Let Loose and Bust a Move with the Group Fitness “Learn to Belly Dance” Class

Ashton Christianson

For those who enjoy dancing and letting loose, the Recreational Activity Center’s (RAC) belly dancing class might be for you. From their colorful scarves to the vibrant, enthusiastic instructor,  you will be swept away by this unique class.

The class is held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday night each week in the group fitness room at the RAC. during the Fall 2019 semester The class is taught by instructor Khalid Birch, a sophomore majoring in pre-med exercise science. Birch tries to get you energized for what is to come with the class through upbeat music to dance to, like “Beautiful Liar”  by Beyonce and Shakira. And like the famous singer who is known for her hips that don’t lie, Birch encourages everyone to let loose their inner Shakira.

Birch also teaches Zumba and Boxing at the RAC. He said he taught bits of belly dancing while teaching zumba. After telling his manager about his being able to teach belly dancing, it became a class. 

Birch said the class helps with balance, sculpting and isolation; the class also helps boost your mood and confidence. He said the class is a little different in the fact that it’s taught more similarly to a traditional dance class. He breaks down each step you might be doing in class at the beginning before you actually start to fully dance. 

“It’s always good to try new things,” said Birch. “And no one goes to a party to belly dance, so no one is going to get it at first. But it’s something that if you be patient with yourself and just keep practicing, then one day you’ll be able to go home and tell grandma that you can belly dance.”

Many students seemed to greatly enjoy the class, like Caitlyn Boone, a sophomore majoring in pre-nursing exercise science.  

“I thought it be cool to learn how to belly dance since not many people know how,” said  Boone. “I will definitely take it again. I think it was, like, really fun. It’s a workout, but while you are doing it, it doesn’t really feel like it.”