By Hannah Wargo, Transcript Correspondent
Earthdance, the global dance event, returned to promote peace and sustainability at Ohio Wesleyan for its 8th year Sunday, Sept. 18th in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.
Earthdance is the “largest synchronised dance event in the world,” having been held in over 1,000 locations in 80 countries since its first event in 1997, according to earthdance.org.
The event is aligned with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace every year to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace and nonviolence through dance and music.
This year, several OWU student groups performed: the Introduction to Dance class, OWU Rhythms Tap Club, Terpsicorps dance club, some dancers from Orchesis 2016 and chemistry professor Dave Lever served as the DJ.
Other groups that were scheduled to perform included Bellydance Columbus, Halal Israeli Folk Dancers and Hayes High School’s dance team.
Earthdance did not just comprise of performances, but participation, too.
The event started with guests learning and performing “Dances of Universal Peace” from around the world. The leader of the universal peace dances said, “There are no mistakes, it’s not about performance dancing; it’s about feeling energies in our bodies, like sun energy or moon energy.”
Following the peace dances, there were swing dancers, line dancers and Halal dances from Turkey. All attendees were encouraged to join.
After dancing, guests could purchase a bagel from the Short North Bagel Deli Company’s food truck, or make a smoothie by pedaling the Environment and Wildlife Club’s ‘smoothie bike.’
Many of the students in attendance were surprised by the number of groups performing and the number of people present.
Sophomore Kimberly McCalmont, a member of the OWU dance groups and first-time Earthdance attendee, said, “I didn’t realize so many people were coming to this [to perform].”
Sophomore Eva Blockstein, who ran the smoothie bike at Earthdance, said, “There are a ton of people here [dancing]… I didn’t know OWU groups would be performing.”
Earthdance was presented in partnership with Sustainable Delaware Ohio, a local nonprofit charity aimed at promoting environmental, social and economic stability for the Delaware community.
There was a suggested donation of $5 at the doors of the event, $3 of which go to Sustainable Delaware Ohio. Students were also able to donate food points.
The theme of Earthdance 2016 was “Global Shift.” The Earthdance event at OWU was the only Earthdance event in Ohio, and one of eight Earthdance events happening in the US, according to earthdance.org.
McCalmont and Blockstein both agreed that Earthdance deserves more publicity and attendance.
“[They should] publicize it a bit more, ahead of time, definitely have more advertising,” McCalmont said.
Blockstein said, “I think Earthdance is really important because it’s bringing dancing and peace and the planet all together… it’s a good way to bring a community together and show us some fun things.”
All Earthdance events link up with Global Prayer for Peace, according to earthdance.org.
Earthdance Ohio hosted a separate event to link up with Global Prayer for Peace on Wednesday, Sept. 21, International Day of Peace, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Peale Chapel on the third floor of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center. There, Aikido instructor Paul Linder, Ph.D., presented “Body-Based Conflict Resolution & Peacemaking.”