Belly dance is good for self-esteem in lots and lots of ways, but since the recital the girls in my class really bonded emotionally which has also been a boon to us. We might not exactly be "friends" just yet, but we are totally a team.
Example, tonight while learning belly flutters:
Leslie: Ugh, I don't like this. I do not like my fat flying around like that.
Shaila: (hugging me) Noooooo, don't say that! I love your beautiful, beautiful fat.