I'm a dancer, blogger, writer and website designer, Scottish by birth but Australian by choice, living in Sydney. Find my blog at www.marisawright.com
Published February 12th 2015
Belly dancing is a low impact, fun way to get fit, especially for older women - and if you're too tired to exercise during the week, weekend classes are the perfect solution.
Amera's Palace at Marrickville has classes on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It's a lovely modern studio with huge mirrors - it can get hot on a summer morning as the sun beams in through the big windows, so wear something light and hope the air con has been switched on early.
Typical belly dance students show off their skills
The Newtown Middle Eastern Dance Centre offers Beginners' classes at 9.30 Saturday and an Open class at 10.30. Their studio is in Enmore, it's not as clean and modern but on the plus side, it's got real character!
The nice thing about these morning classes is that both studios are right next to their local cafe/restaurant strip, so there's the chance to get together with fellow students for a coffee or lunch before or after the class - unlike evening classes where we are always rushing in from work or rushing home for one reason or another.
Amera's Palace and NMEDC are the oldest-established studios in Sydney and both aim to educate their students about Middle Eastern dance and music, so they are more than just a wiggle and a giggle - though you can have a lot of fun in the process!
If you're looking for something less traditional, Rachael Melky runs "modern belly dance" classes at Dance Central in Surry Hills on Saturdays at 1pm. These classes teach bellydance-style moves to Western music.
Actually Tony, you don't need a lot of energy - belly dance is low impact and you can do it as slow or as fast as you like. And although it's a bit of a sisterhood, when a man does have the courage to join in, he's usually thoroughly spoiled!