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For many of us, the Holiday Season can be the most difficult time of the year for those trying to lose weight. Times spent together with family and friends, the company Holiday party; it’s a time for lots of eating and drinking. Every occasion is an excuse to take a holiday from our normal eating and exercise patterns. With each cookie, with each cup of glog or egg nog, the pounds are starting to show, usually in your waist band.
Many are finding a new way to ‘shake’ up their holiday routine is with a class in Tribal Belly Dance. With its early roots considered a folk dance, many women in Carmel Valley are finding that tribal belly dancing is a unique way to get in shape and shake of some of the Holiday pounds and stress.
Being a James Bond fan I can only relate my early thoughts of belly dance as to the scene in “From Russia With Love” (1963) when James Bond while in a club in an exotic Middle Eastern setting is tantalized by the amazingly controlled rolling abdomen of a lady in red. Although many movements are the same, in tribal belly dance, moves are more raw and edgy and are infused with styles of dance like modern, jazz dance, African dance and hip hop. That’s what makes this style of dance such a popular one for those trying to ‘shimmie’ off a few pounds.
A San Diego native, performer and instructor, Sabrina Fox knows too well what tribal belly dance can do to keep those extra pounds away. “There’s parts of your body that you use in tribal belly dance that you don’t use in your day to day activities. A single tribal belly dance session works hundreds of muscles, burns calories and helps to distress yet it is easy on joints while very energetic and aerobic.”
As with all belly dancing, tribal belly dancing concentrates on the movements of the hips including circles, figure eights, and shimmies in a repetitive motion. This motion helps increase the flow of synovial fluid to the joints and ligaments in the lower back. The neutral positioning of these movements can actually help prevent lower back problems. The use of muscle groups in the torso area of the body along with shoulder movements exercise the back muscles evenly. Another great side effect? Not by just rolling the muscles of the torso and belly, but also by the shimmies of the hips helps food move along the digestive tract also aiding in weight loss.
Many students attend class to lose weight, but its other aspects of the class that make them keep coming back for more. The variety of music from all over the world makes the class interesting while the sound of the shimmying coin belts, the isolated but feminine movements of the dance create the energy. The energy of the workout and immersing into the music create a great alternative to your traditional gym workout. The American Council on Exercise recognizes belly dancing as one of the newest and fastest growing workouts for muscle toning and cardiovascular health.
Sabrina Fox is certified in Vinyasa flow yoga and American Tribal Belly Dance (ATS) teaching throughout San Diego and is a featured performer continuing to tour as one of four talented Tribal Fusion Belly Dancers of Belly Dance Super Stars. For tickets to Belly Dance Superstars go to www.bellydancesuperstars.com.
Louis McKay is President of North County DanceArts, Inc. located in Carmel Valley and currently trains 400 students from ages 3 to 93 years of age. Louis has performed and taught Master dance and musical theater classes in 42 of our 50 states and Europe and South Africa. In 1980, Louis McKay opened Louis McKay Dance Studio, later to become North County DanceArts, Inc., which is a teaching facility that is best known for its professional teaching staff and quality dance training. Dancers from beginning level to professional are taught technique, terminology, and discipline in a nurturing and fun environment. Louis currently lives in Carmel Valley San Diego with his wife Tanya and is the proud father of four grown children and two grandchildren. Louis and Tanya McKay also own DanceHearts, a 501 (c) (3) Public Charity called Bells of Freedom Program, serves military men, women and their families by providing emergency care and support, back to school backpack program, vehicle donations and the annual “The Big Thank You” Military Holiday Event.