Egyptians call it Raqs...Dance...unadulterated and uncomplicated, elegance in simplicity. It is a celebration and expression of life, of passion, of being a woman, of dancing from your heart. It is Raqs Sharqi, The Heart of Oriental Dance.

Dance is walking in time to music. Raqs Sharqi is no exception. Based on the theory of isolation, one part of the body moves while the rest of the body remains still. The arms and hands are a frame to bring focus and drama to a movement.

Raqs Sharqi, the solo female interpretive dance, uses sinuous, natural movements to open the door of the soul giving a glance at a woman's heart. A genuine form of self expression, the Dance combines the elegant undulations of the upper body with serpentine arm movements and hip articulation. It is a lyrical dance, designed to accentuate the magnificence of the female figure.

The physical and psychological benefits of the Dance are many. It is an excellent means of improving flexibility, reducing stress, keeping in shape and introducing a feeling of well-being. The non-impact steps are fluid, natural, with little movement about the floor and within gravity; therefore, no prior dance experience is necessary. Begin isolation movements tone the entire body from head to toe. As there is little stress on the joints, Raqs Sharqi compliments a woman's body regardless of age or fitness level.

Many women find menstruation and lower back pain is diminished through the manipulation of the hips and spine with the practice of Undulations and Hip Drops. The Camel Walk and Rib Circles and Slides also contribute to strengthening the abdominal muscles. The foundation for good posture, core stability, improved coordination, and supple joints has its roots in the combined exercise of these muscle groups.

A growing number of physicians feel Raqs Sharqi is beneficial in preventing osteoporosis and certain forms of arthritis by increasing a womans range of motion through this gentle exercise.

Stress, an all too common factor in our lives, can be reduced. Raqs Sharqi movements using the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back gently massage away tension and allow blood flow to be increased.

The Dance provides many women with the opportunity to reach within and release their innermost inhibitions. As a meditative practice, dancers often find the movements empowering in addition to being highly therapeutic. In this context, they refer to their art as mystical as well a sacred.

Concentrating on the music and choreography encourages dancers to explore their creativity, femininity, sensuality, and get in touch with their bodies. Raqs Sharqi also allows quality time for women who too often put their own needs in second place to those of others.