Womanly way to be fit
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.