It's the first week of the year and one of the most common New Year's resolutions is to exercise more or lose weight. Dozens of women in the Chippewa Valley are participating in Middle Eastern dance classes, learning the art of Belly dancing.
Instructor Tamara Sparrow says it was originally intended to celebrate the joys of birth soley among women, and enjoys how modern women respond to today's interpretation.
"It changes their confidence," says Sparrow. "How they feel better about themselves and how the become more flexible and how they become stronger, not just physically, but emotionally."
Students have varying levels of experience with dance classes in general, but the appeal of bellydance is as varied as each individual.
"It's great to have women of all different ages and all different walks of life come together and have fun and do something that unites them," says second year student Lisa Belland.
The classes meet in Eau Claire on Monday nights. For more information, check out
the instructor's website.