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Belly dancers bring a Middle-Eastern flavour to market day

Date: 21/07/2008           Category: Adult Learning

A troupe of dancers braved market day crowds in Gillingham to perform two Middle-Eastern dances on Monday, 21 July. The exotically-clad ladies from Medway Adult Learning Service were there to promote the benefits of belly-dancing. Gail Brown, who has been dancing for 10 years, said: "I danced right up until I went on maternity leave and began again as soon as I could after my baby was born. It's a great way to keep fit, make friends and provides lots of laughs." Marion Webster agreed. She said: "The benefits are endless. Apart from improving my posture and general fitness, I have learned about Middle Eastern music and my social life has expanded. I've danced at fetes, charity events and in farmers' barns. It really opens up the world. I'm even thinking of taking up Arabic so that I can understand the lyrics of the music." Charlotte Burton has been teaching belly-dancing for more than six years with Medway Adult Learning Service. She said: "Belly dancing is suitable for anyone, no matter what their age, shape or size. It is a non-judgmental and inclusive activity which helps everyone gain confidence." Evening and daytime classes start in September and run for 12 or 30 weeks. Courses are suitable for all levels of abiltiy from beginners upwards. For those who do not want to commit to a longer course, a taster session will take place on Saturday, 18 October. For further information about belly dancing or any courses with Medway Adult Learning Service, phone 01634 338400 or go online www.medway.gov.uk/adultlearning All courses for 2008/9 are listed in the new directory, which is available from libraries, leisure centres and Rochester and Gillingham adult learning centres.