Are you tired of mundane exercise routines? Are you looking for a class that is gentle, fun and exciting?
Well, we have great news, we have a belly dancing class just for you!
Belly dancing can not only improve your physical health and promote self-confidence, it can help to relieve stress in a supportive, friendly and safe environment. A different way to burn calories, belly dancing can be great for toning the upper arms, exercising abdominal muscles, strengthening ankles, sculpting legs and is an activity accepting of all body types! Not your ordinary exercise class, the ladies belly dancing class is modest, yet the ladies are able to get glam with beautiful, jingling hip scarfs and veils.
We interviewed Catherine O’Brien, Ghawazi Caravan troupe member, who facilitates the ladies belly dancing class at South Penrith Neighbourhood Centre.
What is your belly dancing background?
I am a long-time member of performance troupe Ghawazi Caravan from the Blue Mountains and I dance with them regularly.
How long have you been belly dancing?
Just over 20 years now (gee, time flies, doesn’t it?)
What type of belly dancing do you teach?
I teach a combination of traditional oriental style belly dance and tribal style belly dance, which is an eclectic mix of Oriental, Folkloric, Flamenco and Classical Indian styles.
How long have you been teaching the class at South Penrith Neighbourhood Centre?
Since October 2016
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’m actually very shy 🙂
What made you want to run a belly dancing class in a community setting?
I was asked to do a “taster” class for a Seniors Week event and the weekly class evolved from there. I really enjoy providing a worthwhile activity for women from the local community that is beneficial in so many ways, i.e. generally low impact, gentle physical exercise which stimulates the mind at the same time, and of course creating a safe, friendly place for like-minded women to meet and make new friends. I believe this is in keeping with the philosophy of the Neighbourhood Centre, which also provides an easily accessible space for the class.
How would you describe this class?
It is a fun relaxed class of lovely women who are happy to be themselves and enjoy having fun! We do a gentle warm up, followed by learning some fundamental belly dance movements, then we often learn a sequence of movements or a choreography, then end with a gentle cool down. We always have a bit of a laugh along the way!
What do you love about the class that you have currently?
Mostly the lovely ladies who come along! They make the experience so wonderful and worthwhile! The continuous support of the lovely staff from the Neighbourhood Centre is also very much appreciated.
What do the ladies who attend enjoy most about this class?
I think the ladies enjoy the comradery and the relaxed fun nature of the class – we all love to have a laugh and connect with one another.
Who would you recommend this class to?
All women who are looking for something a little different to get a bit of exercise, be active in both mind and body and make new friends at the same time!
If you are interested in joining this class, you are more than welcome to come along to get a taste on Mondays 12:30 – 1:30pm or contact Catherine on 0416 199 842.