I’m not into “fitness.” I’ve attended fitness classes, yoga, tai chi, aqua-fit, tennis and golf lessons, and the list goes on. I never enjoyed any of them. They either frustrated me or put me to sleep. Other than walking, there is no exercise I enjoy except for dancing, and belly dancing is my favourite dance of them all.
While in my thirties, I danced regularly and was in good health.
My first belly dancing teacher was a young woman with long blonde hair who had learned to belly dance in northern Africa from the local women who gathered in the town square to bake bread together and exchange the daily news.
My friend Denise Dunn was her star pupil. Denise took over the class and started a Middle Eastern Dance performance troupe. I took dance classes from Denise and so did my daughter who was around five years old then. She looked so cute in her harem pants and little top, and kept up with all the other women.
Now, about thirty years later, I attended a belly dance workshop taught by Martha Reid. Martha dances in the same ethnic tradition as my first teacher and Denise. She had all twenty of us doing a complete dance by the end of two hours. Her up-beat teaching style, her loving acceptance of every body, and her choice of music gave us confidence and kept us joyful throughout.
Belly dancing is an amazing way to get fit and stay that way. I never recommend an activity for its fitness benefits, but I am breaking my rule and recommending belly dancing. What’s not to love?