After crocodators, poor fitness is the number-one cause of the night-scaries. With today's Groupon, turn the nightmare where you end up bare-bellied in biology class into a dream of goddess-like energy and strong, snake-charming abs. For $32, you get a five-week belly-dancing course at Bellyqueen (a $65 value).
The torso-twisting tutors at Bellyqueen seduce students into the ways of hip-hypnotism with classes tailored to all different levels of experience and exploring several Middle Eastern dances. Lessons are led by a bevy of professional abdomen rattlers, including Bellyqueen cofounder and artistic director Kaeshi Chai, whose performance exploits have taken her around the globe, as well as spots on LIVE! With Regis and Kelly and The John McEnroe Show. Newcomers master the basic movements in a curriculum that includes choreography and improvisation while getting a healthy low-impact workout that raises heart rates, stretches muscles, and trains stomachs to steer helicopters and catch footballs.
Intermediate/advanced classes target veteran belly dancers looking to step up their game in Egyptian, Turkish, folkloric, and tribal fusion styles with the help of props, such as cymbals.
Though they hail from all over the world, the instructors at Bellyqueen are united by their passion for belly dance. Their dedication to the Middle Eastern art—and their eagerness to educate others about the empowering, often misunderstood dance form—led co-founder Kaeshi Chai to established their own bellydancing company and school in the East Village. Kaeshi's enthusiasm has caught on—since opening in 1998, Bellyqueen has gained acclaim for its unconventional workouts welcoming participants of all sizes and skill levels.
Today, the bustling studio continues to teach traditional bellydancing techniques while incorporating world-fusion styles. Experienced instructors guide guests through the sensual movements, encouraging them as they practice footwork, breath, and presentation. When they aren’t fine-tuning their routines to eyeball-enticing perfection, students can watch Bellyqueen’s professional dancers perform at weekly Djam NYC shows at Jebon and special events.