On Friday 26th November, Hand In Hand Activities CIC invited in guest instructor Glennis Larum to join the Zumbarettes Zumba Gold class to deliver a one-off belly dancing class to help the group work specifically on technique and form rather than specifically on fitness.

LOGO: Local Giving Magic Little Grants

The one-off workshops came about following a consultation with the Zumbarettes over a year ago. A small amount of funding became available thanks to the Local Connections Fund’s Magic Little Grants to offer an opportunity to pay external instructors to deliver these sessions.

The Zumbarettes consultation identified that the ladies wanted to try Bollywood, Bellydance, Salsa and Samba. To date, we have only been able to find instructors for Bollywood and Bellydance.

At the start of the session, Glennis introduced herself to the group and had them all in a circle for a bellydance inspired warm up, talking about the specifics of the technique and the focus on muscles and muscle-groups that perhaps haven’t been used for a long time. Glennis also spoke about the benefits to muscle tone and the pelvic floor.

Picture: The Zumbarettes working on hip circles.

The group then spent almost an hour learning a single belly dancing routine step by step, dancing along to “Two Thousand And One Nights” by Said Mrad, a very catchy piece of music that does make you want to wiggle and jiggle. The moves and transitions flowed and the steps were easy to follow, even when the group moved on to the next section without being shown.

At the end of the session, Glennis and the group completed a bellydancing cool down and then shares lots of positive feedback from the session. I’m sure you will agree that the group worked so hard to learn a complete routine in that time!


Sharon Mitchinson · November 28, 2021 at 4:03 pm

I had looked forward to doing this class & I was not disappointed….it was brilliant. Tutor took us through a warm-up then a sequence of parts of a dance routine which was built up into a full routine by the end of our class. I thoroughly enjoyed myself I can see how using muscles I haven’t used for long time can have health benefits in a stronger core. I hope to partake in class on a more regular basis it was great fun & we all laughed a lot during it.

Lynne Amos · November 28, 2021 at 4:57 pm

Although I enjoy our weekly Golden Zumba class I was keen to try a new type of dance. I have a few back problems but Glennis talked us through each individual move, assuring us it should not be painful if done correctly.
It was amazing! I felt it benefitted my back by loosening up muscles that are around my painful areas. It was really enjoyable, I’m hoping we can try it again in the near future.

Joyce Beadnall · November 28, 2021 at 9:56 pm

Our Bellydancing session was enjoyable from start to finish. During the warm up we learnt several moves and began to focus on muscles we aren’t generally aware of – so concentration was essential!
We moved through different stages of our dance routine easily, helped by the catchy rhythm and music. It was very different from Zumba, which I always enjoy, but we had fun, laughed a lot and moved muscles we didn’t know we had! It would be lovely to to have more sessions in the future.

Liz Wood · November 28, 2021 at 10:45 pm

The Belly dance session was well worth waiting for. The dance teacher took us through the technique in easy to follow stages and clearly explained the benefits of exercising the relevant muscles. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to experience a different type of Dance. I found it gentle, effective and especially helpful with my pelvic floor. A huge thank you to Alison for organising the session.

Kathryn Hoey · December 2, 2021 at 1:35 pm

When Alison asked for ideas about different styles of dancing and I found out some would like to try Belly dancing, I wasn’t really fussed as this was a style I didn’t fancy at all. How wrong was I ?! It was really good fun and had lots of health and mind benefits.
At the beginning of the session, we were given beautiful, brightly coloured scarves covered in silver coins, which we tied around our hips. The coins made a jingly sound as we moved.
The dance teacher started the session explaining the benefits of Belly dancing, which includes muscle tone, work to strengthen the core and the pelvic floor. She also highlighted the fact it can create a feeling of well being, which is good for mental health.
She took us through the different moves, explaining how to do each move, and how to incorporate our hands and arms, gradually building up a full routine. The music we danced to was really catchy – it just made you want to dance.
At the end of the session everyone who had taken part was of the same impression – we would definitely like more sessions of Belly dancing. To think I almost didn’t attend. I’m so pleased I did!
Thank you so much Alison for organising such a brilliant experience.

    Elaine · December 3, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Zumba with Alison and the other ladies is great, and to have a bit of variety with holding a belly dancing class was a good move. I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use different muscles and had a good laugh trying to do the dancing. Thank you ladies for the lesson. Thanks Alison for arranging it.

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