Belly dancing classes offer full-body workout

Tall, short, thin or full-figured, there’s a dance style that welcomes all ages and all sizes. A Middle Eastern style of dance is now being taught right here in the U.P. and classes are filling up fast.

Instructor Maggie Barch says belly dancing is about freedom and having fun. Her dance style accommodates all body types and previous experience is not needed to partake. Along with the music, Barch says this particular dance style is absolutely mesmerizing.

“(I said), ‘OK, I will try it’, and I went to her class and I heard the music and it was love at first note,” Barch said.

“We sat on the floor and she came out and danced and it was fabulous,” intermediate belly dancing student Diana Anderson said. “I love the music. I must be reincarnated from the Middle-East because that music grabbed me, and that dancing…I had to start taking classes. I am 78 years old and I love it.”

Barch says if you’re looking for a full-body workout, belly dancing may be the ticket. It will sneak up on you and you won’t even realize you’re working out.

“You will build muscles from your head to your toes,” Barch said. “As you can see, the girls tonight were rubbing their thighs. Even your upper arm muscles, with all the arm movements, and stomach, obviously. Some other dance forms require a specific body type, but with Middle Eastern dance, you can adjust the movements to work for almost anyone. So, for anyone who doesn’t feel like they are a dancer, it’s safe for them to enjoy dancing and get some exercise and feel good about the way their body moves.”

The class is offered on Monday nights for beginning and intermediate levels. Beginners start first at 6:30 in downtown Marquette. The cost is $30 for six classes. More information can be found by calling (906) 235-4988 or by visiting their Facebook page at Maggie Barch Dance.