The Chippenham bellydancing group keeping members fit and happy

  • Members of the Sahara Sisters speak about what makes the group special

A bellydancing group in Chippenham is celebrating a special milestone - it's been 20 years since it was first created.

The Sahara Sisters, as they called themselves, was first set up in 2004 and since then there have been hundreds of members who get together every week.

Those who attend the sessions say it's a great way to stay fit, have fun and make friends.

Rachel Terry, who is one of the women who set up the group, told ITV News West Country: "We hoped it would keep going because we loved it, but we didn't think it would expand into this wonderful thing that it is now, having such a wonderful time as we are"

Sandra Lucas, who is Rachel's daughter and has been dancing with the group for 18 years, said: "We've had hundreds of people through the door overall, some have stayed long term, some look really terrified when they first walk through the door.

Those who attend the sessions say it keeps them fit and helps them make friends. Credit: ITV News West Country

"It can be quite intimidating I suppose, to walk in to this. But it's just a lovely group of people and I think it's the community of the group that I particularly love.

"I've made great friends here, it's just great to go out and dance with them every week."

The group regularly have expert guest teachers lead classes and share some of the cultural and historic significance of the art of bellydancing.

The Sahara Sisters also perform for charities and other organisations in Wiltshire.

Judith Winstone said: "We go out to places like nursing homes, and we perform for charity.

"And to see those people enjoying what we do for them, that's really brilliant as well. I mean, we do it for each other and we do it for ourselves, you know, it's a win-win thing really."