Empowering women one dance at a time


March has long been recognized as Women’s History month. The celebration started as a local festival in Santa Rosa, California in 1978. Just two years later, a group of women’s groups and historians successfully lobbied for national recognition. In February of that year, President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8th as National Women’s History Week.

This continued for the next seven years until in 1987, Congress passed a bill that designated March as Women’s Month. Since 1995, the president has issued an annual proclamation during the month stating once more, it is Women’s History Month.

To celebrate women’s history on campus many groups do a variety of things. For example, Kappa Iota, our local sorority on campus, hosted their annual Luxury (Lux) Liner. The event took place on Friday, Mar. 15.

“Luxury Liner is our annual philanthropy event, and we choose a different theme every year. This year we chose Peace, Love and Rock and Roll because we were inspired by the feminist and peace movements from the 70’s,” said Rose Cyburt (’20).

“We host Lux Liner around this time every year, while trying to avoid it conflicting with other events. It conveniently worked out to be during Women’s Month so we also hosted a donations drive, as well as multiple sisterhood events to raise awareness on domestic violence,” said Cyburt.

In order to gain interest in the event, KI brings in outside forms of entertainment as well. This year, the band Political Lizard came and played live, and they also brought in a magician.

Lux Liner is not only an opportunity to celebrate women’s month, but doubles as K.I.’s formal.

“We open the event to campus because we believe that a formal event should be open to everyone. We like to be as inclusive as we can,” said Megan Finkbeiner (’19).

Because this is the largest philanthropy event of the year for Kappa Iota, all of the proceeds for the event go to R.I.S.E.

“R.I.S.E. Advocacy embodies KI’s values, so it was really easy for us to choose a philanthropy to support especially since we are local,” said Natasha Netzley (’21).

R.I.S.E. Advocacy, – previously known as Women’s Aid Shelter of Gratiot, Isabelle, and Clare Counties, recently changed their name to be even more inclusive.

“One of the reasons for the recent name change was to remind the community that R.I.S.E. Advocacy provides services for people of all genders and sexualities. They are a fantastic resource and a crucial establishment in our community for helping survivors get back on their feet,” said Holly Barnum (’20).

“R.I.S.E. offers numerous free and confidential services from legal advocacy to counseling to emergency housing. R.I.S.E. Advocacy also educates in the community to decrease sexual victimization and intimate partner violence,” said Barnum.

“On top of Lux Liner, we also run a supply drive every year to collect different resources that the shelter is in need of that are not usually thought of, such as toothpaste, feminine products and clothes. We also like to take part in the campus event See Spot Run to aid R.I.S.E. where ever we can” said Netzley.

ACDC dances into spring concert


The weekend of Mar.15- 17 marked the last show of this academic year for the Alma College Dance Company. The concerts took place in Presbyterian Hall and featured pieces by dance teachers and choreographers Kristen Bennett, Rosely Conz, and Ben Munisteri. Students were also able to choreograph their own pieces to be put in the show.

Dancers and choreographers have been working on this show since the beginning of winter semester. Auditions were held shortly after returning to campus in January, and the pieces created by faculty were put together within that timeframe.

Pieces by select students within the company have been worked on for most of the year, and were also featured in the company’s Student Choreographers Concert, which took place in the beginning of February.

Another piece was initially performed at the American College Dance Association (ACDA) conference, which took place at Wittenberg University, located in Springfield, Ohio.

This being the last show of the year means that is is the last show for the company’s seniors. Senior Maureen Murphy (’19) has been dancing for 15 years.

“This show is kind of bittersweet. I’m so happy that I’ve gotten to dance through college. It’s weird to think that this is my last dance show. I’m excited because it’s going to be a great show, but it doesn’t feel like I’ve been dancing here for four years. It feels like a lot less. I love that it’s brought me a great group of people who I’m going to miss next year. I hope that I’ll be able to come back and see them next year in their shows, though,” said Murphy.

“I’ve been dancing for about 15 years now. It’s just become a part of my life that I can’t imagine living without. I feel like dancing enables those with a soft voice to express [themselves] with their body. Dancing at college gives students a lot of new perspectives in dance as well as a lot of opportunities to develop our skills as both performers and creator,” said Ally Boulware (’20), one of the featured student choreographers.

“The faculty here is extremely supportive and helpful and pushes us to achieve our best,” said Boulware.

“The hardest part about putting the show together [has] definitely been the hours,” said Nicole Yost (‘21).“Anyone who tells you dance is easy is a huge liar. Just imagine having classes all day and then two-hour rehearsals each night, not to mention being able to switch your brain over to dance mode each of those times, even after a rough day.”

Dancers claim that the long hours are worth it. “Dance has been my escape [for] my entire life,” said Yost. “Even over breaks, I find that I slip more than usual because I don’t have that active release, not only body wise, but mentally as well. In one of the pieces that I’m a part of, I connect to the story so well and every time I run it, I am able to get those feelings off my chest more and more.”

“Dance has been a part of my life for so long that it shaped my life and taught me important life lessons. I learned resilience, time management, organization, losing gracefully, and gratitude. Those qualities have carried me far in my life, and will continue to do so,” said Alexandra Mithen (’22).

“I’ve been dancing for 15 years now. I love that I get to keep doing doing something I love. Everyone at my recital senior year was crying because they were done, but I still had four more years! Hopefully I’ll keep dancing throughout my entire life. I also love the thrill of performing onstage and finishing, standing there proud of your performance while the audience screams and cheers,” said Mithen.


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