Beaumont’s Hip, New Place: The Belly Dance Studio, celebrated its grand opening July 13 by offering free classes at their Calder Avenue location. The Belly Dance Studio’s mission to provide women with wellness classes that help to strengthen the body and the soul.
For women seeking exercise alternatives to weight lifting or treadmill running, the Belly Dance Studio offers classes that include Belly Dance, Flirty Girl Fitness, Fab Abs, and Bootylicious Buns. Current students and instructors call it a “Girl’s Club”, and love the feeling they get by combining cardiovascular workouts with the social aspect of a dance class.
Studio owner and instructor Michele Harrington has been a member of the global belly dance community for more than 10 years, and wasn’t sure if Beaumont was ready for belly dance. Since the studio’s soft open in April, she has no more doubts.
“We’ve only had our doors open for a few months now but the response has been overwhelming,” said Harrington. “I can’t tell you how many people walk in our doors and say, “I’ve always wanted to try belly dance but never thought I’d find it in Southeast Texas.”
Harrington, known to belly dancers worldwide as Dilara Sultan, discovered belly dance on a family vacation to Orlando, Florida. At a Middle Eastern Restaurant, a belly dancer took the stage. Harrington was immediately entranced by the poise and beauty of both the dancer and the Middle Eastern rhythms to which she performed..
“I said, “That’s what I want to be when I grow up!” My family laughed, but I knew then that I had to learn belly dance,” said Harrington.
The Belly Dance Studio has three talented belly dance instructors teaching the art of belly dance during both evening and daytime hours. Shaharazad, Kitana and Dilara bring three different styles of belly dance to the Studio.
Additionally, instructors Pam Dineen and Melissa Cornwell teach Yoga and Flirty Girl fitness, respectively. All instructors go the extra mile, providing personalized suggestions to help scale workouts to the individual student’s fitness level.
“We limit class sizes to ensure that each student gets the attention they need to be successful,” Cornwell said. “For a one hour class, it’s almost like a personalized training session. A very affordable, personalized training session.”
For a full list of class offerings and the current class schedule, please visit
thebellydancestudio.com or call (409) 347-8111. The Belly Dance Studio is located at 4335 Calder Avenue in the Westbrook Shopping Center in Beaumont.