New PE article February 2008
San Jacinto kids learn belly dancing
Erica Shen / The Press-Enterprise
Belly dance class set in San Jacinto
10:35 AM PDT on Tuesday, September 4, 2007
By CINDY MARTINEZ RHODES
The music is both eerie and entrancing Saturday morning dance class in San Jacinto -- and the dancers are as eclectic as the dance.
Belly dancing, as instructor Nika Feyrouz demonstrates, comes from everywhere -- the stomach, the hips, the arms and the soul. Her morning class at Valley-Wide Recreation Center, which includes a preteen and a 70-plus dancer, responds and sashays with her every movement.
"It's such a wonderful workout for the body and mind," Feyrouz said.
Feyrouz also dances with a professional group called The Dancing Belly, which has performed throughout Southern California.
Sara Hellam of Hemet heard about the class and came as a visitor Saturday morning. Midway through the class, she was dancing.
"I was observing to see if I wanted to join and the verdict is definitely yes," Hellan said. "Just watching, it's so amazing. And it looks like a very good abdominal workout."
For more information, contact Feyrouz at 909-908-0927 or www.DancingBelly.com.
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Art form can aid figure
San Jacinto woman tells her class about the history, benefits of belly dancing
11:55 PM PDT on Wednesday, April 14, 2004
By MARILEE REYES / The Press-Enterprise
SAN JACINTO - Belly dancing is a cultural art form, San Jacinto resident Nika Feyrouz explains as she talks about her new class on Monday evenings.
Not only is it an art form, it's good exercise for men, women and children, says the dark-haired woman professionally known as Nika Feyrouz.
"Belly dancing has more than a 2,000-year history, starting in Persia and Egypt, although there are different cultural interpretations of the steps and movements," she said.
To illustrate, she demonstrates those differences starting with the classical, sedate Egyptian movement, through the more countrified and active Turkish and American. Most Americans are more familiar with the flashier cabaret style that gives the impression it's solely for entertainment, a misinterpretation of the dance, Nika said.
Each interpretation is unique, she said. In addition to being a cultural expression, belly dancing is a way to train young women to have healthier bodies. Nika teaches the class as an art form, but notes that people can take it for the exercise.
"I just tell people if it hurts, don't do it," Nika said. "Some people will be (physically) able to do all the movements and others will be more restricted, but that's fine."
Her assistant teacher, Brightrose, reiterates that concept.
Brightrose said she was told when she was 18 that, due to a degenerative spinal disc disorder, she would probably be in a wheelchair by 21.
"I'm 29 now and I know the dancing has helped me," Brightrose said by phone. "I feel fine. You know, you need to have good stomach muscles to support your back."
All are welcome in the class at Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District's Esplanade Avenue location in San Jacinto.
Nika, a featured dancer at the Olympia in Rancho Mirage, also appears at the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival and the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. She has been entertaining all her life, starting in Seal Beach where she grew up doing tap, ballet and jazz dancing, and later playing in the Marine Corps Band.
As a musician in Japan, she had her first belly dancing lesson. She began dancing professionally four years ago. She began teaching privately two years ago. The class has been meeting for several weeks, but newcomers can start any time because sessions repeat previous lessons.
Information: (909) 908-0927, or the park district, (909) 654-1505. Reach Marilee Reyes at (909) 763-3473 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Where: Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District, 901 W. Esplanade Ave., San Jacinto
Crisostomo / The Press-Enterprise
© 2005 Dancingbelly.com The Dancing Belly by Nikkal Feyrouz Inland Empire, Ca
email@example.com (909) 908-0927