Sharing shimmies and getting fit

Krysta Carroll
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Belly dance, bellyfit workshop set for June 22-24 in Grand Falls-Windsor

From left, Lynda Nadeau-Petrie, Kathryn Musseau, Colleen Hunter and Marilyn King of Lotus Energy Bellydance, have been working to spread awareness about belly dancing through numerous projects this year. — Photo courtesy of Otelija Russell

There are many benefits of belly dance for the mind, body and soul.

Through the expressive form of dance, participants can gain confidence, flexibility, improve posture and muscle toning, co-ordination and a passion to express their inner goddess.

The Lotus Energy Bellydancers have been working to spread awareness through numerous projects.

The four main dancers — Kathryn Musseau, Lynda Petrie-Nadeau, Colleen Hunter and Marilyn King — have been working throughout the year on a television program on Rogers TV, two performances, and an upcoming workshop.

“Our goal is to increase awareness of belly dancing in our area and to offer training opportunities as well,” Musseau said.  “To make people aware of our belly dance program and to help them realize that it is a wonderful exercise option for women of all ages.

“Many times people don’t think of that, but belly dance was designed for women, it’s about women, and if you look into the history of it, it’s so healthy for our organs and our muscles and so on. We want to reach out and we hope that more women in our area will become involved with belly dance.”

The Rhythm on the River Bellydance/Bellyfit workshop set for June 22-24 at the Shalaps Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor will wrap up what Musseau calls a busy and productive year. The sessions being offered over the weekend are for a broad range of people, she said, adding there will be an introduction to belly dance so if someone wants to attend the workshop they don’t need a background in it.

“And what’s being offered will not be intimidating to people who are new to belly dancing,” she said.

There are already registrants from St. John’s, Grand Falls-Windsor and Twillingate, she said, and not just adults — youth will also be in attendance.

Presenters include Sarah Skinner, who is a multi-talented artist — a innovative performer, dancer instructor, dance photographer, and costume designer; Terri Roberts, a certified group fitness leader and resistance training leader through the Nova Scotia Fitness Association, and the first person in that province to become certified in Bellyfit; Natalie Finley, life coach, intuitive consultant and advanced Reiki practitioner; Mary Oldford, who teaches zumba fitness and women and weights at the Exploits Valley YMCA and Colleen Hunter, who founded the Lotus Energy Bellydance and Yoga Studio seven years ago.

“We are trying to reach out to people who want to come, and make it as easy as possible for them to come to Grand Falls-Windsor, so they don’t have to worry about their meals and that kind of thing,” Musseau said.

They received a grant from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council to assist with things like meals, she said.

“Which was really important to us because it really helped us have the confidence to take our programs to a new level and we’re very grateful to (them) for that support.”

For more information call 489-8910, toll free 1-877-787-2697, or email

The Advertiser

Organizations: Lotus Energy Bellydancers, Shalaps Centre, Nova Scotia Fitness Association Exploits Valley YMCA Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council

Geographic location: Grand Falls-Windsor, Twillingate, Bellyfit

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