The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV’s Belly Dance Club moves to the beat of body positivity

Courtesy | gvbelly Instagram

Grand Valley State University’s Belly Dance Club aims to promote body positivity and make members feel comfortable their own skin. The club hopes to build a sense of community and creative space. 

“I know for myself it has given me so much more confidence– more than I even thought was possible. I am just so grateful for this opportunity to fall in love with myself again,” said Faith Miller, the social media officer of Belly Dance Club.

The club focuses on making sure everyone is comfortable by making club meetings a safe space to have fun with no judgment. They hope to alleviate the negative impacts of social media on body image.  

“Our whole motto is body positivity and I think that’s really important, especially in this day where social media is so prevalent and a lot of the ‘perfect body’ is out there,” Miller said. “It’s about embracing yourself and feeling confident in who you are and what you look like.”

Recently the group held their first all-club meeting of the semester to introduce new members and the club’s Eboard. Within Belly Dance Club, there are various groups called PODs. These PODs that meet at different times of the week to practice to practice their own individual routines and create a smaller community within the wider scope of the club. The club members create choreography for performances. The collaborative approach helps to cultivate the positive environment. 

“We help each other out when we’re struggling (and) lift each other up when the choreo is difficult or if you’re new (t0) a style of dance,” Miller said. “It’s hard to get the hang of so we kind of support and encourage each other.”

In addition to dancing, the club takes on other creative projects. Miller said their costumes are all handmade. Miller said the members dedicate a night to getting supplies at craft stores and decorating bras or tanks with tulle and charms. The custom nature of the outfits help the individual PODs create unique costumes to match performances. 

Pozi-POD, one of the groups within the club, performs at campus events. Danahe Garcia Navarro, who is part of Pozi-POD, said her favorite memory of the club has been making bras for costumes. She said costume making is a way for members to bond and get to know one another better. 

Along with the club expressing the principle of body positivity, they emphasize that the art form of belly dance is meant to be fun. Navarro said she feels confident during the two hours she spends practicing with the club.

“I think that’s the place where doubts are put to rest because everyone’s there for the same thing– to enjoy themselves,” Navarro said. 

The PODS work all semester practicing and perfecting their dancing in preparation for their end-of-semester showcase. Navarro said it is rewarding see how the months of hard work pay off for all club members.

“To see it all come together as one, you see the different people, the different dance moves and techniques, but also you see it as one cohesive thing. It’s really interesting to see the finished product,” Navarro said.

The Belly Dance Club will be holding their end-of-semester showcase on April 13 in Kirkhof’s Grand River Room.

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