International dances to step into Engineering Center


Adrian Suarez Avila / Staff Writer

The Engineering Center will soon be getting a sense of international dances.

In an effort to promote cultural awareness and provide students with an opportunity to have fun, the Student Government Council at Modesto A. Maidique Campus will be hosting a multicultural dance event at the University’s Engineering Center.

“Blended: A Cultural Extravaganza!” will feature forms of dance from different parts of the world, namely Africa and India.

The event sprung out as a Campus Life contest entry, said Victoria Junkins, Deputy Chief-of-Staff for the SGC-MMC Cabinet.

The contest called for student organization’s to develop a proposal for an event. The context was promoted by Jose Toscano, director of Campus Life.

“We all came together and gave out ideas,” said Junkins. “But we all went toward the idea of a multicultural event.”

In preparation for the event proposal, Junkins and her partner, Deputy Chief-of-Staff Adrian Ulloa, traveled to the Engineering Center to survey the student population to determine the type of event the students there would appreciate.

They surveyed students, and most said they wished that sections of their campus underwent repairs;  several stated that they weren’t interested in parties, but cultural education.

With student government’s commitment to promoting healthy activities, the event seemed like a great idea that would blend health and culture, said Junkins.

The proposal for this event was the contest winner, and Campus Life gave student government $1,000 to spend on their project.

The Black Student Union will bring African-style dancers, while the Indian- and Egyptian-style dancers will be provided by Belly Motions, a dance company in Coral Gables that specializes in Middle Eastern and Indian dances.

UpLight Miami, a DJ company, will be at the event to mix songs.

“I enjoy learning about different cultures and this would be a great way to do that,” said Kelly Lin, a junior mechanical engineering major. “Besides, I need to learn to dance.”

Others shared Lin’s excitement.

“Nothing ever happens in the Engineering Center,” said Alexander Zhu, a sophomore environmental engineering major. “This will surely brighten up the campus and add to the educational atmosphere.”

According to Junkins, the event will offer students the chance to speak to the performers, and perhaps even encourage students to consider dancing as a hobby.

Commenting on the event’s theme, Junkins pointed out that the event aims to provide students in Miami a chance to learn about cultures that aren’t just Hispanic, as they’re used to seeing.

“We wanted something [dealing with] the other side of the world,” she said.

The event will feature two mini shows, with the three dance performances being conducted in each.

Like that, said Junkins, students who aren’t able to attend the first session will have the second one to look forward to.

The event, which will take place Wednesday, Oct. 22, and last from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., will be located in the Panther Pit on the first floor of the Engineering Center on 10555 west Flagler street, Miami.

Food will be provided by Chicken Kitchen, with options available for vegetarians.

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