belly dance

Why Greek Fest Meant So Much To Local Bellydancers

Jun 30, 2016
Maeve Hammond, WMUK

Earlier this summer, the organizers of Kalamazoo’s Greek Fest announced that next year the event would be much, much smaller. The large downtown festival would now become a sit down charity dinner for only a thousand people. For many in Kalamazoo, Greek Fest is their first - or only - exposure to belly dance. Local belly dancers say teaching people about this cultural dance helps to keep it alive. 

courtesy of Kendra Ray

Last month, Michigan ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White made their state proud as they carried home the first U.S. Olympic gold medal for ice dancing. They won high marks for their free skate to Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade

So you think you know bellydance?

Sep 18, 2012
Joette Sawall teaching a class at West Michigan School of Middle Eastern Dance
Allison Friedman, WMUK

There’s only one studio that holds public belly dance classes in Grand Rapids, a city with a population of almost 190,000 people. Less than half as many people live in Kalamazoo, yet there are three belly dancing studios.