Dance revolution aims to channel positivity, connectivity and self-expression across campus
A new and unofficial organization aspires to unite individuals from all backgrounds of dancing to connect with their minds, bodies and each other.
Dance Revolution will host their first meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 23 from 7-8 p.m. in the Rose Center, Room 125, which is located in the Student Activities Center.
The group's purpose is to offer students an all-inclusive, flexible and substance-free dance setting where individuals can explore themselves through movement and engagement with others.
"What I hope to inspire is mindfulness, connections to other people, connections to our bodies and the sensations of feeling good physically and spiritually," said Sterling Heights senior Sarah Merrifield, the group's founder.
Merrifield plans on the first meeting being centered on "social connection, self expression and fun," where attendees can come and go as they please and express whatever style of dance they wish.
The first meeting will begin with establishing community standards for the evening and making additions to the group's go-to Spotify playlist, "Dance Rev."
Merrifield said the playlist aims to cover all genres of music, especially electronic, indie, hip-hop and rap.
Grosse Pointe freshman Samantha Potter, who plans to attend the meeting, said she looks forward to creating an environment centered on celebrating physical, mental and community bliss.
"When I picture this space it is all fun," Potter said. "You are opened to suggestions and it's not a competition and you make new friends. It's hopefully going to be a really good, positive environment where everyone is always happy."
While some potential members such as Potter have experience with conventional dancing on the competitive level, Merrifield wants the club to be focused on energy over refinement.
"I also realized a lot of people feel that they can't dance unless they are drinking, they don't feel like they have the confidence and they don't feel comfortable letting themselves move," Merrifield said. "I want to encourage people to do that because you don't need to be under the influence to be yourself, have fun and express yourself."
Merrifield, who is a YogaFit certified instructor, said she was inspired to create Dance Revolution while taking a meditative dance class at RedBloom Yoga studio in Downtown Mount Pleasant.
She said the class allowed for individual spirits to flow as they please, connecting with peers and illustrating something extraordinary and "beyond a work out."
"It immediately gave me this sense of peace inside and lifted my mood and made my day better," she said. "We were sharing energy and it was all really positive."
While Merrifield said she hopes the organization can eventually spend time learning from one another, creating choreography and making videos, she said the main goal is to remove the narrative of mind and body existing separately.
"When you’re dancing or doing something you like, you’re feeling that mind and body connection-it feels good to them," she said. "This club is an outlet to make positive changes and make time for what’s needed to us."