Making a global impact through dance, fashion and artistic design

Fashion for Change stage danceLong hours, persistent planning and undeniable passion are all in a day’s work for the members of Fashion for Change. Started in 2010, the Feds club’s mission is to provide the opportunity for students to express their artistic interests and talents through fundraising events showcasing fashion design, dance and much more. This mission is fulfilled through the hosting of their Annual Charity Fashion Show along with additional events such as coffeehouses and dance and modeling workshops.

Makeup artist Every year, UWaterloo students design outfits for the annual show with the help of store sponsors in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Additional roles include becoming the show’s directors and set designers, and choreographing the dance and modeling scenes.

The annual show this year, “So You Think You Got Style”, is a tribute to the popular reality television show So You Think You Can Dance where dancers compete as individuals and couples for fame and fortune. This year’s show will incorporate fashion scenes and runways with dance choreography. This year’s show draws on a range of dance styles, says Giovanna Ngai, who works both as a model and a member of the Artistic Executive Team.

There is a very broad range of styles explored from Bollywood to contemporary dance, and high fashion runway sequences to more performing art pieces. There is a diversity in the artistic team which I believe will make this year's show an extremely unique and colourful experience.

Giovanna sewing outfitsEach year, passionate students come up with unique artistic styling and design choices for the show. Yet the fun of being involved is also paired with an intense schedule that requires strong commitment.

So what does a typical week for a Fashion for Change member look like? According to Arts student, Giovanna:

Sewing around the clock with fittings when I'm not sewing. The minimum requirement is 2 hours a week until show week, but it usually ends up being around 6 hours or more a week, especially if you want to do a decent job! That's just for models. If you're on the executive team, it's many more hours of behind the scenes planning.

The effort to put together the annual fashion show, however, is no doubt rewarding. The chance to express your joy for the arts - whether it is dance, design, directing, photography, makeup or modeling - is an unforgettable opportunity.

There is no greater feeling than working so hard on your product and then revealing it to hundreds of people,” expresses model Mykal Reid, a fourth-year sociology major. "It's a huge rush, and is well worth the work we put in all winter term.

Two dancers on stageAll proceeds from the annual charity show will go towards the international charity Free the Children and their “Adopt a Village” campaign. Since 2010, Fashion for Change has raised over $70,000. Through the campaign, the international organization is currently sponsoring Moyamba, a war-torn city in Sierra Leone, where they are working to improve healthcare, education and water quality for local residents.  

Students interested in joining Fashion for Change are encouraged to visit their Facebook and website. “Putting yourself out there is definitely worth it,” says Erik Bumbulis, a 1B Computer Science student.

I was a bit nervous and hesitant about doing an audition. Eventually, though, I just made up my mind that I would go give it my best try, and I ended up being selected. The people who I have met and come to know through FC have really inspired me and changed my life.

“So You Think You Got Style” is being staged Saturday, March 5 at 4:30 and 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Hagey Hall box office.So you think you got style banner

Photo Credits: 

1. Beverly Zabawskyj Photography 
2. Feat. Rowena Rodrigo and Emily West
3. Beverly Zabawskyj Photography (feat. Giovanna Ngai)
4. Natasha Choo Photography (feat. Janice Dong and Micheal Feil)
5. Feat. Miranda Train

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