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Fire in the Belly

Posted on August 24, 2012

belrobics mg 4638

belrobics_mg_4638A flicker of enthusiasm can spark a forest fire of talent as Jenny Muhlwa (pictured), owner of Belrobics, discovered on the run-up to the Olympics. 

Fire in the Belly was an ambitious project, originating when Jenny went on local radio and said that she would get 50 belly dancers together to welcome the Olympic torch to Sheffield. “I then had to find ladies!” Jenny explained.

She advertised across Sheffield and was encouraged when women from all over the city responded to the call and attended classes in their local areas. “Choreographing was a challenge,” admitted Jenny, “as I had to consider how to give each class a balanced part, then bring them together and deliver an exciting ensemble as the climax to the piece.” 

The result was a triumph as the Sheffield Belrobics dancers shimmied their way across Tudor Square in flame-coloured costumes, finally joining in concert to produce a breathtaking finale. Many of the performers praised Jenny’s innovative approach to belly dancing and have found the hypnotic rhythm, hip drops and undulating belly movements to be both empowering and liberating: in this art form feminine curves can be accepted and celebrated.

Belrobics’ next project is Sleeping Beauty – a belly dance interpretation of the classic fairytale, from December 20 to 22, at Montgomery Theatre, Sheffield. Visit for details.


Words: June Murphy

Photograph © Jongile Muhlwa


Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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