While belly dancing now enjoys its reputation as a form of artistic expression and exercise, it originated as a method of distracting hungry stomachs from the temptations of pizza bagels. Get fit through an age-old practice with today’s Groupon: for $14, you get four one-hour belly-dance classes at Xanadu Dance Studio (a $28 value).
At her Xanadu Dance Studio, artistic polymath Kathryn Ferguson instructs budding tummy-tumblers and fitness seekers in the Middle Eastern skill of belly dancing. Exporting her hip-rocking studies from Cairo to Tucson, she engages bodies in both traditional Arab dance and modern Middle Eastern mid-section shaking and choreography. The class schedule boasts one-hour sessions for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students, with each level held at least twice a week. Participants celebrate the power of undulation, and siphon that power into the body for enhanced posture, endurance, and core muscle strength. Though the sensuous belly rolls, hip drops, and shoulder shimmies appear effortless, you'll isolate core muscles to perform each gesture and learn the mysterious ways of the belly to improve pelvis coordination as well as naval RPMs.
Xanadu Belly Dance Studio
Over the last three decades, dance guru Kathryn Ferguson has dedicated her career to practicing and teaching the art of belly dancing. First exposed to the form in Casablanca, Morocco, Kathryn continues to put her own spin on belly dancing’s traditional hip shakes and tummy undulations, releasing a series of instructional video tapes and leading classes in her Tucson studio. These Egyptian- and Lebanese-style belly-dancing classes accommodate beginning and intermediate dancers looking to get in shape or shake up the annual family-reunion talent show. The studio's bright yellow walls create an upbeat environment, and full-length mirrors allow them to check for proper form and keep tabs on emerging six packs. In addition to teaching classes at Xanadu Dance Studio, Kathryn also helms the Xanadu Dancers Troupe, which performs regularly at dance- and music-focused events such as the Mediterranean Nights gala.