Group Ex Instructor: Natasha O’Donnell


What group ex classes do you teach? Days / times? 

Belly Dance Work Out (accenting on Fundamentals).  My class is currently Wednesday Nights 8 pm and beginning in the Winter the same class will be taught Thursday Nights 8 pm


 How long have you been teaching group ex classes at the Rec?  

I began teaching at OU Recreation in 2010.

 What did you or are you studying in school? Do you have any additional certifications?

I have a degree in Business Management with a Minor in Project Management.  I will be working on a Personal Trainer Certification.


 Outside of teaching group ex classes, what do you like to do to stay fit?

In order to stay fit, swimming and dancing are my favorite activities.

 What do you like about teaching group ex classes?

Teachings inspires me to do better.  I love seeing that sparkle in a participants eyes that says, “I got it”, “This fun”.

Do you have any other hobbies?

I love to cook, I am a huge Foodie.

Do you have a favorite motivational / fitness quote?  

“Dance is for everybody.  I believe that the dance came from the people and that it should always be delivered back to the people,”  Alvin Ailey

 Why should people attend your classes? 

Belly Dancing is a fantastic Art.  It can be frustrating but it is beyond fun and exciting.  Your muscles will be used in a way that they have never been used before.  If  a person wants to add to their fitness routine – including Belly Dancing will make their regular work out so much better.


 Any additional thoughts? 

The Fundamentals of Body Mechanics are essential to Belly Dancing.  It conditions the body to performing and presentation, and involves stretching, muscle isolations and drills.  Body Mechanics teaches the body to not only isolate, but to teach the dancer to have control over the muscle in order to make the brain learn to control the muscle.  The goal is have the brain lead and the muscle follow.

Key areas: Relaxed shoulders, Posture straightened with elongated and soft neck.  Knees should be soft and pelvic tucked.  The goal is to keep the lower back safe and pay attention to your body.  Remember Belly Dancing is for all body types – pay homage to yourself.


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