It can be argued that belly dancing is way older than pole dancing, after all the sexy, torso-driven, sensual dance with Egyptian origin dates back to the 1860s.
Pole dancing, on the other hand, is much younger, gaining traction in the late 90s and becoming a full-blown fitness exercise in the 2000s. Both dances have distinct characteristics, one requiring a pole and the other requiring hips and torso flexibility.
It’s often rare to find anyone caught in between pole dancing and belly dancing, and if you’re a dance lover, you may just go for both.
But before you choose, here are some things to know.
Pole Dancing vs. Belly Dancing
Pole dancing is an aerial art, requiring a vertical pole, and mostly upper-body strength. It combines flexibility, grace, and strength while mixing acrobatics and dance moves.
Although pole dancing traces its origins to the strip club, it’s a conservative form of fitness and exercise.
On the other hand, Belly Dancing traces its roots to North Africa (especially Egypt). As its name suggests, it involves dancing with the belly while gyrating the torso and hips.
Perhaps the greatest difference between pole dancing and belly dancing is the use of pole and aerial dance tricks.
Belly dancing, in many of its forms, involves hand and arm, waist, and belly movement. Although it is great for belly exercise and losing stomach fat, belly dancing doesn’t encourage as much fitness gains as pole dancing.
In addition, pole dancing can often be done in regular sports, exercise, or pole outfits, however, belly dancing involves specific costumes and accessories. For belly dancing, you’ll need a bra/bodice, skirt or harem pants, a decorative hip scarf or belt, and other accessories like arm cuffs, anklets, wristbands, necklaces, headpieces, and finger cymbals.
Read Also: Pole Dancing With Cellulite & Stretch Marks
Benefits of Pole Dancing vs. Belly Dancing
Pole dancing and belly dancing both have great benefits, depending on what you aim to achieve.
If you’re aiming for a more robust fitness gain, you should definitely consider pole dancing. This is because pole dancing involves upper body strength and tones your muscles as you practice different moves.
However, I should warn you that pole dancing involves a lot of pole kisses in the early stages. You’ll also need to pair pole dancing with some ankle and heel exercises as well as other fitness exercises to warm up and stay in shape.
Belly dancing is great for waist flexibility and burning stomach fat. It’s also a wonderful addition to the bag, especially if you’re interested in semi-erotic dance and twerking.
I should point out that both forms of dancing can be addictive, especially when you fall in love with them. They’ll also help you love and appreciate your body better.
Find out how often you should pole dance here.
Pole Dancing or Belly Dancing?
There’s no need to choose one if you can have both. However, consider your goals and priorities if you’re constrained by time, money, or other reasons.
Choose belly dancing if you aim for waist and torso flexibility or to burn stomach fat. Pole dancing is more advisable if you’re looking to build upper-body strength or love aerial sports and dance fitness.
I have been pole dancing for a little over 5 years. I’m happy to share my experience and recommendations on this blog while also encouraging more women to take on the beautiful art of pole dancing.