Belly dancers bring flair to International Week at IU Southeast

Amy%2C+Raqia+and+Lillie+begin+with+a+dance+to+tribal+music.+The+dancers+are+from+Raqia%E2%80%99s+studio%2C+Belly+Dancing+and+More+located%2C+in+downtown+New+Albany.+

Amy, Raqia and Lillie begin with a dance to tribal music. The dancers are from Raqia’s studio, Belly Dancing and More located, in downtown New Albany.

Erin Mann, Staff

Belly dancers moved to the sound of middle eastern and tribal music that was filled the air in University Commons on Nov. 19, while students sat by watching the show.

Many watched as Lillie Seitz, Amy Gibson and Rachel Reich, also known as “Raqia,” danced with their colorful traditional outfits on. The dancers that performed are from Belly Dancing and More, located on Pearl Street in New Albany.

Amy, Raqia and Lillie begin with a dance to tribal music. The dancers are from Raqia’s studio, Belly Dancing and More located, in downtown New Albany.
Amy, Raqia and Lillie begin with a dance to tribal music. The dancers are from Raqia’s studio, Belly Dancing and More located, in downtown New Albany.

Each of the belly dancers had unique stories about how they started belly dancing. Raqia said she never thought she would have her own shop.

“It found me. It allows you to release your spirit. It is also great exercise. I never imagined I would be teaching it,” Raqia said.

Lillie said she saw a belly dancer at a festival when she was 16 years-old and got hooked.

“Back in 2009, I had a friend who did belly dancing and decided to take lessons with her. It proved to be a good workout. It helped me stay healthier while I was pregnant,” Amy said.

Ajak, international studies sophomore, said she liked watching the belly dancing. She said she had never seen this at school before and it was something different.

“I know everything when it comes to belly dancing. It is something I enjoy doing as well,” Ajak said.

Ladybird Nwogu, accounting and finance junior, said she thought it was interesting to watch and good entertainment for while eating during her break.

“By watching them, I have a better idea of how to belly dance now,” Nwogu said.

Grace Shepherd, criminal justice sophomore, said she also found it interesting and thought it was something unique. Like Ajak, she had not seen this at IU Southeast before.

“I learned how to belly dance better today by watching the performance,” Shepherd said.

On Dec. 1, the dancers will be having a HIV and AIDS benefit from 6-9 p.m. at The Grand in downtown New Albany. The cost is $10 plus a toy to donate.

Interested in belly dancing or want to learn more about it? Raqia’s studio, Belly Dancing and More, is located on Pearl Street in downtown New Albany or you can reach her at 812-989-0821.