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After years of longing for an “Advanced” bellydance course to come to Oxford – one has arrived! After a little gentle persuasion, the wonderful Gwen a.k.a. Minnie Cerise has brought her wonderful “Advance your Dance” series of monthly workshops to a little studio in a far flung corner of Oxford. Yay!

I’ve been looking forward to this class for AGES and Gwen, aka Minnie, did not disappoint. The sold out class assembled on Sunday and did a wonderful long warm up, reacquainting ourselves with our muscle groups, including some suspiciously aerobic reminiscent side leg raises, stomach crunches, and the hilarious, but difficult, buttock squeeze exercise. Yes, it was hard work, but as we were told – one difference between Advanced dancing and just having done it for ages, is the ability to add muscle quality movements into the dance – not just waggling your skeleton around (eee…).

Minnie Cerise Bellydancing and BurlesqueMinnie was hilarious, helping us get to grips with concepts with numerous side splitting analogies, such as “through the serving hatch” and “stirring with the wooden spoon”… I leave the translation into moves to your imagination! Brilliant. Much laughing, face pulling, ab crunching, rib isolating and shoulder blade sinching later, we were all well-worked and smiling and hungry for more!
What a great couple of hours – spent in good company, all working on our wonky flexibility, wobbly balance on toes, and crazy claw hands when concentrating (or maybe that was just me). I really feel it’s precious to have the time to focus on the basic technique again, but really focusing on specifics- challenging, informative and fun (and plenty to work on ahead of next class, next month!)

Now we just need to persuade Minnie to make this a regular gig 😉

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