Wom­anly way to be fit

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Porirua women can get fit the sul­try Mid­dle East­ern way next month, at a belly-danc­ing work­shop in Plim­mer­ton.

Mana belly dancer Briar Rose Gill-Michaels hopes to in­fect those at­tend­ing with her en­thu­si­asm for the dance form, which be­gan when she was a teenager ex­plor­ing her Le­banese her­itage.

‘‘It’s really a pas­sion of mine,’’ Mrs Gill-Michaels says.

‘‘In a Mid­dle East­ern con­text you do it for joy, typ­i­cally at cel­e­bra­tions like wed­dings, and in front of other women.’’ Mrs Gil­lMichaels is a pro­tege of Welling­ton belly danc­ing iden­tity Huda and has per­formed for Egyp­tian mu­si­cian Hos­sam Ramzy, Aus­tralian-Mid­dle East­ern chef Greg Malouf at Welling­ton’s The Food Show, and in the Gypsy Trail pro­duc­tions at Bats The­atre.

Belly danc­ing is a de­light­ful form of ex­er­cise, she says.

‘‘On one hand it pro­vides this sen­sual ex­pe­ri­ence, with evoca­tive mu­sic, the se­quinned cos­tumes, and the moves are quite sen­sual and fem­i­nine. On the other hand it’s great ex­er­cise. You get to keep fit and flex­i­ble, and it works prob­lem ar­eas for women,’’ she says.

Those at­tend­ing do not need to dress in jew­elled bras and veils – a T-shirt and shorts will do.

The two- hour work­shop will in­tro­duce ba­sic belly- danc­ing moves, which Mrs Gill-Michaels trans­lates into ev­ery­day terms, such as bump­ing a car door shut with one’s hip. By the end of the ses­sion the class will be able to per­form the moves to mu­sic.

If there is enough in­ter­est af­ter the work­shop, Mrs Gill-Michaels plans to start reg­u­lar evening or week­end classes.

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