LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Have you ever heard of Habibi dancing?
Though it may look challenging to some, according to artistic director Garnett Kepler, all it takes is a little practice.
“There is no official syllabus for this class,” said Kepler.
Kepler’s goal is to educate through dance.
“We are dedicated to teaching the public of Middle Eastern culture and dance through music and dance,” continued Kepler.
The Habibi dancers perform at parades, assemblies and more.
On Sunday, dancers showed up at The Fledge, ready to move.
“It really just allows your body to freely and really be expressive,” said dancer Janelle Mackowiak.
Marie Peterson has been dancing with the Habibi dancers for more than 20 years.
She stressed that they are dancing to respect and honor Middle Eastern culture not appropriate it.
“It’s important to differentiate that when you have an audience that may or may not know the difference,” said Peterson.
For Janelle Mackowiak, she appreciates the hard work it takes to become a Habibi dancer.
“The challenge of being able to do the different moves, the different technique is really just wonderful. It’s joyful. And then when you get it, it had just comes naturally,” said Mackowiak.
Dancers say that the best thing about the group is it’s focus on giving back to those who need it most.
“It doesn’t have to be big things. Little things count. It’s all about giving back,” continued Peterson.