Meet FSU’s Belly Dancing President: Hannah Cardoso

Name: Hannah Cardoso

Year: Senior

Major: Communication Science and Disorders for Speech Language and Pathology

Hometown: Kissimmee, Florida

Her Campus (HC): How did you become the president of the FSU belly dancers?

Hannah Cardoso: I joined my freshman year of college and that spring semester, I was elected president because the most experienced people were graduating and they noticed my leadership capabilities when we were dancing at Dance Marathon. The music wasn’t playing and they didn’t have our song we were supposed to perform too, but they had my solo so I suggested that I would do my solo and entertain the crowd in the meantime. It was this specific incident that they noticed my quick thinking and capabilities.

HC: How long have you been belly dancing?

Cardoso: Just since the fall since 2014, so it’s been like four years!

HC: Why do you love it?

Cardoso: It’s a really unique art form that people have usually never seen before or they have a really skewed idea of what it is and we get to bring such a unique cultural aspect to the FSU student body. Seeing them react to what we do is really rewarding, and it's also a lot of fun, it’s a challenge and even a really good work out.

HC: What kind of events do you have planned coming up this semester?

Cardoso: On Monday, April 16, we have our Spring Shimmy Spectacular, it’s our end of the semester showcase and it features performances by the troupe, soloists, the classes that we teach at Club Downunder—plus there will be free food! We’ll also be performing at Relay for Life on April 20 at one a.m., one of our favorite performances. People should also be on the lookout for free classes and workshops coming up.

HC: How does belly dancing make you feel?

Cardoso: I love performing, I get this adrenaline rush being in front of a crowd and it’s so much fun because part of me is expressing how I’m feeling with my body while the other part is connecting with the crowd and getting them involved and making it a fun experience for them and me. I also love the bond that we create with the troupe and the people participating in our classes because we spend a lot of time together and meet really great people.

HC: If someone wanted to join the belly dancing troupe, what would they have to do?

Cardoso: They would have to have some belly dancing experience, whether they’ve taken classes back home or they’ve just taken a few of the free classes that we offer. The audition process consists of group choreography that we’ll teach on the spot, a solo choreography and then we’ll ask them to improvise.

HC: How do you balance being the president of the FSU belly dancers and being a full-time student?

Cardoso: I have a lot of experience at being involved in a lot of things so it’s kind of like second nature at this point. I’ve taken a lot off my plate this year because I’m a senior and I’m trying to enjoy my last semester so it’s been a little easier. So now we’re training the new troupe to take our positions so I’m kind of stepping back and letting other people take the lead.

HC: What are your plans for the future? Do you think belly dancing is involved?

Cardoso: I’m starting the graduate program at FSU in the fall and I’ll be getting my Master’s degree in Communication Science and Disorders for Speech Language and Pathology. I know that my schedule is going to be really hectic with having patients to take care of in the clinic, making therapy plans and taking classes but if I can still learn choreography with the FSU belly dancer’s classes and perform with them, that would be great! I just wouldn’t be as fully committed as I am now, but worst-case scenario I’ll still take on gigs professionally on the side.

All photos courtesy of Hannah Cardoso.