Belly Dancing Class Helps Seniors Recover Their Inner Shakira


For Chatham-Kent seniors, there is a place where they can exercise – to feel empowered.

The Blenheim & Community Seniors’ Group runs a weekly belly dancing class to help women channel parts of themselves they’ve never tapped into before.

“When I saw they were doing belly dancing I was like, ‘Oh, I have to try this,'” said Lois Button, who joined the senior center after returning to Blenheim there. a few years ago.

“Growing up, you didn’t want to move your hips, you didn’t want to move your breasts, but suddenly you can! And after a certain age, who cares?”

Everyone has a Shakira trying to get out.– Deb Hudson

Instructor Kim Nethery said that in addition to the physical benefits of belly dancing, she sees women gain confidence in her classes.

“Belly dancing is meant to be truly inclusive, no matter what your body type or size, whether you’re petite and really petite, or taller, more voluptuous … we can celebrate our body regardless of its shape. are, ”she said.

“What grandma can go out and have some fun and shake up her booty with her friends?”

Lois Button says she knew right away she wanted to try belly dancing when she found out it was offered at the center. (Katerina Georgieva / CBC)

Deb Hudson started taking the course in the fall with the goal of getting involved in the community and trying something different. Plus, she says it’s a chance to move different parts of her body.

“Everyone has a Shakira trying to get out,” she said with a big smile.

“Not men’s entertainment”

Norma Wood said the dance class was good exercise for her body and for her memory. She added that she had arthritis, but that didn’t stop her.

“It’s really funny when someone asks you what you do in this center and you say, ‘I’m doing belly dancing!’ And they look – I mean, it’s such a surprise. “

As to why people tend to react that way, she said, “I think they’re thinking of the Seven Veil Dance, you know? But it’s not entertainment for men. They always are. women doing it together. “

Nethery said that since women tend to feel more awkward in society, belly dancing helps them let go of that.

“It’s pretty fun telling your grandchildren you’re belly dancing.”

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