5NEWS Fit: Serpentine Bellydance

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - Bellydancing can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Some say women began dancing with their abdominal muscles as a way to prepare for child birth. Of course, it has evolved over time as a form of art and dance with incredible health benefits.

At Amani Dance Studio in Fayetteville, Serpentine Bellydance Instructor Sahlah Tepes warns not to underestimate bellydancing as a workout.

"You're going to be using every part of your body," Tepes said. "You're going to have parts of your body screaming at you, you didn't even know existed."

In the first lesson, you'll learn how to strengthen your core and build stamina. The warm-up consists of push-ups, planks, squats, and several abs exercises.

The dance can also help alleviate pain over time. That's why Tepes said she became a bellydancer. She used it as rehabilitation after a car accident injured her back.

"It required surgery, and it took me about a year going through bellydancing to really get back to 90 percent," Tepes said. That's as good as I'll ever get."

After years of bellydancing as a student, the former personal trainer became an instructor. Her classes are a mix of creative choreography and conditioning.

If you've never tried it, expect your core and legs to be sore in the first lesson. It's a great workout and overall, it's just fun to let loose and dance.

For more information, check out the video.

Segment Sponsored By: Sparks Health System