Released Feb 2018

Building on the success of their recently introduced Ballroom Dancing, Mapplewell and Staincross Village Hall has now gone international and introduced Strictly Come ‘Belly’ Dancing to their health and wellbeing line up – by popular demand.

The Village Hall Manager, Nick Hibberd, explained: “At the beginning of the year we asked all our visitors for suggestions as to what courses or events they would like to see offered at the Village Hall. Whilst many of the suggestions are already catered for and can be found on our website , the most novel and intriguing class requested was for Belly Dancing.

“It appears that a number of our patrons already attend a course but have to travel all the way to Horbury as this is the nearest professionally run course we’re aware of,” he added.

Belly Dancing, also known as Raks Sharki or Arabic Dancing is a form of dance that many are familiar with, but often see it more as a ‘novelty’ dance rather than a serious form of exercise.

“Before commissioning the classes I looked into all the health benefits and quickly recognised that the hip drops, rolls, and pivots used in this style of dance utilises muscle groups in the abdomen, pelvis, trunk, spine, and neck, working with the body instead of against it.

“I am told that the movements that come naturally to the female form and as a result help to Improved posture and muscle toning, assist with arms and shoulder Toning and are good for osteoporosis and general bone strengthening. Also, being a Low Impact exercise the risk of injury is minimal when movements are done correctly and can support both weight loss and aid digestion through the exercising of the abdominal region. As such, it is ideal for all ages,” he added.

“Although I’m not an expert in this, reports show that it is even a good preparation for child birth as a prenatal exercise as Belly Dancing regimen that strengthens the muscles used during the childbirth process. The toned abdominal muscles and natural hip tucks, which are similar to the “pelvic rocking” taught during prenatal classes, teach the expectant mother how to move her pelvis,” explains Nick.

“And if laughter is the best medicine and a cure for stress release, then most belly dancing classes tend to have a ‘fun and social element’ to them which is an added bonus for dance members,” he added.

The classes, run by Catherine Clarke of A Sound Footing start this Friday (2nd March) at 10:00 and will initially run for ten weeks with an option to extend should it prove successful. Visitors can register without pre booking but please note that there is limited room as it is being held in the smaller of the two large halls which will accommodate up to 30 people when dancing. Costs are just £5:00 per class.

For further information, please contact Nick Hibberd on 01226 381006