Anne Laing embraces diversity with belly dancing | Latest Updates
Kent State belly dance instructor Anne Laing embraces the diverse culture in the art of belly dancing for Kent State students this semester. The class is for students who want a fun and interesting workout with a sense of style.
âTwelve years ago I took belly dancing lessons at Kent State,â Laing said. “I’m glad the school decided to bring back a workout that educates people about the diversity of belly dancing.”
For the past three years, Laing has taught yoga sessions at One Love Yoga.
âBelly dancing is distinct from yoga, but they correlate with each other,â Laing said. “Yoga helps me stay flexible for belly dancing.” She enjoys bringing yoga exercises to class in order to keep her students flexible for movement. The majority of oriental dance involves hip movements, which can be difficult if the body is not flexible enough.
Program Officer Elizabeth Michel researched some trendy new programs to offer at the Student Wellness and Recreation Center this semester. Michel found belly dancing to be a unique style of training.
Belly dancing includes cardio, breathing and abdominal exercises.
âIt’s a fun and educational experience,â Laing said. “People don’t realize how many cultures actually practice this type of dance, and I enjoy educating my students about the variety of music and cultures during our sessions.”
For Laing, the class focuses on the dance style rather than basic training. Laing takes her time teaching students precise movements rather than rapid movements.
âI try to educate my students rather than teaching them a good workout,â Laing said.
About half a dozen people take the first session offered this semester.
âI’ve been looking for a class like this for a long time,â said Amy Brunty, a class participant. âIt’s a fun class to participate in and it’s different from other programs. “
Even Almohojri, a course participant, appreciates the cultural aspect of the course.
“I’m from the Middle East,” Almohojri said, “so the atmosphere is familiar to me.” Almohojri did not know that the art of oriental dance came from different places in the world. “I thought the dance style was only from Egypt, so it’s interesting to learn about all cultures.”
Laing brings the culture of dance style to his students by making them dance barefoot. She also provides oriental dance skirts for her students to wear at each session. She thinks it makes the class more intriguing and fun.
âI have danced most of my life,â Laing said. “I love being able to teach such diverse styles of dance and yoga to students who want to learn something new.”
A belly dance class is once a week and lasts six weeks for just $ 25 per session. Classes take place at the Student Wellness and Leisure Center.
Register online or drop by the pro shop at the recreation center to apply.
Shelbie Goulding is the recreation reporter. Contact her at [email protected]