Your Chicago: Portage Park Belly Dancing School

CHICAGO (CBS) — There is a place in Chicago where you can learn the art of belly dancing.

It’s not only a form of expression; it has also become a hot fitness trend.

It has taken a lifetime for Jasmin Jahal to get this good at the art of belly dancing — 30 years to learn the art and 10 years to share the art with people like Valerie Stevens.

“I could have the worst day at work. I could just be upset, angry and I could step in here and feel wonderful,” Stevens tells CBS 2’s Kate Sullivan.

It really is a great workout, burning about 500 calories an hour.

Some think of belly dancing has purely suggestive. Jahal says that’s not true.

“It is, unfortunately, a little misunderstood, especially in the western cultures,” Jahal says. “It’s not sexual — it’s sensual. And there is a fine line between the two, and it takes an educated dancer to educate the people on the difference.”

The difference for Stevens is clear.

“If you’re open to learning about something else, this is your opportunity to do so,” Stevens says.

Jasmin Jahal School of Dance is located on North Milwaukee Avenue in the Portage Park neighborhood.

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