Women’s Center offers introductory belly dancing classes

The Murray State Women’s Center will be sponsoring a Middle Eastern belly dancing introductory class tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Dance Studio.

The class was originally brought to Murray State by former Women’s Center Director, Jane Etheridge. Etheridge was at a convention when she saw a belly dancing routine performed by a larger woman. She said when she saw the confidence exuding from the woman she knew she needed to bring the dance to the campus.

The class is now led by instructor Ashley Ramage from Paducah, Ky. and organized by Marci Siders, senior from Dover, Tenn. The belly dancing classes still focus on creating a healthy self-image.

“With the class we’re trying to give women body acceptance and increase confidence,” Siders said. “Not just in your body either. I know that after I get done with a class I just feel like I can do anything. It’s a really health low impact form of exercise.”

Each class costs $5, which is to cover the instructor’s transportation fees. The class is open to both men and women

“Men also struggle with body image and can also encounter domestic violence, so one of our processes this year is to create programs that apply to all people, because in today’s world we’ve come to realize that these women’s issues apply to everyone,” Shamike Stiles, sophomore from Chicago said.

The classes will continue to meet each Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Dance Studio and are always open to newcomers. Participating in the class requires no previous dance experience. The dancers promise a healthy and fun environment.

For more information, email Siders.

Story by Shannon MacAllister, Staff writer.