In a land of two-step and swing, belly dancing in Oklahoma is turning heads nationwide.
"It's a dance that celebrates how women's bodies are built," said Heide Brandes with Aalim Dance Academy in NW Oklahoma City.
The instructor credited belly dancing with how she lost 35 pounds. Over the years, the classes have gotten more popular.
"A friend of mine invited me to come and I was hooked from the first class," said Arella Amar, who has been belly dancing for nine years.
"I tell my students to look at themselves (in the mirror), make eye contact and flirt with themselves," said an instructor at Aalim who goes by the name Ayperi Al Jawahir, during performances.
Aalim has competed in national competitions for years, but has never taken first place until just recently.
"It's a big honor for us," said Brandes, about their first place crown they won at a competition in Dallas.
Aalim dancers practice for hours, but belly dancers told News 9 it never feels like work.
"It's just feels like hanging out with your friends," said Amar.
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