Belly dance, modern music to mix

BY VIRGINIA LISCKINSKY – LIVING AND ARTS EDITOR

The Susquehanna Belly Dance Circle will present “Anything But Arabic,” its fall showcase, on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. in Isaacs Auditorium, located in Seibert Hall. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m., and the event is free to all Susquehanna students.

Anything But Arabic takes its name from the club’s tradition of dancing to non-Arabic music for the fall semester. This means that dancers can perform to genres such as pop, rock, country, instruental and more.

Sophomore Kamri Clarke described ABA as “an event where you can see the different ways dancers combine contemporary music and belly dance.”

Senior Melissa Campbell said: “It’s an awesome time because the audience gets to watch us dance to songs they are familiar with, and we get to finally show off what we’ve been working so hard on since the beginning of the semester. Some dancers have even been working since the summer, picking their songs and starting to choreograph before we came back.”

ABA will feature three group dances, one by each of the Belly Dance Circle’s three skill levels. Other dancers have also volunteered to choreograph and perform solos and duets, and several Susquehanna belly dance alumni will return to perform another group dance.

“It’s exciting and such a huge rush to perform,” said Campbell. “You start off nervous and antsy before you step on stage, and then the music starts and you just get a rush of excitement and adrenaline. It’s just a rush and I absolutely love it.”

“Everyone should definitely check it out,” she added. “Everyone has worked so hard and we’ve got so many amazing and talented dancers.”

This year, ABA will consist of 14 different dances to songs such as “Chains” by Nick Jonas, “Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae, “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon and “Contemptress” by Motionless in White.

Senior Katie Drobenak said: “I’m always so proud of everyone for working so hard all semester to learn their choreography. This year we have a lot of level ones stepping up to do solos so I’m excited to see where this enthusiastic group of level ones leads the group in the future.”

Senior Abriel Newton, who is one of the co-captains of the Susquehanna Belly Dance Circle, echoed Drobenak’s praise.

“I’m so proud of the circle for all the effort everyone has been putting in. Especially the belly babies, level ones. This will be their first big performance.”

She added, “It’s going to be a fun show with a lot of fantastic dancers. Everyone has worked so hard this semester and we’re really excited for the show.”

Alex Summers, who graduated in 2015, is returning to participate this year. She said: “ABA was always one of my favorite dance events at [Susquehanna]. I love the fact that you can belly dance to any style of music. I also think dancing to popular music is a great way to make belly dancing more approachable for the average American.”

She added: “I made some of my best friends through SU Belly Dance Circle. I can’t wait to visit and perform.”