Dance moves that shake the hips and keep you fit

Dany Dalley (centre) teaches ladies how to belly dance. Photo: Tim Wilson (SG240417-203TW).
Dany Dalley (centre) teaches ladies how to belly dance. Photo: Tim Wilson (SG240417-203TW).

You don’t have to be ‘Shakira’ to shimmy your way to fitness - according to dance instructor Dany Dalley.

She has just started a new course of beginners’ sessions in belly dance at Weston Village Hall and says it’s a great way to tone up without necessarily getting ‘sweaty’.

For those worried that they have to wear skimpy, glittery costumes and display their midriff, fear not. For these sessions, normal comfy clothes are what’s required.

Dany (68) said: “I got into belly dancing ten years ago at a workshop organised by the Elloes Community Group - and I was hooked.

“I then went on to train as an instructor at the Josephine Wise Academy of Arabic Dance.

“A lot of people can watch belly dancing and then go on to teach the moves but it’s important to do the proper training to be an instructor.

“You need to know about the muscles you are working and how to warm-up and cool-down properly. You can even do an A-level in belly dance now.

“You don’t have to be like (pop performer) Shakira to do it. It’s for all ages and sizes.”

Dany’s recent set of five beginners’ sessions started on April 24 and the ladies that signed up learned to do moves such as shimmying, figures of eight, and posture techniques.

She added: “The first thing we spend time learning is how to move while controlling separate parts of the body. This is called isolating. We then string all those moves together to music.

“Belly dance is a great way to build confidence and self-esteem and calming you.

“As it’s low impact (without jumping around), it is very good for women of all ages. People get a lot out of it and you don’t have to already be fit to do it.”