One Billion Rising – Dance for Freedom
A worldwide event was held on Friday 14th February to draw attention to violence, assault and sexual racism against women and to build social responsibility as well as emphasizing women’s rights and this took the form of 1 billion women dancing simultaneously throughout more than 200 countries in the world.
GAU Turkey Dance Academy prepared the choreography for the “One Billion Rising” event which was held in Beşiktaş Square, Istanbul and an event was also arranged in North Cyprus by GAU Performing Arts Higher School Dance Department which was performed in the Girne Campus Millennium Complex “Freedom and Equality” Square. Slogans were carried of “Join Dance for Our Common Future”, “No to Violence Against Woman” and “No Women Weak But Brains” to emphasize the problems of female discrimination and sexual abuse and it was hoped that 1 billion women would be dancing simultaneously around the world.
The GAU Dance Academy provided dance training at 13.00 pm in the Girne Campus for those intent in participating ready for the simultaneous worldwide dance at 14.00 and when we arrived there were members of the Dance Academy and other students all taking instruction for a dance routine from Susan Heijari, the Head of the Dance Academy. They were all doing extremely well and before long many other people, mainly students, were assembling in the Campus to take part in this worldwide event. There were not many expatriates present but there were some members of the Kibris Line Dancers giving their support.
There are many cultures in the world and maybe we forget or do not realise that there are many women who have no rights and are violated and this should not be allowed to happen but it is inevitable that there would be a huge number of women who would have been afraid to take part in this worldwide event, so we should hope that those who did take part may have done something to help.
At 2pm the music started and the dancing began, it was a lovely sight to see and following the protest dance the music and dancing continued for quite a while, and then a group of students set up their equipment and performed for the audience, this was Dominan made up of 4 young men who showed their skills as a band.
Gradually, the crowd dispersed with many students no doubt going back to their studies after a very nice but quite emotional few hours.
By Margaret Sheard