There’s no shortage of fitness classes in the city, but why not try belly dancing classes? If you’ve never been to dance classes before, they’re where you can sculpt some abs while learning traditional dance moves (or completely new mashup moves). And with belly dancing at the top dance studios in New York, you can learn the sultry steps that came long before the stuff of music videos.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to classes in NYC
Best belly dancing classes in NYC
If you’re somewhere between a novice and a belly dancing vet, this class is perfect. You will learn combinations and drills that will teach you to be light on the feet and heavy on the hips, and the combos will link together classic belly dance moves to eventually create a full routine over time in the same class every week. The repetition keeps you improving, while the new moves mean no class will ever be boring.
This class is belly dancing with a twist. You’ll get all the benefits of learning authentic Egyptian-style belly dancing techniques with the added bonus of some serious fitness. The techniques work the entire body while also building core strength through strength and cardio moves. It’s not your typical dance class, but it will certainly check a cardio session off your to-do list and get your hips shaking.
What better place to get a belly dancing lesson than from an internationally renowned teacher? Luckily, famed instructor Nourhan Sharif is located here in NYC and is known for her impeccable technique, musicality, Arab culture, costuming and stage presence. Want to learn those fancy moves? She will break them down into fun easy steps. To top it off, she starts the class with a butt-kicking warm-up of squats, planks and sit-ups.
If you’re the type of person who typically commands the dance floor, be it swing dancing or pole dancing, then you’ll want to check out this class. Instructor Salit, who has been performing for many years, will teach you Egyptian-style belly dance moves and tantalizing combinations. You will also work on flexibility, toning, core strength, posture, flow and confidence. Then, at the end of class, all the moves are put together and you’re given a chance to perform the newly learned routine.
Take the seductive steps of traditional belly dancing and cross them with modern hip-hop dance classes, and you’ve got yourself some of the sexiest moves in the city. In this class, you’ll learn a fun dance routine while focusing on building sexy arms and lean legs. Not to mention the whole fusion experience is great for your hips, torso and abdominal articulation. You’ll be ready to rock out in any music video or take over any dance floor.
Belly Dance at Belly Dance America
Great for beginners, classes here teach you the basic techniques of belly dance. There is a strong emphasis on basic Middle Eastern movements, muscle isolation, core strengthening and rhythm. It’s a totally judgment-free zone and geared toward those who are just starting to explore belly dancing. 265 W 37th St (212-768-4888, bdastudios.org)
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Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse
Nick & Stef’s serves steak, seafood and other steakhouse classics from its location right next to Madison Square Garden. Thanks to the restaurant’s private entrance to the Garden, it’s a convenient choice for dinner before a concert or game. Start your evening with a glass of wine or a signature cocktail like the East Meets West with Bulleit bourbon, White Oak Akashi Japanese whiskey, Noilly Prat, Amaro Nonino and bitters ($16). Next, you might go for the daily selection of oysters ($3.95 each), yellowfin tuna tartare ($19) or a wedge salad ($17), to start. Entrees include a 12-ounce filet mignon ($55), rack of lamb ($45) or stuffed shrimp with crab ($49). Round out the meal with a side of truffle-parmesan fries ($11), jumbo asparagus ($13) or blistered shishito peppers ($13). Ladies and gentlemen who lunch might also take advantage of the $39 business lunch prix-fixe menu, which includes your choice of appetizer, entree and dessert.
Venue says: “Nick & Stef’s is the perfect spot for dinner or drinks before an event at Madison Square Garden.”