As someone with a lot of interests, I’ve ended up with memberships, punch cards, and passes for dozens of facilities in the City of Grand Rapids: I go to different places for ballet, contemporary dance, pole dance, yoga, pilates…the list goes on. Midwest Movement Collective is going to bring a variety of classes focused on movement, dance, and fitness under one roof, so those interested in exploring and engaging in diverse movement have a one-stop shop for all of their curiosities and passions. Above all, we recognize that that there is not one body type, race, ability, gender identity, or income level that makes up a dancer or movement enthusiast. We are committed to building an inclusive space free of judgement, restrictions, or exclusive and demeaning policies. We recognize that building such a space will require deep financial and time-based investments in training for staff, consulting on facility policies, and adaptations of our physical space to make it accessible.
Midwest Movement Collective will benefit the community of people who have been turned away or scared off from traditional dance and fitness spaces: trans and male bodies who weren’t welcome in a dance class, large bodies that were turned away or shamed, skinny bodies that were told they just aren’t strong enough, bodies with disabilities that no one acknowledged could dance, and folks who are just nervous to try something new. This community will build acceptance through diversity and respect.
What I Will Do With $5,000
$5,000 will ensure that Midwest Movement Collective can offer a variety of equity, diversity, and inclusivity training to our future staff. We consider these to be critical internal infrastructure and have identified the following needs:
Disability Advocacy Training through Disability Advocates of Kent County
LGBTQ Cultural & Sensitivity Training through Grand Rapids Pride Center
Listening to Learn through Public Agency @ WMCAT
Connecting with Plus Size (Pole) Dancers through Roz (The Diva) Mays