Shimmy Like Shakira
For some sexy moves, try the Middle Eastern art of belly dancing. But before you start flinging off your seven veils, keep in mind that performing to seduce a man is far from belly dancing's traditional purpose - as a means for women to celebrate with female family and friends. The sexiness of the dance, explains Sydney bellydancing teacher Despina Rosales, lies in its enhancement of body confidence.
"It's the art of isolation; when you're moving your hips, the top of your body is still," says Rosales, who teaches more than 100 students. "It's taxing enough for your body to change shape, to get more muscular and less fat. People often find they'll spontaneously shed kilos." Apart from the health boost, "it puts a bit of the exotic into your life."
For a list of belly-dancing teachers nationwide, visit Shira's Bellydance.
SAY NO TO PUPPY MILLS! SAY NO TO ANIMALS IN PETSHOPS! SAY NO TO BREEDERS!
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.
All information and photos are copyright © Despina Rosales.