Friends Valerie Rasheed-Dale and Vaiyyah Abdullah strike a move at the Fifth Annual Bellydancers of Color Association (BOCA) Expo held Memorial Day weekend in Silver Spring. Courtesy Photo
Friends Valerie Rasheed-Dale and Vaiyyah Abdullah found that among the many perks to bellydancing was looking and feeling better in midlife than they ever had in their 20s. In fact, this yearâ€™s annual Bellydancers of Color Association Movement and Wellness Expo, brought thousands of African American women from around the country out to share their testimonies, demonstrate their moves, and fellowship with one another.
For Rasheed-Dale, a financial educator from Roanoke, Va. who makes the four-hour trip in to the District weekly for bellydancing classes, health concerns took the forefront in her decision to join classes.
â€œBellydancing is sensual, but it is also fun. Itâ€™s about the healing and corrective power of the movements in bellydancing that help women physically and mentally,â€ she said.
Rasheed-Dale said the movements are good for reproductive health, as well as a host of ailments brought on by poor diet and exercise.