Belly up, belly dance

For those looking for a new way to workout in K-W, belly dancing will soon be an option. This April, dance company Belly Up will be opening a new branch in Kitchener that is sure to get you moving.

Belly Up started with a studio in Oakville in 2006 and is now expanding to the tri-city area to join up with the existing dance studio, Down Hips, located at 900 Guelph St., Unit 105 in Kitchener. The classes at Down Hips teach similar lessons to those at Belly Up and it will add to a smooth transition as the companies merge; “It’s very exciting,” said Mandy Habermehl, owner of Down Hips.

Belly Up will be teaching belly dance at several different levels giving beginners and skilled dancers routines and techniques that they can keep up with and continue to build on. Belly dancing is not the only type of dance that will be taught at the Belly Up studio opening in Kitchener, aside from traditional Egyptian style belly dancing, American Tribal belly dance will be taught along with Bollywood dancing, Burlesque and a great kids program.

The Belly Up studio is known for offering nothing but the best in fantastic training and creating a studio that feels like home. The owner, who is known only by her first name, Joharah, is the reason the studio really stands out. Joharah is well trained in all aspects of her dance and is a beautiful performer. She has taught in Egypt, acted as the master instructor during different festivals and she has worked and studied with most major Egyptian dancers.

In the years that Belly Up has been open Joharah and her team have taught hundreds of students and volunteered all over the GTA. They have performed at many different charitable fundraisers and they support both local and international charities. “As dancers we have such a great opportunity to connect with the community and we can get behind causes and help them,” Joharah shared.
Many dance troupes have developed under Belly Up and one of the groups have started performing professionally.

Those interested in any type of dance at the Belly Up studio should not get intimidated by the groups success because with beginner classes and in depth training it is easy to start learning the basics and go on to more advanced dance moves as time goes on. Every dance student will get the chance to perform.

Belly Up will hold its grand opening on April 1 and celebrate with a day of free lessons to show the community what they can expect. The classes are flexible and are intended to fit almost any schedule and with dedication belly dancing can show some great benefits for students.

Belly dance is a great workout, especially as students learn more advanced dances, it is a strong form of artistic expression and it teaches people to be comfortable in their own skin. “Whether you are 50 lbs overweight or 50 lbs underweight, it is a dance form for every body, shape and size,” said Joharah.

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