LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Bellydancers from all across the Midwest and other regions visited Lansing during the weekend for the 16th annual Great Lakes Belly Dance Convention.

The convention’s co-director, Garnett Kepler, said the event came to be out of a desire to celebrate bellydancing in the Midwest.

“We wanted to do an event in the Great Lakes area,” said Kepler. “There’s so many events that is either in New York, on the East Coast, or California, the West Coast, very popular, Florida and there wasn’t really anything for us in the Great Lakes area.”

The three-day event offered 30 classes, taught by bellydance teachers from different states across the region.

Kepler also said it’s a great way to meet people, no matter what level of dancer you are.

“We’re all like family and we’re always welcoming new dancers,” continued Kepler. “We want to have a positive dance experience for everyone and we want everybody to just love Middle Eastern dance.”

Indianapolis-based bellydance instructor, Liz Wray, came to participate.

“We can dance in our own bodies and experience new things, we can experience old things, but every single time, we’re building our empowerment and feeling strong about who we are, and developing our dance lives,” said Wray.