These people have signed the Belly Dance at Any Size Manifesto, meaning they affirm that everyone has a right to move their bodies in a safe and comfortable environment regardless of their age, weight, shape, ability or activity-level.
Names are listed by region/country and then by alphabet.
Comments: At a size 14, I love to dance. Remember, Marilyn Monroe was a size 14.
Comments: It is no one’s business who should be able to belly dance. If you want to dance your heart out, then do so without fear of being ridiculed. No one is living your life but you. Never live your life for someone else.
Comments: Dance should be shared no matter what size or shape.
Comments: I am always looking for people to practice with!
Comments: Enjoy every moment of dance and life, it is a beautiful journey worth traveling.
Comments: Never let someone else’s opinion define who you are, what you think, or stop you from doing something that makes you happy.
Comments: As a short, full-figured, visually impaired girl and pursuer of the art of bellydance, I am SO 100% behind this you can not EEEEEVEN imagine. I am applauding with every atom within me, and am so, SO glad to’ve found this place. Love love love this, and AMEN!!!
St. Paul, MN
Comments: “O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we know the dancer from the dance?” ~ William Butler Yeats
Grand Forks, ND
Comments: It’s so marvelous to see a community like this come together! Keep dancing, sisters!
Comments: I believe that Belly Dance is both a celebration of the female spirit and a physical display of the strength and beauty of women of all sizes, ages, and shapes.
Comments: I always tell my students that belly dance is for everyone!
Comments: My group was named after the continents coming together to illustrate that anyone, of any size, shape, or race, could dance in one group!
Comments: What a wonderful idea! I pray that our attitudes and hearts take the belly dance world by storm!!
St. Louis, MO
Comments: I have been belly dancing for almost 14 years, but my professional life is also tied to belly dancing. I am the owner of The Dancers Eye – Fine Art Bellydance Photography. As someone who has been size 4-22 and every size in between, I work to promote loving the skin you are in, no matter your size! My business motto is:
The Dancers Eye believes in beauty: Laughter is beautiful. Kindness is beautiful. Cellulite is beautiful. Softness and plumpness and roundness are beautiful. It’s more important to be interesting, to be vivid, and to be adventurous, than to sit pretty for pictures. A woman’s soft tummy is a miracle of nature. Beauty comes from tenderness. Beauty comes from variety, from specificity, from the fact that no person in the world looks exactly like anyone else. Please honor our view on beauty.
Comments: I LOVE TEACHING BELLY DANCE!! I encourage everyone to love their whole self, inside and out. And love who they are right now, not wait until they are a certain size….. And always carry with you happy, loving thoughts. When in doubt, Shimmy!!!
Comments: Wonderful site! We are all beautiful and should strive to be healthy in body and mind, and size does not play into it! I find you very beautiful and inspiring!
Elizabeth (Liz) Palmer
Comments: A decade ago, I saw an ad for belly dance classes to be held in my favorite, funky lil’ New Age shop. I thought, “Why the effe not?” and signed up for one class, just to try it. From my very first shimmy, I was hooked! I don’t dance as much as I used to, (thanks, arthritis!) but I’m still very much in love with belly dance in all its forms; and continue to make belly dance dolls. I just can’t stop making them! Thank you for your wonderful site–you help keep my passion for this glorious dance alive and well!
Gretchen A. Coleman
Comments: I’m in dance lessons as a way to help boost my self-esteem. I’ve found that the folks involved in this community are strong, open, and accepting.
Comments: I think all dancers should begin to learn the basics of the music, storylines and classic forms. I think of myself as a purist.
Comments: Iorra and Silk Road Studio – Peoria specializes in teaching Middle Eastern and Fusion dance styles in a friendly, non-judgmental environment that encourages personal growth, learning new skills, companionship, and fitness for all adult age and experience levels.
Comments: I belong to an amateur troupe of all ages and sizes. We support each other and appreciate our sister dancers.
Comments: Yes we should be able to dance if we want no matter the age or size
Palos Park, IL
Comments: I work with a great instructor and a awesome team of belly dancers. Our troupe comes in all shape and sizes and we always support and encourage each other. I couldn’t ask for a better group of ladies to be a part of my life.
Comments: My favorite group to teach is beginners, because the progression from ”I hate my body” to ”WOW, I can DO this” is so wonderful. Belly Dance is for all body types, and it’s such an excellent way to build confidence and self esteem.
Comments: Dance is not limited to the select few that fit into our societies view of ”fit” and ”attractive”. Dance is a necessary part of everyones life especially when that movement brings us profound joy and a happy relationship with our body.
St. Paul, MN
Melanie Swiderek aka Zahra
Comments: My name is Rae. I was exposed to North African styles of dance when I have ten years old. Now as a grown woman I have decided to dust of my old moves and learn some new ones. Thank you for encouraging women of all sizes to dance. =D
Maple Grove, MN
Comments: Thank you for standing up for dancers of all sizes.
Comment: Everybody dance. Every body DANCE!
Upstate New York
Comments: I dance with and recently started co-teaching one of the EVE Tribal Belly Dance Company troupes. We are very welcoming bunch 🙂 I know many other girls and our instructor would love this site!
Carol Morse (aka Mehira)
Comments: I love the diversity in a belly dance class. Everyone moves so well and makes it their own.
Comments: Would love to try this challenge and teach some of it in my fitness classes.
Comments: Oasis Dance Center celebrates women and teens of every age, shape size, and fitness level!
Comments: “Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion.” ~ Martha Graham
Comments: This is a great way to celebrate everyone’s unique beauty! As it should be!
West Chester, PA
Comments: Mary David is a member of Sabeela Tribal, a purely American Tribal Style® belly dance troupe which honors the legacy of ATS®, as created by Carolena Nericcio of FatChanceBellydance®. Sabeela Tribal celebrates life and finds serenity by dancing this beautiful style of belly dance. American Tribal Style® is a group dance format and
Mary currently teaches Level 1 ATS® in West Chester, PA and is she also available for workshops and private lessons. You can find out more about them on Facebook, too!
Highland Park, NJ
Comment: As someone who came up through the ranks as a belly dance student who was often the only larger woman in the class I applaud this resource – sometimes I got teachers who where encouraging and supportive and knew where to send me for larger hip belts and the like, and sometimes I got teachers who didn’t have a clue — it’s fantastic to have a way to specifically find a teacher who has at the very least given the situation some thought!
Comments: Every body that dances is a “dancer’s body.”
Natalie Habalou Johnsen
Long Island, NY
Comments: Every woman is a goddess. Every human is a dancer.
Comments: I started with an adult education class and kept on learning with various teachers in NJ and NY for over 10 years now. Dance has helped me physically and emotionally and in growing confidence. I’ve met some great people along the way and had some wonderful experiences performing. Its been challenging as a plus sized older woman adapting moves, making or finding costumes that fit but now I’m making my own.
Harrisburg Area, PA
Comments: We believe ”A dancer without passion is like the sky without stars”. Like Dancers, no two stars are the same. It is variety that makes the wondrous night sky. So it is with our Dance. – Egyptian Moon Dance Company
Comments: I’ve been a belly/near and middle eastern dancer for >30 yrs, have an active dance troupe (>20 yrs), teach, run dance events, etc. My size has changed over this time, I’ve danced through 2 pregnancies, other life events. I’ve always taught that dance is for everybody and is one of the oldest human activities!
Comments: Love this site!!
Baton Rouge, LA
Comments: All dancers are beautiful!
Comments: What a great site! One of the most fulfilling elements of teaching is seeing the amazing emotional transformation that often happens not long after my students begin classes. Many of them start very timidly. So, their confidence begins to grow and then they are EMPOWERED and liberated! They find the free spirited little girl inside that is always begging to get out into the world….the un-afraid little girl that just goes for it! Yay belly dance. It’s for EVERYONE!
Comments: I have students in all shapes and sizes and ages for that matter. I belly dance because I am alive! Stop over and see us at shimmy to be fit – helping people (not just women) everywhere to get healthier one hip drop at a time!
Baton Rouge, LA
Hickory Creek, TX
Comments: We all have our own beauty!
Comments: Bellydancers “raq” when united! 🙂
Comments: It doesn’t matter what you look like, you should have the right to dance and not be judged.
Comments: Thank you for this idea/site! This dance is for everyone, thank you for reinforcing this in such a positive way.
Granite Falls, NC
Granite Falls, NC
St. Petersburg, FL
Comments: I AM THE ANY SIZE BELLY DANCER! I am comfortable in my own skin and at my own size. I love that this dance allows me that…C’mon, get YOUR BellyGroove on!
Comments: Thanks for being there!!
Comments: I love this! I’ve had some great experiences through belly dance and I’ve done so many things that I never thought possible. Belly dance has taught me to love and value myself and my dance sisters <3
Comments: I love your site! I see I missed your 90 day challenge but I am going to start my on challenge and see where it leads me, I love to dance!
Panama City, FL
Comments: Thank you for your work. Thank you for supporting the essential truth of belly dance, the art that celebrates and beautifies all bodies!
Palm Coast, Florida
Comments: As a bigger girl it was hard getting people to accept me in the other style (ex. Ballet jazz tap) but when I found tribal fusion uneasy accepted by Tribal Fusion,ATS and Egyptian dancers I’m finally sticking to something!
Comments: Dance has no prejudices — Everyone is beautiful and every expression of dance and joy is beautiful. Dance, Laugh, and Enjoy!
Kira M Hays
Coral Springs, FL
Johnson City, TN
Comments: Anyone can belly dance! I am so glad to share this experience with other women of all sizes 🙂 We are all BEAUTIFUL!!
Comments: I agree 100%
Murray, KY USA
Comments: This is a great project and I am proud to show my support.
Chapel Hill, NC
Comments: I believe that belly dancing should be available to all people regardless of age, size, sex, sexual orientation or fitness level.
Selimah aka Patt Stanfill
Comments: I have been Belly Dancing over 37 years. I am the director of Mystic Hips Belly Dance and we believe Belly dance is for women of all ages, shapes, and sizes.
Comments: I agree whole-heartedly with this message. As a plus size dancer, I am honored to teach ANYONE not comfortable with their body and help them become aware of who they are and embrace it.
West – Mountains
Comments: I am so glad I found this website and am so excited to grow into the belly dancing community. As a women with a little extra cushion I was intimidated by the idea of learning to belly dance. I am a college student and my college offers a class. Thank you!
Comments: Life isn’t about surviving the storm but how to dance in the rain.
Comments: Enjoy your body! It’s meant to move.
Comments: As director of Sha’Waza Belly Dance and Painted Gypsies Tribal Dance, I have always supported and encouraged dancers of all shapes, sizes and ages. Beauty is created by confidence and love of self and should never be taken away. Thank you all for being who you are!
Kathryn Lutra Brinkerhoff
Comment: I agree completely with the manifesto!
Comments: Thank you!
Casa Grande, AZ
Comments: Thank you so much for this opportunity. I’m often approached by women who are interested in taking belly dance but who insist they don’t “have the body” for it. I’m always eager to explain how belly dance is designed to showcase the beauty of bodies of all shapes and sizes. It is empowering and can benefit all individuals as we learn how to embrace our differences and revel in our own unique beauty. 🙂
Comments: I appreciate what you are doing. I love to belly dance. I have been doing it for a couple of years now off and on. I am a size 18 full figured woman and like you I agree there is no size big or small that should be limited to what they can or can not do. Thank you so much.
Casa Grande, AZ
Comments: Belly dance is a beautiful artform that looks amazing on everybody. Not only has it provided me with a low-impact physical activity necessary to keep my body healthy, but the movement, music, dance, sisterhood, and community provide stimulation for my continuing mental and emotional health as well. I can’t recommend it enough!
Comments: I am tired for being judged for being a bigger girl. I am tired of being made to feel like less of a person because of it. I think everyone regardless of their physical appearance or their thoughs and feelings should be able to do what makes them feel free and good. I especially think that those of us with a little extra to us should just view it as more of us to love.
Comment: Belly dancing, in the right environment, can transform a woman from someone who unsure and self-conscious to one who is self-assured and loves her body the way it is. Belly dance can help teach you to love yourself no matter your shape or size!!!
Comments: Firm believer in beauty at every size
West – Pacific
A. Marina Fournier
San Jose, CA
Comments: I am the oldest and the heaviest in my troupe and class. Very few in the class fit the cabaret dancer form stereotype. It’s very comfortable there, no matter age, weight, experience, or skill level.
Comments: I’d love to join, please.
Paso Robles, CA
Comments: One of the best things I ever did for my self esteem was belly dance. We’ve move to CA now, and I’ll keep looking until I find a group who believes this truth as much as the wonderful ladies in NC do.
Etang and Tammy
Comments: YOUR BODY RAKS: bellydance • body justice • joy.
Your Body Raks is the home of Raks Africa, Oakland’s favorite award-winning bellydance duo! We are also the co-directors of the Girls Raks Bellydance & Body Image Program. Join our community on Facebook: www.facebook.com/yourbodyraks
Comments: Belly dance helped me to finally and totally beat the eating disorder I struggled with through my late teens and early 20’s. I credit dancing for the happy, healthy, chubby, comfortable in my own skin person that I am today.
Santa Maria, CA
Santa Maria, CA
Jodi Traister (Samovila)
Comments: As the adorably round student of an adorably round teacher, I am so excited to find a dance form in which my body is celebrated by those who practice it, along with every other body type, rather than tut-tutted over or actively shunned.
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Paso Robles, CA
Comments: I am so glad for this website 🙂
Comments: What a wonderful resource you are creating! As a dancer, instructor, troupe director and all around bellydance enthusiast who is also a ”woman of size”, I applaud your efforts! Thank you!!
San Jose, CA
Comments: Amen sisters and brothers! It’s about art, fun, empowerment, beauty as we define it for ourselves, music, technique…so many things that don’t include size/shape/gender/orientation, etc. Shimmy on!
Comments: I think Belly Dance at Any Size is wonderful! I direct a non-profit youth mentorship program in Portland, OR, that promotes healthy body image and self-esteem through belly dance and yoga, The Marissa Mission. One of our core values is to not discriminate against anyone for any reason. Keep up the good work! And look for a mention about Belly Dance at Any Size in my article about belly dance and body image in the Winter 2013/2014 issue of News From the Hip Magazine!
Comments: I love this site.
Sharon ”Hali” Garcia
San Jose, CA
San Jose, CA
San Francisco Bay Area, California
Comments: A dancer’s body and her ability to bring the music to life are important in Belly Dance. Our shape, size or age are irreverent. Enjoying our movements and the way they feel, absorbing the music and translating that with our bodies is paramount. Belly Dance is for every body.
Comments: Discover your inner Goddess with Zahira. I believe that bellydancing for all women and sizes. My class is focused on fostering positive body images as well as healthy self-esteem for all women!
Comments: I teach the Read My Hips choreography class in Ponoka and we have women sized 2 to 22 and they are all goddesses!!! I myself am a size 14 and I encourage women of all sizes to find their own rhythm and shimmy to it!!!
Comments: I am very round and not too tall, getting older and absolutely love to dance. No one can tell me I can’t.
Comments: Bellydance is for everyBODY.
Thunder Bay, ON
Comments: Excellent website!
Comments: Thanks! Love from a size positive belly dancer!
Comment: For the beauty of the dance and the dancers…
Monique Cote Thomas
Comments: I started teaching belly dance as a way to help women feel beautiful in their own skin regardless of what society says!!
Comments: I strongly believe that bellydance is one of the few dance forms that does embrace and celebrate dancers of all ages and sizes. I have an ideology in my classes that is ”dance in your body, today, here and in the present. ” I find many dancers struggle with just accepting not only who they are but where they are at in dance, and sometimes being reminded that this is ”thier journey and dance and that they need to be in thier bodies and minds not others” is needed. We must support and encourage each other. I say be real, be kind.
100 Mile House, BC
Samira of Mystic Sands
Comments: Andalee, I am a huge fan of yours and you are an inspiration of mine.
Comments: What a beautiful manifesto! Honouring and celebrating the beauty of femininity regardless of age or size is such an important message for every person. Kudos to you, what an amazing site!
Comments: I love that manifesto!
Dorrit Fahrida B. B. Ladefoged
Comment: Andalee offers safe and friendly belly dance instruction and coaching. She’ll explore the different techniques and styles. You can pick the ones that work for you and your body! She is also the founder of Belly Dance at Any Size.
Eschenbach in der Oberpfalz
Comments: Wonderful website! I teach belly dance to military spouses and we work on developing positive identities through belly dance. A resource like this website is fantastic!
Comments: Congratulations and respect for your great work!
Utrecht, Netherlands, EU
Comments: I believe that belly dance is a wonderful art form for everyone, regardless of age, size or gender. I will never allow any type of discrimination, bullying or shaming in my own classes or events, and I avoid supporting anyone who does allow this behaviour.
Comments: Curvy women can move just as well as anyone I love Bellydancing
Comments: I always say to myself that in Turkey it was traditional to pay the dancer her weight in gold – so don’t let your weight get you down, because you are precious!
Comments: I agree 😀
Comments: Belly dance has been a big part of my journey for self esteem and self acceptance after a traumatic childhood. It has given me confidence and I love to show my daughter that you are beautiful no matter what you shape.
Comments: I agree! Body Positivity is important.
Wodonga VIC Australia
Comments: I was a teacher – haven’t danced for 8 years – my weight is one of the reasons; but since I have stopped dancing I have put on SO MUCH more weight. Over the years I founded a couple of different dance groups, the last one ABDOMEN had the tag line: All women, All sizes, All Beautiful. Good on you for doing this. Also I want to sign up for the 90 day challenge and use it to get back into dancing.
Comments: Agree wholeheartedly!
(Location not specified)
Comment: Such an awesome site!
Location not listed
Comments: Nobody has the right to tell me I’m not a good dancer, not happy, not talented, not a good friend, am lazy….just because of their problem with my size.
Comments: I wholeheartedly agree with this manifesto!