LUNACHIX RULE! Belly Dance, Skill Building Troupe, Community

Lunachix, from left, includes Erika Miller, Rose Carballeira, Sarah Cummings, Sondra Pederson Gielskie and Elizabeth Raphaelson.

By JAMES CUMMINGS • Special for

A publicity photo shows Lunachix in full dress.

ONEONTA – The Lunachix are shaking things up.

A regional belly dancing group called Lunachix is ​​trying to shake things up in the world of body positivity and female empowerment.

“The Lunachix is ​​a place where real women can perform at their best,” said Jo Boring, director of the belly dancing troupe, which she says is really about body positivity and empowerment. women.

“Some days that means being the star of the show, other days that means having dinner together and having a naughty cry,” she said.

The all-female group started with a class, but it quickly turned into something more than just dancing.

“It started as a class, but very quickly became for each other. Something like dancing is physical and creative, but it’s also social, Boring said.

“As much as we want to play and put on shows, it’s just as important that we get together every week and support each other. It’s become a community of friends, so the goal replaced the dance at some point. .

And welcoming all women has become an essential component of this community.

“…We represent ordinary women who work hard to be showgirls. Very few of us had dance training as children. We are just normal girls.

Boring first entered the world of belly dancing in the early 2000s after seeing the Goddess Hour troupe perform at a festival in Rochester.

“I was never a dance kid and never took dance lessons when I was younger. I wasn’t exposed to it much, so it’s something I saw and who I found beautiful. I had a little part of me that wanted to be a showgirl.

After joining and dancing with Goddess Hour for several years, Boring returned to Delaware County.

“I thought I would never find anyone who belly danced,” but then she met Caroline Huxtable, who taught her at Oneonta’s Armory, and took classes with her from 2008 to 2015.

In 2013, Boring launched his own beginner class at the Cardio Club in Delhi, and those beginners eventually became today’s Lunachix.

Elizabeth Raphaelson of Oneonta was that first class.

“I’ve always loved dancing, so I was looking for a way as an adult to do a new type of dance,” she said. “I also loved her aesthetic and I think those were the main factors that drew me in.”

She also embraced Boring’s concept: “One thing that’s particularly interesting about belly dancing is that, as Jo puts it, ‘everyone’ can dance.

“I also felt that Jo was really encouraging us to keep going and get something as close to perfect as possible, but in a fun way.”

And after seven years, the Lunachix show is still rocking the boat and going from strength to strength.

“I think a lot of times when you become an adult and have a job and a family, you forget to nurture your creative expression. It’s a place where we can all do that,” Boring said.

The Lunachix have danced on national and international stages, with plans to travel to England for a performance in April.

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