Momentum show combines donations and dancing


GVL / Annabelle Robinson

Colleen Garcia, Staff Writer

This past weekend, Momentum, a student-run dance organization at Grand Valley State University, held its show for the semester titled “Resurge.” The performance featured a variety of different dance genres including contemporary, jazz, ballet and other dance pieces. 

Momentum aims to allow students to explore their creativity through choreography and performance, showcased in the organization’s shows. In addition, Momentum works to connect to the wider community by choosing a charity organization to collect donations for each semester.

To prepare for the show, students in Momentum have weekly rehearsals for the pieces they’re in. Each choreographer holds an hour-long rehearsal to create the pieces. This allows dancers to fully learn material for shows. 

Momentum is a self-funded club, meaning that students pay semester dues to allow for t-shirts and other expenses. The organization does not charge admission for their shows.

“We have a donation box at our show, and also a GoFundMe that we promote on social media and at our show to encourage people to donate,” said Momentum President Julian McKenzie. “This semester, we are collecting donations for Arts in Motion Studio, which is an incredible organization.”

Arts in Motion Studio is a nonprofit located in Grand Rapids that works to create a space for individuals with physical or mental limitations to access classes in dance, drama, music and fine arts. The organization tailors classes focused on expression rather than technique.  

McKenzie said Momentum is a no-cut organization, allowing anyone who wants to dance “room to explore your own creative voice as a performer or choreographer.” Additionally, McKenzie said he’s proud of the environment Momentum creates for students.

“One aspect of this organization that I’m most proud of is the sense of community it brings,” McKenzie said. “Our members are very supportive towards one another and it creates such an amazing atmosphere to be in.” 

Alayna Hope, Momentum’s social media officer, has been with the organization for three years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization adapted to a virtual model without live shows. In the winter 2022 semester, the club held its first live performance since the start of the pandemic, which Hope said was her favorite memory in the organization.

“Getting the chance to perform live for the first time was so refreshing,” Hope said. “Also, the connections I have made with the people in this organization make rehearsals a highlight of my week.”

Momentum holds auditions at the start of each semester. McKenzie encourages any students who are interested in dance to consider joining the organization and said Momentum has created a community that includes artists from all different backgrounds.

“We embrace each person’s individual artistry and what they are bringing to the table, which allows for everyone to just have a fun time and dance,” McKenzie said.