Belly dancers invade the Atrium

Click here for a photo gallery of the Belly Dancing Club.

Almost without warning, the Atrium was flooded with the sounds of Middle Eastern dance music and several scantily clad dancers, weaving their way through the lines of tables and chairs during the light afternoon traffic.

The Ball State Belly Dancing Club put on a display Monday evening in front of a medium-sized crowd by the bookstore in the Atrium. The club was represented by nearly 10 performers belly dancing their way through the crowds and trying to spark the interest of those eating dinner or walking through the building.

The group was not only there to put on a show, but also they were trying to raise money for the Women's Week festivities they are headlining next month.

According to the Ball State website, Women's Week is the last week of March and features lectures, discussions, art and celebrations of the triumphs and experiences of women. The BSU Belly Dancing Club will be a featured act during the week.

"The point of Women's Week is women," said sophomore special education major Michelle Brenegan. "It's about feeling beautiful, inside and out, loving your body and feeling comfortable in your own skin. That's why we're headlining the event. As belly dancers, we come in all different shapes and sizes, and our club is about loving who we are, feeling comfortable and just doing what we love ­ dancing."

Over the next few weeks, the group will be raising money for a professional dancer, who will be hosting a clinic during Women's Week. Extra money raised before or during the week will be given to a charity to be named later. In fact, last year, the club gave its earnings to a local women's shelter.

The Belly Dancing Club is also making sure to get out the word about the group, a group that has grown from two members to 26 members in just three short years.

"The club began in 2008 with two girls who wanted to bring it to campus," said sophomore psychology major Bridget Hartman. "One thing we're really trying to focus on is helping women to gain confidence. We feel like with a lot of dances you have to be a certain size, but with this one you can be any shape, any size."

Not only are different sizes welcome, but encouraged.

"If you have a little jiggle, it's better considering some of the moves that we do," Hartman said. "We want it to jiggle like Jell-O. That's what we always say."


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