Fun Way Of Getting Into Shape
by Raylene Bliss
First published in the Southern Courier 9 November 1999

If Despina Rosales has any say in it, millennium fitness will be about getting into shape the fun way - through Bellydancing.

The owner of Dreaming Of Jeannie Bellydance Academy says besides the fun factor, Bellydancing firms and tones your entire body - including legs, tummy and arms.

“Ladies, there are no more excuses!” Despina said. “This is the perfect way to get fit for the new millennium. Forget lap swimming! Getting in shape this summer will be anything but boring - these Bellydance classes are 100 percent fun.” It is low impact so there is no risk of injury. Age and shape are irrelevant - any woman can do it.

Bellydance is the best way for mums to get into shape and feel good about their bodies. Carla Simmons, a Maroubra mother of two, has been dancing since June this year. “It’s something that I do because it’s just for me,” she said. “You don’t need a partner to go to classes and as my husband hates dancing and I’ve always loved it, it’s perfect. I also really hate exercise - I usually have to force myself to do it, but Bellydancing is fun. I also think that Bellydancers are gorgeous and when I do it, I feel gorgeous too.”

No dance experience? No problem. Kylie Douglas, part-owner of Coogee’s famous Bobby Dazzler op-shop recounted her experience with Bellydance: “I’d been to aerobics before and felt really un-co. At first I was a bit worried because I had no dance experience. But it’s so much fun - you learn to dance without even realising it.”

Rebecca Duncan, an administrator from Neutral Bay, makes it all the way to Kingsford every week. “It’s just fun. It makes me laugh and keeps me fit,” she said.

Lisa Taylor, a research assistant at the University of NSW has found that it’s helped her reduce stress. "It loosens you up," she said, "And you forget everything for an hour."

The classes have also been known to help some problem backs. Maree Burgess, of Randwick says, "Ever since I started Bellydancing in March this year I haven’t had to go the chiropractor once."

For others it helps reduce menstrual pain. Sue Kramer, a Kingsford mother, said, "I’ve found that it’s almost eliminated period pain for me."

The millennium summer is upon us - shimmy your way into the Year 2000 with a new body and confidence to match!

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Fun Way Of Getting Into Shape
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Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance

It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.

Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.

Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.

Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.

Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.

If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.

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