|Belly dancing good workout for body, soul
|Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2009 7:01 am
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|Patricia Tenpenny opened The Bohemian Sanctuary as a place where she can create, teach and exhibit her talents.
“It was kind of a dream I had,” said the dancer and MTSU art professor.
But Tenpenny’s place of refuge really has become a place where she can unleash her inner goddess, she calls Ashisha, through the American Tribal form of belly dancing.
“I can forget about everything else when I am dancing,” she said speaking about the expression that crosses her face when she is dancing.
Tenpenny leads classes of this group improvisational style of dance, that usually involves elaborate costumes, in her downtown space at 423 W. Lytle St.
Tenpenny said belly dancing is a good workout for the body and soul.
Dancers can lose extra weight and inches from their stomach without even knowing they are exercising, she said. The dance can also reduce stress and help the dancer have a new attitude toward herself and her body.
“It is for all women, all ages, sizes and shapes,” Tenpenny said, adding that the dance is easy for most people to pick up.
“It is a major confidence booster if you let your guard down,” she added later.
Advanced belly dancer Connie Breining explained that American Tribal style of belly dancing is mostly improvisational. Tenpenny gives dancers cues to show what moves are coming next instead of having to memorize choreography, which Breining said she appreciates.
“It is kind of like follow the leader,” she said.
The Bohemian Sanctuary is filled with belly dancing costumes and jewelry available for purchase so dancers can build their costumes.
Classes are $15. Packages are available. Beginner classes are Sundays from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. and Thursdays from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. Advanced classes are Tuesdays from noon-1 p.m.
Tenpenny also paints in her sanctuary. She is working on surrealist automatism painting and works based on the sacred geometry, the underlying structure of everything in the universe, Tenpenny explained.
The Bohemian Sanctuary regularly hosts special events including performances of Tenpenny’s advanced belly dancing group the Gypsy Sistars and art exhibits.
Tenpenny said The Bohemian Sanctuary continues to evolve.
“I wanted to have a place to play,” she said. “It has never been about money for me.”
Tenpenny is interested in developing live percussion based music for her belly dancing and a recurring drum circle. She also would live to teach art classes at her sanctuary.
Erin Edgemon can be reached at 869-0812 and at email@example.com.
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