MUve poster
Photo provided by MU

‘Let’s MUve’ Offers Chance to Connect Amid COVID Tension

Emily Ewen

There is no better way to shake off some stress (and COVID) than by dancing. If you don’t believe that, just ask Professor Beate Gilliar.

She has spearheaded a new activity called “Let’s MUve Together,” where members of the Manchester University campus can freely dance together, for about 20 minutes at a time, twice a month. These sessions will be held on the Mall, by the Library Bigler Terrace, during the lunch time of about 11:40 a.m.–12 p.m.

“This is a high-impact, high-energy, and engaging music for about 15 minutes and 5 minutes of centering,” Gilliar said. This activity was granted permission as long as masks and social distancing rules are in place, per usual.

Gilliar said that Tami Hoagland, Jim Brumbaugh-Smith, Elton Skendaj are among those who have supported and help her to make this activity happen. Hoagland had reached out to her about how great of an idea it would be to offer an event where people on campus could open up a little bit and let go of some tension from COVID, safely. Gilliar took this idea and added some concrete details to make it happen.

Gilliar wants to provide people on campus the opportunity to connect and create bonds, in times where it seems difficult to do so. She also desires to “heighten our spirits” and “spread light,” as she put it, adding, “I thought it would be nice for our community to gather safely and enjoy some fun time amidst being cooped up.” A big goal of hers is to create some time for relaxing and practicing mindfulness.

Her plan is that a different member of Manchester University would lead Let’s MUve Together each time. The schedule is still open right now, as far as leadership, members and implementation. Gilliar notes that any interested faculty, staff or student could collaborate on all aspects of the events, including the music, dance moves and promotion.

The first “Let’s MUve Together” held earlier in September was a success as Gilliar says that it allowed for time to “rejuvenate and decompress.” Professor Jim Brumbaugh-Smith from the math department led the session with her while Professor Elton Skendaj led the act of centering. They played up-beat songs such as “Summer Love” by Carly Rae Jepson, “Shake It Off ” by Taylor Swift, “Cupid Shuffle” by Cupid, and “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5. The music lasted about 13 minutes, leaving about 5 or so minutes to “cool down” and center. The music for the cool down time was “Resilient” by Rising Appalachia.

Future dates for “Let’s MUve Together” are on the Campus Calendar and also published on posters around campus.