AFTER just returning from a star-studded performance at the Glitter of the Desert International Bellydance Festival in France, Marta Hackett decided to turn her hobby into a lifelong career.
The festival, held from July 4-6, empowered Ms Hackett to open her own belly dance studio in Maryborough.
"I learned from a lot of high-profile teachers from around the world," Ms Hacket said.
"I had an Egyptian, Ukrainian, American and a few French teachers and they were all great inspirations."
The 18-year-old, who has been belly dancing since she was seven, has performed in festivals around Queensland, even winning Best Dance Award at the 2013 Fraser Coast's Got Talent.
"Belly dancing is so empowering for women and I think every woman should do it. You can express yourself in so many different ways and have fun," she said.
Ms Hackett said belly dancing was for everyone. It's easy to start off with and you don't even have to be flexible.
"I've got all sorts of students in my class. When my students first started, they were shy and a little afraid but after the classes, they were more confident and had better self-esteem," she said.
Ms Hackett's studio, Fraser Coast Belly Dance, is at 311 Kent St, Maryborough, and she conducts two classes every Monday from 5-7pm.
"Everyone above the age of 10 is welcome to join at just $10 per class. I'm looking to impart my knowledge and put a team together to perform at functions," she said.
To learn belly dancing, phone 0439 789 745 or email art_from_marta@hotmail. com.