The dedication to honoring local Tribal culture is a major priority of Native Boys & Girls Clubs in all parts of the county. The colorful tapestry of history and modern tradition is woven into Club events, activities, and meetings, encouraging members to participate in ways that inspire hearts and challenge minds. The Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa County has always taken this mission to heart by encouraging members to consider Tribal culture while promoting active bodies through physical fitness. In a program that the Club hosted for their members at the beginning of the summer, the youth participated in a musical two-day event lead by N8V Dance Fitness.
N8V Dance fitness is a dance studio dedicated to teaching and encouraging healthy living through traditional Native dance. For the Tribal communities served by the Club, Powwow dances have long been created to tell a story, such as successful hunts, memorable events, or great victories. N8V Dance’s central goal is to promote the physical fitness of traditional dance while preserving and honoring the longtime traditions of indigenous peoples. During their time with the Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa County, the studio’s founder, Michelle Reed, inspired Club members to move their bodies and become more active through traditional dance movements. By doing so, Club members were taught that physical fitness can be more than lifting weights or running on a treadmill.
By creatively incorporating Native dance into their physical fitness routines, Club members were able to connect to the traditional and cultural purpose of the dances all while having fun. The members of the Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa County thoroughly enjoyed their time with N8V Dance, and will continue to use the hand-in-hand lessons of both physical fitness and powwow culture dances for many years to come.