PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — This time of self-quarantine and social distancing has taken a toll on some people’s mental health. Years ago, one woman opened a belly dance studio after finding it helped her to clear her mind.
You may have seen belly dancers perform in certain restaurants but for the dancers, it’s more than just a show—it’s a workout of the body and the mind.
“There’s a lot of research that needs to be done but there has been some research on balance and how balance affects your brain and the functioning of the brain,” said Rachel Brice of Datura Belly Dance.
Before she ever took a yoga or dance class, Brice said her ADHD kept her from being able to sit still. She started Datura Belly Dance Studio years ago. The studio recently moved into a bigger space in Northeast Portland.
Brice said she and the other instructors incorporate yoga and pilates and even classic Indian dances into the belly dance classes.
“It’s more about making sure your core is healthy so you can move it in all kinds of unusual ways,” she said. “But the main benefits for me, and I think for most people, have been increased circulation.”
The studio had to temporarily close due to the coronavirus pandemic but the instructors are offering online classes. Brice believes in the critical importance of taking care of your whole body—including your mind—now more than ever.
“People don’t often tell me where they’re struggling but they do tell me where they’ve succeeded so they’ll write me and tell me, ‘You know, some of the teachings in class I’m really inspired by.'”