All you ladies (and men) need to have a go at this! It will make you feel sexier, fitter, (oh boy, will you feel fitter) and you will have a blast doing it. – belly dancing.
I’ve written before about the benefits of belly dancing and shall be doing a feature on it for the Huffington Post but for now let me just tell you that this is without doubt, one of the most enjoyable ways to exercise. I was lucky enough to attend one of Fleur Estelle’s classes at Dance Attic Studios in London. There are drop in classes and if you are in London, go try one out.
It’s not difficult to do, as long as you forget you look like one of the hippos off Fantasia and concentrate on the moves. Fleur and her class were extremely welcoming. I’ve attended lots of classes over the years, and even given them when I used to be a personal trainer, but I have never been part of such a serene and beautiful class before. They all have stories of how belly dancing has improved their lives, self esteem and health and if belly dancing is going to make me look like them, then sign me up for a year’s course.
Moves were simple yet the concentrated effort in holding arms at certain angles while pretending to be elegant, reminded me slightly of the effort required for Tai Chi. After fifteen minutes I was red-faced (like Susannah in my book) and puffing slightly. It is an excellent work out that puts little pressure on you, or your joints.
Enough of the praise. You get the idea by now.
How did we get on?
It was a breeze, especially after zip-lining. I got placed at the front of the class (!) and copied the enigmatic and extremely enthusiastic, Fleur. That lady oozes energy and elegance.
After a while, the music took over and I found myself making a reasonable effort. That is to say, I didn’t fall over anyone and didn’t laugh too much at myself. In fact, I really enjoyed sashaying about pretending I was too sexy for my shirt.
We practised some basic moves: shoulder shimmying, hip shimmying and some superb hand movements.
Rule number one when shimmying … smile.
Rule number two when doing belly dancing … relax. You will enjoy it a whole lot more.
Rule number three … enjoy it.
Find out about Fleur and her classes by clicking through to her website HERE.
My thanks go out to Minna Rossi too, who took all the photographs for the session and was one of the nicest photographers to work with. She travels around the country, so if you are looking for some special photos of a celebration or just fancy a portrait doing, or a new author photo, check her out HERE. She is not only extremely professional but one of those super photographers who makes you forget you are being photographed.
Now, what are you waiting for? Get signed up to a class.