Belly Dance gaining popularity in Okanogan County


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Belly dance instructor Christy Cuellar-Wentz performs a solo routine in this picture taken recently by her husband. Cuellar-Wentz currently offers dance classes at the Community Cultural Cente” title=”469a” width=”" height=”" class=”size-FULL”>

Submitted photo

Belly dance instructor Christy Cuellar-Wentz performs a solo routine in this picture taken recently by her husband. Cuellar-Wentz currently offers dance classes at the Community Cultural Cente

OROVILLE – Fitness is about more than sweating on a treadmill, and dance about more than flashy costumes.

Christy Cuellar-Wentz opened Elysian Vision Belly Dance to women of the North Okanogan in April. Cuellar-Wentz currently teaches at the Community Cultural Center in Tonasket and plans to begin a class at the Fiona shop in Chesaw soon.

Although she’s not planning a grand opening, she is running a summer promotion.

“Women can call or email me to receive a “first class free’ voucher,” Cuellar-Wentz said.

The vouchers and the classes are all about introducing women to dance.

“I was inspired to teach classes after realizing the enormous benefits women of all ages and sizes can experience through this ancient art,” she said. “In addition to improving cardiovascular fitness and building strength, women can increase the grace and flexibility with which they move through all areas of their lives.”

Cuellar-Wentz also has a Master of Arts degree in Applied Behavioral Science and has worked as a registered mental health counselor.

“I believe I offer a unique perspective as a belly dance instructor,” she said. “Because of my background in mental health counseling, I understand many of the physical and emotional issues women deal with when they begin to dance, and rejoice as they gain strength and confidence on their journey.”

Cuellar-Wentz grew up in Oroville and returned with her husband and young children about four years ago. They live on a small ranch in the Okanogan Highlands with some extended family.

Dance has been an important part of her life.

“In my experience, women who learn to belly dance consistently increase their body awareness and self-confidence while having fun and celebrating life,” she said.

The CCC classes are offered from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. The class in Chesaw will be an evening class. Cuellar-Wentz also promises students will enjoy themselves.

“I also offer a 100 percent, “Enjoy-Yourself-Or-The-Class-Is-Free’ Guarantee,” she said.

In addition to the belly dancing, she is a co-owner of www.mommy-muse.com, a website offering support and online services for new mothers.

More information is available from Christy Cuellar-Wentz at (509) 485-1921 or by emailing her at elysiandance@gmail.com.

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