SDSU’s Multicultural Center has recently formed a new organization called the International Dance Crew, also known as the Dance-Versity.
International Dance Crew’s main goal is to develop activities and programs to help increase the curiosity of students of other cultures. They want to share not only their various dance forms, but also their history, heritage and customs.
According to Irakoze Naftari, a retention advisor for African American Programs, the program is in the Multicultural Center is because it brings various people of different backgrounds together in a form of dancing.
“Dance means a lot to a lot of people, and it allows for people to understand how other people from different places around the world interact,” Naftari said. “Our biggest mission (for the Multicultural Center) is to bring people together and that (International Dance Crew) embodies that vision.”
According to Karimar Zayas Negron, a junior hospitality, tourism and event management major and president of the organization, “the International Dance Crew is here to welcome international students, other domestic Hispanic/Latino identified students and share these cultures with SDSU students, faculty, staff and the community of Brookings.”
“The International Dance Crew will encourage an appreciation for the richness of diversity and complexity within the various cultures represented within the international as well as domestic Hispanic/Latino, student populations,” Zayas Negron said.
But how did all of this start? During Zayas Negron freshman year, she was interested in joining a dance club on campus, but unfortunately there wasn’t one besides SDSU’s Dance Team.
She had the idea of starting an organization here on campus. She began that process, but couldn’t find an adviser. So she started an unofficial dance team and performed with other international students at the International Nights, events hosted by SDSU’s International Affairs office.
It wasn’t until Zayas Negron’s junior year that she was able to start her club. It was thanks to Alex Wood, the assistant director of Multicultural Affairs, who stepped in and became the adviser.
“I wouldn’t have done it without him. He has helped the club to be where it is now,” Zayas Negron said.
Now with the organization formed, the executive members are Zayas Negron (president of the club), Moise Sukadi (vice-president), Camille Erickson (secretary) and Aretha Wellman (social media coordinator).
Wellman, a senior majoring in consumer affairs, said: “when it comes to dancing, I am shy. Depending on my surroundings or the people I’m around will depend on how freely I dance. Undoubtedly, I am the type of person to dance in the mirror at home and have a solo dance party.”
In addition, Wellman said she’s the type to ensure everyone feels included, so she’ll probably be the person to reassure the member feeling odd and then hype them up to build their confidence.
“We just want everyone to have fun, as dancing is a great way to relieve stress and be aligned with your body,” Wellman said.
This organization is for everyone regardless of their level and dance experience. The meetings will be every Thursday at 8 p.m. for about an hour at the Wellness Center Studio A.
In terms of their goal, this spring semester is to volunteer at State-A-Thon, as it will be a great opportunity to share our culture by dancing to the Brookings community, Zayas Negron said.
As for the future, it would be exciting to perform for SDSU’s annual Step Show, hosted by the Black Student Alliance, Wellman said.
You are welcomed to attend their meetings and future events and become a part of this organization.
Feel free to follow or get in touch with them on Instagram: SDSU.IDC.Danceversity.