Health & safety risks


  • Most dance and fitness classes are intended for women in good health and average fitness.
  • Bellydance is NOT risk-free.  One of the most widespread myths of bellydance is that it is “totally safe” for everyone. It’s not.    NO dance style is.
  • The various schools and styles of bellydance have important technical and aesthetic differences.  Some promote techniques that are dangerous and many are contra-indicated.  This is especially true of Americanized bellydance and Tribal styles, which are more focussed on highly stylized tricks of body manipulation that look very cool, but are damaging to the body, especially the hips, back, and knees.  Many teachers are so under-trained that they cannot identify which movements would be included in this category.   Most floor work, backbends, hair tossing, etc. are going to cause permanent sometimes serious damage.   Many use the excuse “Oh well I am fine, I can do backbends” and assume that this is also safe for students.   This is negligent.
  • HEALTH CONCERNS & ISSUES—If you are pregnant, immediately post-partum, post-surgery, have undiagnosed chronic joint pain, have a chronic medical condition or injury, have shortness of breath, or experience dizziness, PLEASE confirm with your chosen health professional that you are fit enough to take a dance class.   Complete a Par Q form and/or Parmed-X form with your physician. If your health-care provider has no first-hand experience in dance–and most don’t–Nicola is happy to consult and discuss the details with her/him.  You may require modifications and precautions, and be briefed on warning signs.  Keep in mind many health professionals have no direct, informed interaction with dance and may be operating on assumptions.
  • Orientale dance like any dance form can be strenuous, and may cause pain, strain, injury, or  aggravate existing problems. Rotational and twisting movements common to bellydance, especially with both feet planted, are NOT recommended for pregnancy, chronic back/hip/knee issues, or post-surgery.
  • While Nicola is qualified to help you adapt the movements, you must be prepared to be honest and to respect the limits of your body.   Many “bellydance” teachers are under-trained as dancers, and extremely under-trained as teachers of dance, lacking in any kind of training for prevention of injury.  Many believe that all movements of bellydance are inherently “safe”.
  • If you choose to participate without sharing important health information, you’ll have less fun, learn less, be distracted, and will likely hurt yourself.  You may also worsen or trigger a condition.
  • Students who carry medications and remedies such as inhalers, insulin, Epipens, or have other medications they may need in an acute health crisis should notify Nicola prior to class.  Please make sure that you have taken the time to explain what assistance you may require, and where you will store this medication in class.
  • NO perfume or fragrance products of any kind in classes or workshops.
  • Questions? Please contact Nicola prior to class start.  204-957-7520