SDSU’s Multicultural Center recently formed a new organization called the International Dance Crew, also known as Dance-Versity.
The main objective of International Dance Crew is to develop activities and programs to help increase students’ curiosity about other cultures. They want to share not only their different dance forms, but also their history, heritage and customs.
According to Irakoze Naftari, a retention counselor for African American programs, the program is at the Multicultural Center because it brings together diverse people from different backgrounds in a form of dance.
“Dancing means a lot to a lot of people, and it allows people to understand how other people from different places in the world interact,” Naftari said. “Our biggest mission (for the Multicultural Centre) is to bring people together and this (International Dance Crew) embodies that vision.”
According to Karimar Zayas Negron, a young specialist in hospitality, tourism and event management and president of the organization, “the international dance team is there to welcome international students, other Hispanic students / identify national Latinos and share those cultures with SDSU students, faculty, staff, and the Brookings community.
“The International Dance Crew will encourage an appreciation of the rich diversity and complexity of the different cultures represented within international and national Hispanic/Latino student populations,” said Zayas Negron.
But how did it all start? During Zayas Negron’s freshman year, she wanted to join a dance club on campus, but unfortunately, there was no other than the SDSU dance team.
She had the idea to start an organization here on campus. She started this process, but couldn’t find a counselor. So she started an unofficial dance team and performed with other international students at International Nights, events organized by SDSU’s International Affairs Office.
It wasn’t until Zayas Negron’s junior year that she was able to start her club. That’s 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 helped the club to be where it is now,” said Zayas Negron.
Now that the organization is formed, the executive members are Zayas Negron (Club President), Moise Sukadi (Vice President), Camille Erickson (Secretary) and Aretha Wellman (Social Media Coordinator).
Wellman, a senior consumer affairs specialist, said: “When it comes to dancing, I’m shy. Depending on my environment or the people around me, it will depend on the freedom with which I dance. Without a doubt, I’m the type of person to dance in the mirror at home and have a solo dance party.
Additionally, Wellman said she’s one to make sure everyone feels included, so she’ll likely be the person to reassure the member who’s feeling weird and then beat them up to boost their confidence.
“We just want everyone to have fun because dancing is a great way to relieve stress and get in alignment with your body,” Wellman said.
This organization is for everyone regardless of their level and experience in dance. Appointments will be every Thursday at 8 p.m. for about an hour at the Wellness Center Studio A.
As for their goal, this spring semester is to volunteer at State-A-Thon because it will be a great opportunity to share our culture by dancing with the Brookings community, said Zayas Negron.
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 invited to attend their future meetings and events and become part of this organization.
Feel free to follow or contact them on Instagram: SDSU.IDC.Danceversity.