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VIDEO: Using Dance To Unite Different Cultures
Assistant Director of the multicultural center at Webster Univeristy, Niki Parres, said the new Dance a Different Beat program will highlight different dances and bring students of different cultures together.
“We’re expecting the turnout to be a cross between American and international students,” said Parres.
Nearly 50 students gathered in Webster’s University Center for the first Dance A Different Beat event on Sept. 13.
Sophomore public relations major Kevin Hamilton choreographed a hip-hop routine for students of different backgrounds, while junior Randal Herndon, also known as DJ Twinny Twin, created a mixture of hip hop and pop music at the turntables.
Hamilton said he thought it would be a fun experience to teach his hip-hop moves to students from different cultures, but he admits he didn’t know what to expect at first. He had to shape the dance into choreography students of all dance levels could learn.
“Dance is a freedom of expression or movement,” said Hamilton. “You don’t really have to have technique, just go with the flow.”
Hamilton started with an eight-count dance piece. He went over each part of the dance a few times then he separated the students into two groups. Each group got the chance to show what they learned.
After the choreography came to an end, students were able to freestyle dance for the rest of the night. There were four students who danced until the DJ stopped “spinning.” Suhani Fernando was one of those students.
“I love to dance,” Fernando said.“I was ready for this.”
Parres said Dance a Different Beat will be an ongoing program. She said the Multicultural center is looking into learning Thai dance at the next event in November.