Article by Ceri Wheeldon.
Jane shares her experience of how taking up belly dancing in her 50s transformed her fitness, confidence and social life.
Jane is from Sawley Notts, married to Steve for 28 years, and has one daughter Luisa aged 24.
What prompted you to start belly dancing?
I Wanted some form of exercise for a condition I have called spondylosis which is a form of arthritis. I’ve always loved to dance, i.e. ballet, tap. I went on holiday to Turkey and saw a belly dancing show which I loved. When I got back home I decided to join a belly dancing class in Derbys.
Did you go with friends or did you make new friends from the class?
I have made some wonderful friends and we have formed a group of our own called the shimmy sisters.
What have been the best elements of the classes?
The movements have really helped with my condition spondylosis and I think it releases endorphins which is a feel good factor. Also the exotic music helps to lift one’s mood.
What difference has belly dancing made to your life?
A new social life, a more positive outlook and gained more self confidence through performance.
Challenges of trying something new over 50
What challenges did you initially face?
Wondering if I could actually get to grips with the dance, and would I fit in with the other ladies, but I needed not to have worried because everyone was friendly.
I understand you had an opportunity to model. How did that come about?
I saw a competition on the Isme website looking for mature ladies over 50 years of age for a makeover model competition, so I decided to enter us, and much to our surprise we won.
What was the best part of the day?
Having our hair and makeup done professionally, and posing in front of the camera.
Has anything happened as a result?
We appeared on their website and in the Isme catalogue, and several national magazines such as Womens Weekly and local press.
How have friends and family reacted?
They were amazed and absolutely thrilled for us.
To keep belly dancing and we are planning a belly dancing holiday to Turkey next May
Only regret is not starting belly dancing sooner.
What 3 tips would you give other women over 50 looking to do the same?
Don’t be afraid to have ago at anything.
Never give up trying whatever age you are, it’s never too late.
Think positive, enjoy life and remember laughter is the best medicine.
many thanks to Jane for sharing her ‘Fabwomen’ story. If you know anyone who you think could inspire women over 50, then why not nominate them to be featured? Email firstname.lastname@example.org