My humble opinion only:
Belly dancer’s Tip #1: If you are just learning the art of belly dance, throw your self-conscious, poor body image bullsh*t aside and bare your midriff during classes. This way you can actually see your isolations, upper torso movements and how your upper body is separate from your lower body and where on YOUR body it happens. To be a beautiful belly dancer you don’t need abs of steel or a 23” waist, you need grace, poise, love of the art and music, a desire to tap into a more sensual and feminine you and a story to tell. And…if anyone tells you differently or makes you feel badly about you, then tell us, your dance sisters and we will always let you know how beautiful a dancer and person you really are (and then give us their address so we can knock their house down with the awesome power of our collective shimmies)!
Luisa A. Fuentes
(And if I may add: Whether you attend class w/your tummy bared or not, the important part is that you learn to dance in a supportive, well-informed and awesome environment. Seeing isolations is vital, but you can do that w/tanks and tees, or whatever you’re most comfortable in. (Just make sure you really CAN see your isolations. *sternface*)
Regardless of attire however, every student deserves a place where they can feel safe to learn and grow and explore, free of judgment.So if your teacher is one of those people giving you shite about your size, FIND ANOTHER TEACHER. You don’t need to take that crap from ANYONE, and you most certainly don’t need to be PAYING someone to give you hell about your size. Dance critiques? Fine. Shite about your body size/shape..? NOT OKAY. NEVER.)