The Runner | New Belly Dancing Class Helps Students Relax During Fall Semester

Belly dancing classes are led by Victoria Kalitowski on Thursdays. (Amanda Grundle)

Victoria Kalitowski, a full-time science student and science and horticulture representative for the Kwantlen Student Association, has brought one of her passions to KPU in the form of a new belly dancing class on campus at Surrey.

The class, which takes place on Thursdays at Birch 250, provides a “free and relaxed” atmosphere for students, staff and faculty, according to Kalitowski.

“It’s a good break to have time to relax and dance a bit and relax,” she says, adding that the stylistic fluidity of belly dancing allows for a lot of freedom of expression.

Kalitowski has admired belly dancing since she was in high school, when she saw a friend of hers perform a routine at a talent show. As a KSA representative, she noticed a distinct lack of dance classes offered at KPU, so she decided to start one. Despite years of practicing this art form, this is the first time she has led a belly dancing class.

Kalitowski hopes people who join can gain confidence in learning to belly dance like she did.

“Everyone is getting better and better, she says. “[Students in the class can] have fun and take a break from your studies, and enjoy dancing and feeling empowered.

Passers-by will likely notice the class due to its fun and engaging atmosphere. Although there were only three participants in the Nov. 15 session, it was hard not to get swept up in the joy and camaraderie as the students followed Kalitowski through each of the routines.

One of the dancers – Kat Su, who was attending for the first time – says she is glad the class is being taught by a classmate.

“When it’s a peer, then it’s a lot more fun. You can easily have fun and you feel a lot less intimidated,” she says.

Su agrees that the class is a great way to de-stress and adds that unlike ballet or other dance forms, belly dancing is an easy-going “big experience.”

Kalitowski says that since the course has only been offered for a few weeks so far, very few students know about it. She hopes word of mouth will spread quickly and that anyone from KPU interested in getting involved will drop by to see the belly dancing classes for themselves.

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