Belly dance as a strategy for women's self care.
The focus of this study was the exploration of belly dance as a form of female self care. The specific facet of self care explored was female health and well being as impacted on by belly dance. There is a limited amount of existing scholarly studies t hat focus on the value of belly dance in self care. Therefore this study followed a qualitative format which promoted exploration of th is under researched field. This study occurred in a context where women’s lives are busier than ever before as a result of their involvement in both the home and the workplace. Thus there is a need for them to engage in self care activities that effectively restore and replenish body, mind and soul in order to enable them to continue to meet their multiple responsibilities in a functional manner. Facets of self care explored were psychical, mental and social health and well being as impacted on by belly dancing. To achieve this, data collection tools of focus groups and interviews, following a semi-structured format were used. The results showed that belly dance plays a significant and positive role, not only in female self care but in enjoyment as well. Some specific aspects of belly dance found to be useful to female self ca re was its liberating use of the female form, its non-discriminatory aspect that unites all women in enjoyment of the dance, the absence of men, the supportive presence of women, the music, the feminine aspects, a secure environment and the opportunity that belly dance presents for women to pl ay a different role. Conclusions point to women viewing society as androcentric and providing little opportunity for feminine expression. A major conclusion is that women are non-verbally strong, relational beings who are predisposed to the language of dance and music. They are effectively revitalised by dance and music as presented by belly dance. This has implications for social work service delivery to women on multiple levels.