune your body to the rhythm.

45 the Most Loved Standing Abs Workout Routines on You Tube

Let others know!

I did spend an impressive amount of hours surfing the You Tube to find the most loved standing abs workout routines out there.

To determine the “lovability” the number of likes and dislikes were taken into a consideration. These numbers later were compared to the total amount of views. A few videos didn’t make it on this list though because of the bad video quality or questionable performance of the exercises.

Anyways, one day I will shoot a killer standing abs workout routine myself…but until then enjoy these 45 the most beloved standing ab workouts already at your disposal:

1. 30 Min. Standing Abs HIIT Cardio Workout

Tough 30 minutes long high intensity interval training routine using compound exercises and explosive cardio while engaging abdominal muslces from many different angles.

Channel: Millionaire Hoy

2. Standing Abs Exercises – 6 min Standing Core Workout

Sean Vigue a certified Pilates, Yoga, Spinning, Nutrition, and Personal Training instructor puts some popular pilates exercises in a short well-rounded 6 minutes standing abs routine.

Channel: SeanVigueFitness

3. Standing Abs Workout with Kelsey Lee

An easy to follow 5 minute standing ab workout from celebrity trainer & fitness personality Kelsey Lee. Build stronger core with low impact movements.

Channel: kelseyleedotcom

4. 10 Min Standing Abs Home Workout | Keeping It Real-Time Workout

10 different moves in 10 minute workout. Police sirens will blare, airplanes will fly past, dogs will bark, and you’ll burn plenty of calories, bust a sweat, and really hit those abs.

Channel: Millionaire Hoy

5. Standing Abs Exercises – 10 min Standing Core Workout

Another one standing core and ab workout routine from Sean Vigue. The actual workout is only 7 minutes long.

Channel: SeanVigueFitness

6. Standing Abs Workout – 5 Best Standing Abs Exercises

Linda Wooldridge a creator of the Barlates Body Blitz workouts presents this 5 great standing abs exercises circuit. All you need to workout along is a very light set of hand-weight or you can do it without.

Channel: Linda Wooldridge

7. Ab Workout Standing Up – HASfit Ab Exercises Standing Up – Standing Abs Exercises

Coach Joshua Kozak demonstrates 10 minute ab workout routine that is low impact and suitable for those with physical limitations. Complete 4 rounds of each abdominal exercise for 30 seconds.

Channel: HASfit

8. The 15-Minute Standing Workout for Flat Abs from Women’s Health

Jen Ator a fitness editor at Women’s Health demonstrates a great 15 minute workout to slim down your waist, strengthen your abs and improve your posture. You’ll need a set of dumbbells for this workout.

Channel: Women’s Health

9. Standing Abs Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Lauren Hefez a Boston based group fitness instructor, personal trainer, YouTuber, fitness model and blogger shows a 5 minute workout routine for abs standing up. This routine is for you if you feel strain in your neck when performing ab exercises on the floor.

Channel: Lauren Hefez

10. Standing Pilates for Flat Abs: 12-Minute Bodyweight Only Workout

Skip the crunches and floor work and mix up your abs workout with this series of standing Pilates exercises taught by certified instructor Jessica Smith.

Channel: jessicasmithtv

11. Barre Standing Abs (+ Butt, Hips, Thighs) 12-Minute Intermediate Ballet Workout

A low impact barre-inspired ab routine to engage your abs along with many more muscles from every angle. Grab a chair and get ready to channel your inner ballerina and develop some serious core strength.

Channel: jessicasmithtv

12. 10 Minute Standing Workout: Abs, Thighs and Butt

Melissa Bender a fitness blogger, occupational therapist, yoga and fitness instructor presents 10 minute standing ab workout to strengthen abdominals, thighs and glutes.

Channel: Melissa Bender

13. Standing abs: no mat needed

Another standing ab workout from Lauren Hefez. This time more cardio and a lot of abs.

Channel: Lauren Hefez

14. Sexy standing abs

Pavla a certified group instuctor and YouTuber demonstrates a simple standing ab workout routine. One round is about 5 minutes. Author suggest you do 5 rounds.

Channel: Pavla Perfectleanbody

15. Quick Standing Abs Workout | BodyHoliday TV

Kristen at the BodyHoliday Resort in St Lucia demonstrates a simple & quick standing ab workout you can do anywhere. Even in a pool. It takes only about 2 minutes to finish one full round of exercises.

Channel: BodyHolidayTV

16. DANCER’S BODY STANDING ABDOMINALS (best ab workout, dancer body, abs, waist workout)

Lifestyle and wellness coach Tracy Campoli presents dancers inspired standing abs wokrout routine. She has pulled ab exercises from all the years of her dance classes.

Channel: Tracy Campoli

17. Sexy Standing Abs Tutorial- Work your abs/waist without doing sit-ups!

An innovative fitness expert Tiffany Rothe shows you some creative movements how to train your abs while standing up.

Channel: TiffanyRotheWorkouts

18. The Standing Crunch-less Ab Workout

Sarah has put together a simple 2 minute ab exercise sequence for those who hate crunches and experience strain in the neck when doing a lot of ab moves. 4 different ab exercises for 30 seconds each.

Channel: Sarah Fit

19. Cardio Infused Standing Abs Workout – Crunchless Abs + Cardio

A blend of 8 bodyweight low intensity cardio exercises that target the abdominal muscles without a single crunch. All it takes is 9 minutes.

Channel: FitnessBlender

20. Standing Abs Workout — Standing Abs Exercises to Tone Abs, Obliques & Lower Back

This is a low impact beginner friendly 10 minute workout routine that will work your entire core thoroughly. Exercises are very easy on the joints as well. This workout incorporate lots of different muscle groups so you will probably burn more calories than you would if you did classic ab exercises on the floor.

Channel: FitnessBlender

21. Standing ABS Workout – Building six-pack — Reducing waistline

Certified fitness trainer Marcelo Vazquez demonstrates 3 standing ab exercises that are going to target the entire abdominal area. To follow along this workout you will need a pair of dumbbells and 10 minutes of your time.

Channel: Trainer Marcelo Vazquez

22. Ab Workout, Abs, Belly Fat, Weight Loss: 7-Minute Full Length Standing Abs Workout

This is a quick 7 minute bodyweight standing abs routine you can do anywhere.

Channel: jessicasmithtv

23. more STANDING ABS, how to get a flat stomach, ab workout

More standing abs exercises from Tracy. Tone your abs with this 5 minute workout. As you are not using any resistance, make sure you squeeze your ab muscles to really engage and work those muscles.

Channel: Tracy Campoli

24. Standing Abs – Burn Fat & Sculpt Your Abs in Less Than 15 Minutes! Full 13-Minute Workout

This is a great 13 minute ab workout that you can do with a dumbbell or any other weighted object. If you don’t have any, use your arm weight.

Channel: jessicasmithtv

25. Burn Belly Fat: 10-Minute Strong Standing Abs Home Workout

A 10 minute routine you can incorporate in your existing workout routine or do a quick workout to hit your core. Preferably you will need a pair of dumbbells.

Channel: jessicasmithtv


Another dancers inspired standing abs workout from Tracy for tight, toned and ready to go abs. All you need is your abs and 5 minutes of your time.

Channel: Tracy Campoli

27. Standing Abs and Obliques Workout Without Crunches: Intermediate to Advanced Standing Abs Exercises

This is a great standing abs routine you can do after other workout routine. Provides some unique exercises you won’t find on any other ab workout video listed here.

Channel: FitnessBlender

28. Oblique Workout – 6 Minutes Abs – Getting Rid of Love Handle Exercises – HASfit Oblique Exercises

Really shake out your love handles with this pretty intensive 6 minute standing obliques routine.

Channel: HASfit

29. Sexy Standing Up Abs with Laura London

A board certified health counselor, weight loss & detox coach Laura London demonstrates 12 minute standing ab workout that will challenge your abdominal muscles and your mind muscle connection. You’ll need a dumbbell and a towel.

Channel: Laura London Fitness

30. 12 Minute Standing Up Abs – Lets Kick those ABS into shape

More ab sculpting standing ab exercises from Laura London. For this one you will need a broomstick.

Channel: Laura London Fitness

31. Six Pack Abs-Get Rid of those Love Handles

Viktoria Telek a certified personal trainer demonstrates 6 minute abs workout you can do on your feet. Prepare a set of light dumbbells and follow along.

Channel: Workouts

32. Stand Up Ab Workout – Crunch Free! Quick Easy Standing Ab Exercises!

A fitness anthusiast Becca shows her favourite ab workout routine standing up. It’s a 2 minute circle with some ab and cardio exercises.

Channel: Becca S

33. Crunchless Abs Workout – Crunch Free Ab Workout Routine

This crunch free 10 minute abs routine is a great blend of light cardio & core toning moves that won’t have your neck or back aching.

Channel: FitnessBlender

34. Abs & Core Dancer’s Workout: Billy Blanks Jr.- Club Hip Hop

Dancer, choreographer, and Fitness Expert Billy Blanks Jr. demonstrates a unique 9 minute long dancers inspired hip-hop style ab workout that involves a combination of standing ab exercises and plyometric-style moves like burpees. This fun and effective workout can be done anywhere and is great for all skill levels.

Channel: BeFiT

35. BossyTrainer – Standing Abs, Legs and Butt Beginner Workout # 1

A great 7 minute workout routine with an amazing view of the Bay area. Work your abs, legs and glutes all in one short workout session.

Channel: BossyTrainer

36. 10 Min Standing Abs Workout – HASfit Standing Ab Exercises – Standing Abdominal Exercises Workouts

Another standing ab exercise routine from coach Kozak. For this workout you can either use a dumbbell, weight plate, medicine, or anything heavy laying around the house.

Channel: HASfit

37. Fitness Blender Standing Ab Workout – Toning Standing Abs Exercises

The longest standing ab workout on this list. It takes 34 minutes to go through the full routine. It starts with a light warm up, stretches and continues with twisting, rotating, and reaching your way to a slimmer waist – all without ever sitting down on a mat for a traditional crunch.

Channel: FitnessBlender

38. HASfit 5 Minute Standing Abs Workout – Standing Ab Exercises – Abdominal Exercise Standing Up

Burn your abs from every angle without getting on the floor with this 5 minute workout from coach Kozak.

Channel: HASfit

39. Standing Abs Exercises – 10 Minute Standing Abs Workout to Lose Belly Fat

These standing ab exercises emulate many abdominal exercises where you are lying flat out on your back, but because you are standing the leverage is different and the movements are easier. For this workout you’ll need a dumbbell, medicine ball or any other weighted object.

Channel: FitnessBlender

40. Standing 10 Minute Ab Workout Real Time: Melissa Bender

Another standing ab workout from Melissa. This time many different bodyweight and weighted ab exercises and funny comments from her husband who was behind the camera as well.

Channel: Melissa Bender

41. Ab Power Workout 3: Tone Up | 30 DAY 6 PACK ABS

Fat-burning abdominal workout that uses a unique blend of cardio and strength exercises to burn calories, engage the abs, and tone the entire body. Challenge the core and slim the waistline with Fitness Expert & Actor, Scott Herman, and Fitness Blogger & Expert Trainer, Sarah Fit.

Channel: BeFiT

42. 10 Minute Abs!

Jennifer Galardi which you may recognise from Exercise TV shows 10 minute down and dirty version of her most popular dancers inspired workout.

Channel: Jennifer Galardi

43. Sexy Standing Abs Routine

Kristen a professional dancer and Personal Trainer demonstrates her sexy 6 minute standing ab workout routine.

Channel: K’s Perfect Fitness TV

44. Standing Abs

A certified fitness instructor Tori shows her 10 minute standing ab workout. All you need is a small towel or any other piece of a cloth such as a T-shirt.

Channel: toriteachesfitness

45. Tracy Anderson Standing Abs 4 Moves

A multi-platform fitness/wellness entrepreneur and author has developed a 3 minute standing abs routine for women.

Channel: All Tracy Anderson

Shimmying, wiggling and undulating your belly provides a solid core workout and could help you lose fat, if you combine it with healthy eating and other cardiovascular exercise. On its own, however, belly dancing alone won’t give you a flat stomach.

People of all shapes and sizes belly dance, and the swanky moves help you burn calories — which, in turn, can lead to a flatter stomach. Belly dancing doesn’t compensate for poor dietary choices, an overconsumption of alcohol or otherwise sedentary lifestyle, though.

The Belly Dancing Burn

Becoming more physically active level while maintaining or reducing your calorie intake, helps you lose weight. You probably won’t get a perfectly flat stomach with weight loss, but it will shrink somewhat along with other parts of your body.

Like any type of exercise, the ability of belly dancing to help you lose weight depends on how much you do it and how intensely you dance.

To lose notable weight, some of which will come off your stomach, you must exercise at a moderate intensity at least 250 minutes per week says the American College of Sports Medicine. This amount will likely lead you to burn more energy than you consume. Of course, to make sure this happens, you’ll have to keep tabs on what you eat — moderate portion sizes are important, as is limiting your intake of sugars, saturated fats and refined carbohydrates.

A rigorous hour of belly dancing can help you fry 250 to 300 calories. If you take a class that emphasizes technique and drills such as hip circles and camels, you’re going to burn fewer calories. Going for a full hour of serious dancing takes serious stamina and ab control, too.

It’ll take more than one or two belly dancing classes per week to burn the calories necessary to lose weight and get a flatter stomach. A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories — so you must have a caloric deficit, meaning you burn more than you eat, of 500 calories per day for a week to lose just one pound. If you aren’t vigorously dancing daily, supplement it with other cardio exercise, such as hiking, bike riding or other forms of dance.

Read More: The Burn Fat Faster Workout

Core Moves

Belly dancing does involve serious manipulation of your hips and abdomen, which builds endurance, muscle and strength. But, you can’t directly burn off fat from any area — including your stomach. Belly dancing might hone definition in your abs that you can see once you lose extra padding, but it won’t work some spot-reducing magic.

Moves that can help you develop nice abs to be revealed once you lose weight:

Hip Rolls: Stand feet hip-distance apart and let your hands float slightly to the sides of your body. Cock your hips right, forward, left and back. Make the movement smooth and fluid and then repeat in the opposite direction.

Camels: Stand with your arms at your sides and push your chest forward by drawing your shoulder blades back. Then start to make an “S”-like motion by pulling the belly in, tucking the pelvis and pressing your shoulders forward.

Figure Eights: Lean to the right as you lift your right hip and heel. Return to center with grounded feet and repeat on the left. Find a fluidity to the transition between sides as you move to music.

Read More: Is Freestyle Dancing a Good Exercise?

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I hated my belly dancing stomach – but I love my body now that it’s six stone lighter

After another fun evening of shimmying to the arabian music at her weekly belly dancing class, Shelly Harrison went home and logged on to Facebook .

But her good mood soon evaporated when she found herself looking at a photo she had been tagged in – and was horrified at the woman staring back at her.

Shelly says: “The shot was of me at the belly dancing class, wearing my traditional arabic costume, and you could see all the rolls of fat underneath my crop top. I just felt disgusting. I couldn’t untag it quickly enough – I didn’t want anyone to see it.

“I think that was my eye-opening moment of something’s got to change. I hated seeing myself like that.”

Mum-of-three Shelly, 37, had been overweight for 20 years. At her biggest, she weighed almost 17 stone due to her
reliance on a diet of ready meals and chocolate.

Suffering from low confidence, she struggled to get through each day.

Shelly was prompted to lose weight after seeing a pic of her in her belly dancing costume (Image: Daily Mirror)

But the photo acted as the jolt she needed. She ditched the junk food and has since lost 5st 11lbs – dropping from a size 20 to a size 10 in nine months.

And to celebrate, the care support worker has posed naked to show off her slim new 10st 13lb figure.

Shelly says: “Doing the shoot was terrifying but it was such an amazing thing to do. Posing naked was that final step in claiming back my body.

“I’d given up on it and used to be someone who would hide away in baggy T-shirts and jeans. But now I just want to shout out, ‘This is my body and I’m going to take care of it!’”

She wasn’t always big. As a child, Shelly was slim but wore glasses, which she says made her an easy target for bullies. Aged 12, she was taunted so much by her classmates that she had to change schools.

At the time, Shelly, from Basildon, Essex, had no idea that bullies would be the catalyst that would make her comfort eat up to a size 20.

“I’ve always lacked confidence since I was quite young,” she says. “I wasn’t big back then, I was quite small. I was only picked on because I was a bit different and couldn’t stand up for myself – it was awful.

“The school couldn’t deal with it, so I had to move schools in the end.”

From then on, Shelly would eat more and more as the days went by.

“Once I got to puberty the weight started creeping on,” she says. “I’d try and lose a bit, then it would go back on again. I just accepted that perhaps I was meant to be big.

Shelly shows off her new figure (Image: Shelly Harrison)

“I would use my dinner money to buy packets of biscuits and eat them on the way home. Looking back now, I realise how bad that was. At the time I didn’t realise the damage I was doing.”

Aged 16, Shelly left home and started cooking for herself.

“I’d eat processed foods, frozen readymeals, crisps, biscuits and chocolate, ignoring the fact that my jeans were always tight,” she says. “I’d cry after each shopping trip when I couldn’t find anything that would make me look slim. Then I’d stuff my face.”

When she was 17, she met her husband Daniel, now 37. They went on to have three children, Lucy, 12, Toby, nine, and Max, six.

Throughout this time 5ft 7in Shelly steadily went on bingeing. It was in June last year that she knew it was time for a change. “Looking at that photo of me just made me realise how much I’ve let those people at school affect me,” she says.

She signed up for a Weight Watchers class. Stepping on to the scales at her first session was a nerve-racking experience.

She says: “I knew I was heavy, but I didn’t realise I was that heavy.

“In my head I thought I was about 16st, but then when I got on the scales and saw I was 16st 10lb, that was such a shock.”

Changing her diet of takeaways and processed foods was the key to her weight loss. She started eating fresh vegetables, salads, lean meats and fruit, based on the Weight Watchers’ plan.

Shelly Harrison and her husband (Image: Daily Mirror)

She says: “It’s about getting the balance right. I’m very conscious of what I eat, but some days, usually my weigh-in days, I have a few little treats.

“I won’t eat anything that I feel is unhealthy. I was just eating far too much. You’re brought up being told you must eat everything on the plate, but that isn’t the case. I need to still feel like I’m living.

“I’ve not stopped eating the foods I enjoy but I have healthy variations in moderation.”

After she lost two stone, she confronted her fear of going to the gym. “It was a big step,” she says. “I didn’t feel confident going in – I thought it would be full of all these skinny blonde lycra-wearing women.

“My biggest fear was people would be looking at me and laughing. But they didn’t. It’s important to realise that everyone’s doing their own thing. No one is interested in looking at you.

“My local gym was a mixed bag of people all going for themselves and their own goals, not going to pose.

“It was hard but I built up slowly. I’d come away feeling amazing and stronger.”

She also carried on her belly dancing classes with her troupe, Tribal Unity, although the rolls of flab soon disappeared.

But she didn’t get to where she is today without the support of her family.

Now Shelly is proud to bare all (Image: Daily Mirror)

“Daniel is so proud of me and has been so supportive,” Shelly says. “I know he’s really noticed the change in me and has told me how much more confident I am and how much happier I seem.

“It was wonderful that he came along and supported me at a 10k Race for Life. A year ago I couldn’t get up the stairs without getting out of breath.”

And she gets a lot of encouragement from her children.

She says: “My daughter is always telling me how proud she is. The other day she threw her arms around me and said, ‘Mummy, even if you put all the weight back on, I’m still so proud of you’.

“And my boys used to bring me Loveheart sweets. But now they bring them to me just to show me the messages, then eat them for me instead.”

After an incredible transformation, Shelly has had the last laugh over those school bullies. She says: “I want to say to those bullies, ‘look at me now’. I’ve changed into a completely different person – it isn’t just how I look, it’s how I feel. I feel absolutely amazing.

“When I think back to the person I was before, it’s like I don’t even recognise myself.”

Shelly is now proud of her figure and has just been accepted as a Weight Watchers leader, which means running her own weight-loss sessions.

She says: “I’ve carried three babies, so I still have a little bit of a mummy tummy but it’s toned and flat. I’m not 18 any more.

“I love my body even though it’s not perfect. I’ve worked hard to get here. It’s my baby belly and I am proud of that, it’s part of me.”


Breakfast: Toast with lots of butter
and peanut butter

Lunch: Sandwich with crisps, chocolate and cake

Dinner: Frozen foods, processed foods, Indian and Chinese takeaways

Snacks: Biscuits and crisps


Breakfast: Crumpet with mashed banana and pomegranate

Lunch: Pitta bread with chicken and salad

Dinner: Venison burger with butternut squash chips

Snacks: Weight Watchers chocolate bar and low-fat crisps

  • Shelly’s story appears in the September issue of Weight Watchers magazine.
    For more info about healthy weight loss visit

Mum poses naked after belly dancing photo prompts her to lose six stone

Do you want to get a nice stomach, but you do not like regular abs exercises? Well, there is a solution. Dance abs workout! Training which is full of fun. And most importantly, you can burn belly fat and strengthen your core without doing any crunches or other boring moves.

Dancing seems to be not a real way of training, but an intensive and well-organized session can help you to burn a lot of calories. A 125 lb girl can burn about 350-400 calories with moderate dancing! Obviously, if the training is more intensive, you can burn much more.

And what do you need to get nice abs? Low body fat to have those abdominal muscles visible. If you dance moves and pay attention to your diet to burn more calories than your body needs daily, you can lean your midsection quickly.

Related: Best standing ab workout routines

Ok, so dancing is good because it helps to lose weight. But, how can it strengthen your core muscles?

Most of the exercises for abs are done on the floor by lifting the lower or the upper body. But, there are a lot of moves in standing position that strengthen those muscle groups really well.

For example, when you turn your torso your oblique are activated when you lift your legs or knees your rectus abdominis. They seem to be easy moves, but during a dancing workout, you perform a lot of reps that in the end add up.

And finally, dancing is a total body activity that shapes you from top to bottom. Have you ever seen professional dancers? They look perfect even if they have never entered the gym in their life.

So, does dancing give you a nice body?


You need to learn the basics a little bit, the steps and the movements. But, once you get familiar with the fundamentals, you can enjoy an effective and exciting workout.

Here I want to show you a few dance workout for abs in different styles so you can find the one that suits you the best.

1. 10 Minute cardio dance exercise workout for abs with Keaira LaShae

Only ten minutes but this Burn to the Beat workout will make you sweat. Many powerful moves are included in the routine such as side knee crunches, hip rolls, torso twists, pump squats, etc. to shape your entire midsection. Plus, it tones your thighs and butt. Do you need more? You can find more videos from Keaira LaShae’s youtube channel. ()

2. Hip Hop Dance Abs Workout Video

If you ask me one of the best music to work out in is hip-hop. The music itself with the beats makes me moving. From this video, you can learn even more dancing moves that target your entire core.

3. Zumba abs dance workout at home

Well, this Zumba flat abs workout is a bit harder than the previous ones since the moves are more complicated. But if you are already familiar with Zumba workout, it will not be a problem for you.

Is dancing exercise for tummy enough to build slim midsection?

Dancing seems to be not a real training compared to the ones in the gym, for example. But actually, it is a full body workout which is the best way to burn body fat. The more muscles are activated, the more exergy they need, and with that, the more calories your body burns.

And, to get a flat and attractive stomach, you have to get rid of the fat on it so that your abdominal muscles will be visible. We do abs exercises for strengthening and shaping the belly. Cardio workout and a healthy diet plan, in turn, helps to burn fat.

With a Zumba dance for flat tummy or with a hip hop dance workout, you can get both, shaping and calorie burning (like high intensite interval training. On top of that, they are more enjoyable than boring cardio or crunches.

To sum up

You do not have to do a lot of crunches or spend your time with boring planks to tone and strengthen your midsection. Just do these cardio dance abs workouts regularly. Once, you learn the basics and get used to the training, increase the length of your training and try to add new moves. You will see how well it shapes your body.

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Hey gorgeous! You ready for a dance party?! 👯

That’s what we have for you today today in your Tone It Up app! We’ve got such an exciting workout where you’ll dance it out while strengthening your core. Your amazing trainer Tori will lead you through a full sequence that gets your heart rate up, takes just a little coordination, and most of all, torches those abs! You will have a blast, so make sure you check out your Tone It Up app for the full routine! And don’t worry, you don’t have to have ANY dance experience to do these exercises and follow the sequences. Tori breaks it down step by step, so you can easily pick it up. You know Kat and I aren’t dancers, so if we can do it, anyone can haha!

The mini routine below will get you started sculpting dance-inspired abs. These are some of our fave moves from the workout!

Remember to show us your best moves on Insta using #TIUteam and #TIUapp!



4 Dance-Inspired Ab Moves

You don’t always need crunches and planks to get a core burn! Do these four moves below for three rounds to light up your abs from every angle. Don’t be afraid to add your own flare and just have fun with it!

Chest Circles

Torches your core!

Begin standing with feet about hip-width apart and hands on the hips, spine neutral. Push the chest forward like there’s a string pulling it front as you slightly arch your back. Then, push the chest to the right side. Next, pull the belly in toward the spine, slightly rounding the back. Finish by pushing the chest to the left side. Continue moving in a fluid circle, contracting your core the entire time. Make sure your hips stay steady.

Do for 30 seconds, then switch directions.

Hip Circles

Works your core, especially the obliques!

Begin standing with feet about hip-width apart and hands on the hips, spine neutral. Push the hips forward like there’s a string pulling your pelvis front as you slightly round your back. Then, push the hips to the right side. Next, push the hips back, slightly arching the back. Finish by pushing the hips to the left side. Continue moving in a fluid circle, contracting your core the entire time. Make sure your upper body stays steady.

Do for 30 seconds, then switch directions.

Jump Twist

Targets your midsection and sculpts your obliques!

Begin standing with feet together. Bring arms up to shoulder height, bending the elbows so your fists are at your collarbone. Lightly jump up as you twist your hips to the right and land with bent knees. Immediately hop back up, twisting your hips to the left and landing with bent knees. Continue alternating.

Do for 30 seconds.

Grapevine with Knee Tap

Works your legs, arms, and of course, your core!

Begin standing. Step out to the right with your right foot. Then step your left foot behind your right. Next, step you right foot out a little wider than hip-width. Tap your left toe out to the side. That’s your grapevine — feel free to add some bounce to it! Then, pull your left knee in and twist your torso to tap your right elbow to your knee. Do two knee-to-elbow twists. Then do the grapevine to the left and twists to the right. Continue alternating.

Do for 30 seconds.

8 Moves That Will Give You Hardcore Ballerina Abs

If you’ve ever envied Jenna Dewan’s dancer bod in Step Up enough to sign up for an Intro to Ballet class for adults (totally not me), then you may have discovered that dance is f*cking hard. Ballerinas are pros at making body-morphing, gravity-defying dance moves look easy and graceful, when in reality their bodies are working double time to make the choreography appear completely effortless.

RELATED: Use This 10-Minute Leg Workout to Get Toned While Channeling Your Inner Ballerina

A ballerina’s balance and posture comes from the core, meaning those sleek, feminine leotards are hiding rock-hard abs. When you dance, you are constantly engaging your abs, so core-strengthening exercises are a necessary way to cross train. Whether you’re already a dancer or just want killer ballerina abs (don’t we all?), Sassy Gregson Williams, ballerina and creator of Ballet Blast, is here to give you the moves that will get you in dancer shape, no tutu required.

RELATED: The Total-Body Strength Workout Professional Ballerinas Do Every Day

In the video above, Gregson Williams demonstrates eight exercises—from “Sit Up Beauties” to “Attitude Taps”—that will transform a flabby tummy to hardcore ballerina abs.

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Dancing exercises for ABS

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