Story: Farzana Khan and Lisa Swift
Photo: Farzana Khan
Arabic dancing classes are the new craze at Whiteways School. Organized by Usha Blackham for women and mothers at the school, it has been running since September.
Some people might call it belly dancing, but it's not about showing your mid-riff - you can wear whatever you like, and the main thing is to exercise the body. Dancing helps you keep fit and healthy.
Class instructor Lynn Fletcher, from Zubaidah Arabic Dance, told us:
"I love teaching people, even if people have two left feet, it's really good for coordination. I've been teaching for nine years; I started dancing after I fractured my spine! I had to learn to walk again; first through yoga and then Arabic dancing I was able to strengthen my back. It exercises all parts of the body from your ankles to your finger tips."
Speaking to class members they said:
"We love it. It's exhilarating, and it makes you feel really feminine." Shahina
"It's good to lose weight and you meet new people. Women from any culture can come and enjoy it." Donna
"It's good fun. It gives you a lot of confidence."
"Even if you're not coordinated its okay, because it's broken down into steps and it makes it easier to pick up." Kath
Usha said, "It's made a huge difference to me, I feel healthier and more confident. It's made me more energetic. It's only Arabic dancing that can help you tone certain parts of your body, like the hips, shoulders and neck."
The dancers work together both in pairs and groups, and there's a really supportive atmosphere. It's a lot of fun and women of any ability can take part and enjoy the exercise.
To join the class contact Usha Blackham on 242 3169.
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