Karate and Fitness Academy is adding belly dancing class

By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld….

Shayna Rogg teaches belly dancing.

National Karate and Fitness Academy is adding a belly dancing class to its repertoire. The class will be in addition to belly dancing classes already scheduled.

“We’ve been doing about seven years, said Academy owner Cynthia Rogg. “There is a fitness craze with belly dance with Shakira. It is a great workout.”

That’s because belly dancing causes you to use muscles you don’t normally use. Rogg said it is a great workout for your core and it helps shape those flabby arms everyone worries about.

“You’re keeping yours arms lifted and you’re using those muscles,” she said. “It’s great for legs. It works every part of your body including those muscles you haven’t worked.”

What’s more, it is fun to do the routines to music. While it seems an unusual class to have in a karate academy, it works because it draws in a different group.

“Most of the girls who chose belly dance, chose it because it is more feminine,” Rogg said. “There is not a lot of crossover. People who join karate do it for other reasons. It’s more about self-defense and fitness is a bonus.”

As far as belly dancing, it is empowering in its own way. Rogg said belly dancing helps women and girls to get in touch with the goddess within.

“It helps women to accept their bodies the way they are and to respect themselves,” she said.

The bonus is that at the same time it can shape your waistline and helps women move their hips.

“Posture is helped, too,” she said. “Posture is emphasized and sometimes, by learning proper posture, your body appears better because you are holding your body differently.”

The class will be taught by Shayna Rogg, 22, who began taking belly dancing classes seven years ago and has been teaching since she was 15.

“She had a really good background in dance already,” Cynthia Rogg said. “Growing up in a karate school she has learned a lot of teaching techniques. She’s a natural teacher and dancer.”

The academy, at 20435 Old Cutler Rd., already offers a children’s class on Saturdays at 2 p.m. There are two beginner teen/adult classes Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m. as well as an advanced teen/adult class Thursdays at 9 p.m. The plan is to add a class Tuesdays at 6 p.m.

Rogg said the youngest belly dancer they have had has been around 6 years old.

“All little girls want to dance and be pretty,” Rogg said. “There is a lot of glitter and glam that goes along with belly dancing.”

The school also has belly dancing birthday parties. She describes it as a Princess Jasmine type party.

“And for the older girls, they get a belly dance class where they learn an actual routine,” she said. “It can either be done at our studio or in your home.”

The Academy has a belly dance troupe. The adult group is called “Shayna and the Snake Charmers” and the kids group is the “Little Charmers.”

“We’ve performed at Southland Mall, at Relay for Life and all kinds of local festivals,” Rogg said. “We’re going to be performing at the Asian Arts Festival [at Fruit and Spice Park] Mar. 5 and 6.”

For more information, call 305-256-7850.

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