Belly dancers enliven Moroccan festivities

Joshua Bay
Staff Writer

Upbeat folk music filled the Campus Center Ballroom Wednesday night during the Moroccan with CAB event.

Campus Activities Board multicultural chairwoman and junior journalism major Autumn Simon planned this event to introduce University of La Verne students to a culture they do not often see.

“I wanted to bring something different to La Verne and be culturally sensitive at the same time,” Simon said. “The learning part of this event is great because I learn just as much as the other students do.”

Although the free kabobs and henna tattoos kept students engaged, the staple of the evening was the two belly dancers.

Everyone watched in awe as they swung their gold wings and shook their hips to the percussive beat.

The belly dancers then shimmied their way through the audience, making an effort to enliven the audience that mainly hid in the back of the room.

To her surprise, freshman business administration major Vanessa Sanchez was asked by one of the belly dancers to dance with them.

“I wouldn’t have done it unless they asked me to,” Sanchez said. “It made me feel more included in the event and I also had a lot of fun.”

Shy at first, the encouragement of Sanchez’s friends made her more comfortable but also energized the audience.

As many hollered with excitement, freshman biology major Ivette Morones cheered exceptionally louder because Sanchez is her roommate and good friend.

“Watching her dance was hysterical because I knew she’d be embarrassed,” Morones said. “It made me happy seeing her have fun.”

When the song ended, Morones was asked by the belly dancers to dance with them for their next song.

“I saw it coming because I was calling so much attention to myself when I was cheering for Vanessa,” Morones said.

The audience was stunned to see Morones in her element as she confidently gyrated her hips with the belly dancers.

When the event concluded, the atmosphere in the room was much more cheerful than how it started out.

Freshman business administration major Deborah Lee said she enjoyed the cultural experience of the event.

“I liked that they included the belly dancing performance because it helped inform La Verne students about what makes Moroccan culture interesting,” Lee said.

Joshua Bay can be reached at joshua.bay@laverne.edu.

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