By JAMES CUMMINGS • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – The Lunachix are shaking things up.
A regional belly-dancing group called the Lunachix is trying to shake things up in the world of body positivity and women empowerment.
“The Lunachix is a place where real women can be their best self,” said Jo Boring, director of the belly-dancing troupe that she says is really about body positivity and women’s empowerment.
“Some days that means being the star of the show, other days it means eating dinner together and having an ugly cry,” she said.
The all-women’s group began with a class, but it soon evolved into something more than just dancing.
“It started out as a class, but it very quickly became about each other. Something like dance is physical and creative, but it’s also social,” said Boring.
“As much as we are about performing and doing shows, it’s equally as important that we get together every week and support each other. It became a community of friends so the goal superseded dance at some point.”
And welcoming all women became a crucial component of that community.
“…We represent regular women who work hard to be showgirls. Very few of us had childhood dance training. We’re just regular girls.”
Boring first entered the world of belly-dancing in the early 2000s after seeing the Goddess Hour troupe perform at a festival in Rochester.
“I never was a dance kid and never took dance classes when I was younger. I didn’t have a lot of exposure to it, so it was something I saw and thought was beautiful. I had a little part of me that wanted to be a showgirl.”
After joining and dancing with Goddess Hour for several years, Boring moved back to Delaware County.
“I thought I would never find anyone who belly-dances,” but then she met Caroline Huxtable, who was teaching it at Oneonta’s Armory, and took classes with her from 2008 to 2015.
In 2013, Boring started a beginners’ class of her own at Delhi’s Cardio Club, and those beginners eventually grew into today’s Lunachix.
Elizabeth Raphaelson of Oneonta was is that first class.
“I’ve always been into dancing so I was looking for a way as an adult to do a new kind of dance,” she said. “I also loved the aesthetic of it and I think those were the main attracting factors for me.”
She also embraced Boring’s concept: “One thing that is particularly neat about belly dance is that, as Jo says, ‘every body’ can dance.
“I also felt that Jo was really encouraging us to keep going and to get something as close to perfect as possible, but in a fun way.”
And after seven years, the Lunachix show is still shaking things up and going strong.
“I think a lot of times when you become an adult and you have a job and a family, you forget to nurture your creative expression. This is a place that all of us can do that,” said Boring.
The Lunachix have danced on stages nationwide and internationally, with plans to travel to England for a performance in April.