Feb 192004
Authors: Brittany Burke

Fort Collins residents shake their belly while learning about

culture, costumes and food.

Rene� Sierecki, 34, has been taking belly-dancing lessons

for the past four weeks at the Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200

Raintree Drive.

“I have been dancing since I was three,” Sierecki said. “But

this is the first time I have ever tried belly dancing.”

Sierecki hadn’t tried belly dancing because of a lack of

opportunity. A girlfriend of hers helped push Sierecki toward the

class. She said belly dancing is a different dance than she is used


“I have usually done hip-hop and jazz dance classes,” Sierecki

said. “(Belly dancing) is so different. It’s kind of difficult for


The senior center has offered a belly dancing class for the past

five years, said Katie Stieber, the recreational coordinator for

the center. The center currently has 19 people enrolled in the

class and that might be a few too many, Stieber said.

“We offer the class for 14-year-olds all the way to seniors,”

Stieber said. “We mostly have people in their 20s and 30s but

younger people are always welcome.”

The class meets every Thursday for six weeks and is aimed toward

beginning belly-dancing students. The class is from 6 to 7:30


Andrea Sellion, the center’s belly-dancing teacher and a CSU

senior psychology major, has been belly dancing for the past seven

years. Sellion received the position when her belly-dancing teacher

Andrea Ragan moved to California.

“It is such a beautiful dance,” Sellion said. “Some might think

it is more of a sensual dance but it’s really more about


The class offers participants exercise in a unique way. The

belly dancing targets the abdominal and buttock muscles for an hour

and a half.

Sellion said the class is for all ages, but they advertise for

females older than age 12.

“We did have one guy once,” Sellion said. “It lasted about a

week but it didn’t really work out.”

Eva Zmatlikova has performed belly dancing for more than two


“You really have to feel the music,” Zmatlikova said. “You have

to move from the center, from your belly.”

Zmatlikova said the dance is not complicated, but it is


“Women used to dance for other women,” Zmatlikova said. “It has

roots in childbirth and such.”

Currently Zmatlikova is talking with The Pulse fitness center,

2555 S. Shields St., about having a workshop to include both yoga

and belly dancing. Zmatlikova wants people to know that this dance

is for anyone.

“Belly dancing is for all ages,” Zmatlikova said. “Little girls

to older women. Men could do it too. This dance is for people of

all shapes. It doesn’t matter if you are skinny or curvy. Your body

is beautiful and you can do this beautiful dance.”

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