I’ve been belly dancing on and off since I was about twenty-one. (That’s how old I was in the picture at right!) It’s great fun and good exercise, which can be as gentle or as strenuous as you like. I no longer attempt the acrobatic moves I did in my youth, such as bending backwards to pick up a veil or going to the floor in the splits, recovering to my knees and lying down between my feet! Help – the very thought is terrifying these days! But I enjoy the classes and the friends I make there.
The ladies in the picture above are members of the belly dancing class I attend in Perth. (I’m not there because I took the photo, which also explains why it’s not as clear as it might be.) We range in age from early 50s to almost 90! Our teacher, Ayesha, is in the centre, wearing a blue top.
In Mount Gambier, where I lived part of the time from 2006-2011 I attended class with Belinda Bright, who practises various holistic therapies as well as teaching Belly Dance. Belinda is in the centre in a blue top. (What is it with belly dance teachers and blue tops, I wonder?) Belinda has her website at www.feedyoursoul.com.au
As you can see, this was a mixed age class and I was in the upper age bracket. Belly dance is a popular fitness regime for older women, and it’s great for “fun, fitness and friendship” (as UK expert Hilary Thacker puts it) for women of all ages. Once again, I’m not in this photo because I took it.