“Belly dancing makes you love every muscle in the body. … It made me appreciate the curves I was born with.”
You may have seen belly dancing and been in awe, but actually doing it offers something no other workout does, says Malia Delapenia, belly dancing instructor, performer and choreographer. It makes you feel sexy, she says, plus “It definitely works those core muscles you never knew you had.”
Students of all skill levels and ages attend her hourlong classes, but especially women ages 20 to 50. Men also take it as a unique way to strengthen and challenge their bodies. “Every tendon gets moved and worked. And you’ll feel it the next day,” Delapenia says. When Delapenia first started, she says, she lost 20 pounds.
No dance experience is necessary since it’s more a fun workout than formal dance training. Delapenia, who has been teaching the ancient Middle Eastern dance for 15 years, says, there’s nothing intimidating about it, but you gain a lot from trying it. “Belly dancing makes you love every muscle in the body. … It made me appreciate the curves I was born with.”