UM students’ Water Dance brings climate change concerns to Earth Day

University of Montana students Eligah Fisher and Kristen Manfredo perform their water dance near the Clark Fork River in Missoula. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)

Shortly after 2 p.m. last Friday, students from the University of Montana Dance Department participated in the National Water Dance.

The Earth Day event is designed to raise awareness of climate change through dance. This year’s theme was “Dancing for Our Lives: Re-Imagining Our Future.”

The National Water Dance is “a collective body of dancers and movers physically engaged in drawing attention to and action on water issues.” As a result of the current COVID-19 outbreak, this years’ dance performances were exclusively online.

In addition, rather than a large group of dancers as in the past, the UM students danced solo or in pairs observing the social distancing guidelines. This is the second year UM students participated in this project to raise awareness on climate change and its impacts to our environment.

Dance creates a physical image through movement drawing attention to the need to create a community that reaches out for change.

University of Montana students Lizzie Archer and Elizabeth Buening perform their water dance to celebrate Earth Day and bring awareness to climate change. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)