Bellydance beginner gets caught in the moment

County Times reporter, Nikki Cutler, gives an account of her first bellydance class, in Kingsfold:

I had two options; A fusion of Bollywood, Flamenco, Jazz and Salsa; or ‘Shakira style’.

County Times Reporter Nikki Cutler learns to belly dance with instructor Donna Curtis.

County Times Reporter Nikki Cutler learns to belly dance with instructor Donna Curtis.

I chose the fusion.

This seemed the safest option considering I had never attempted to bellydance before, firstly because I have never come across the opportunity, and secondly because I found it safe to assume I would end up looking a total fool.

But in an aim to broaden my knowledge of exercise options available in the Horsham District I put aside my ego - and some of my self awareness - in order to learn how to bellydance with local teacher Donna Curtis in a Yoga studio in Kingsfold.

Donna eased me into our one-to-one class and after warming me up with a couple of rhythmic shoulder shrugs and egyptian head movements, the hip shakes and chest pops began to creep in.

Before I knew it I was being led through a full on bellydance routine involving movements that required me to create ‘waves’ with my body in a way that felt extremely unnatural but - according to Donna - looked totally fantastic.

As Donna doused me with compliments and insisted that I’m a complete natural, the bright crimson colour of my cheeks dispersed and my ego began to take control.

The class flew by and by the end I was performing routines without any regard for the fact that my belly was on full show and my body was moving in somewhat bizarre ways.

After a 45 minute class I had gained that feeling of elation attained through any style of exercise but I also felt an added boost of egotism for my ability to do something I had previously been too shy to attempt.

As I drove away from the picturesque farm house setting of the yoga studio in Wattlehurst Farm, I felt that crimson cheeked look reappear as I slowly realised what I had just done.

And a photographer had been their to capture it all.

But embarrassing online video coverage aside, the class provided an entertaining full body exercise and gave a huge confidence boost that I think any other dance class would find hard to match.

For more information about Donna’s bellydance classes in Horsham, Dorking and Leatherhead, visit