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Immigrant Heritage Month Profile: Meet Laura Armenta

In celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month, this series features profiles of community members who have immigrated to Grand Rapids.
Laura Armenta at the Armentality Studio

Laura Armenta at the Armentality Studio

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For Immigrant Heritage Month, I asked several friends and connections who immigrated to Grand Rapids to share a little about their heritage. The goal of this endeavor is to help educate and inform myself and others in the community about the rich cultures of our neighbors. And, to celebrate the ways that these individuals have contributed to what we know as American culture today. I asked each of them the same questions and their responses are all featured here in the Profile section of The Rapidian. 

Laura Armenta is founder and artistic director of Laura Armenta Dance Company, owner of Armentality Movement Arts Center, and faculty member at GVSU. I met her in the summer of 2011 after purchasing a Living Social voucher for classes in belly dancing, core conditioning, and yoga. Her fun and friendly Saturday Global Jam classes were my jam for almost six years. Though I am on hiatus from classes right now, I remain a dedicated fan and follower of hers—and I’m proud to call her my friend. 

I asked Armenta: What is an important part of your culture/heritage that you want to preserve in your life and also want to share with American culture? And, what in American culture do you embrace?

Laura said, "I'd like to preserve authenticity of character, as well as the emotional nourishment that, in general, Mexicans provide within relationships (family/friends). There is plenty more, but, this is a good summarizing.

What I embrace in American culture is, in general, practicality. And, business wise, working smarter versus harder.

I emigrated from Mexico City, Mexico in the mid-nineties. I am a Mexican-born performing artist, experienced educator, inspirational speaker, community leader and advocate, adventurous entrepreneur, wellness coach, and holistic practitioner.

I hold a degree in fine arts and humanities, as well as multiple certifications in Yoga, Ayurveda, and Yoga-Thai therapy. I have been a devoted yogini since 1991 and have served the residents of Grand Rapids since 1999, bringing knowledge and expertise to schools, non-profits, and the community at large."

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