Worldfest Wednesday: Belly Dancing & the Bazaar
By Kelsey Hoff
One of the most popular Worldfest events is coming up Wednesday, March 28, at Main Place: the World Bazaar. Taking place 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the heart of the campus, this event integrates cultural awareness into daily life at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Vendors are selling trinkets, jewelry, and other surprises, many of them handmade and one-of-a-kind.
Mila Dechant, a UW-Parkside student, will spice up this year's World Bazaar with a belly dancing performance at 11:30 and a workshop at noon. During the workshop, you'll learn how to "feel" the music through the body, make simple movements, and most importantly, have fun. Dechant stresses that belly dancing is for anyone, regardless of dancing ability?or the size of one's belly.
"To learn belly dancing is equivalent to learning how to walk or learning a new language; learn with an open mind, and to learn abundantly, you have to find the right guru to train with," said Dechant.
Dechant grew up learning to belly dance from talented masters, one of them her grandmother, and went on to perform locally and internationally. She continued to study different kinds of dance, and has done firsthand fundamental research. She learned that belly dancing has roots in Africa, but the actual dance originated in India and South Asia, then spread to West Asia and Egypt. Many countries have labeled the dance as their own, such as Turkish belly dance, Iranian belly dance, Arabian belly dance, and American Tribal belly dance. Dechant explains that, like hip-hop, whether it's Arabian belly dancing or German, it's still belly dancing. However, the music and costumes vary from country to country.
Belly dancing classes are available in the Racine-Kenosha area at various locations, including a mini-course at UW-Parkside, which Dechant recommends.
Wednesday at Worldfest:
- International Menu: A Taste of the World, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Brickstone Eatery
- Worldfest World Bazaar & Mila Dechant Belly Dancing Workshop, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Main Place
- Worldfest concert: Mali Blues, noon, Main Place
- Worldfest Food Tutorial: German Food, 5-6 p.m.,Pike River Suites Kitchen
- Worldfest: "Gammas around the world: Remedies for different illnesses" 6-7 p.m., Student Center Oak Room
- Worldfest Workshop: "Basics of Anime" 7-8 p.m., Student Center Walnut Room
- Worldfest Anime Film: Howl's Moving Castle, 8-10 p.m., Student Center Cinema