Students gathered for a night of cultural dance, music and stories on Thursday June 13 in the Oscar A. Kirkham Auditorium.
Cultural Night is held every semester and is sponsored by the Student Activities Program.
The opening act, a musical number by the Civil Society Association, began with three singers, joined periodically by more singers on stage.
One by one, the singers from different cultures joined together on the stage to stand side-by-side.
“I love how all the different associations come together and present something that is unique about their culture,” said Ayanda Godi, a senior studying accounting and the associations director for the Student Associations Program. “It’s fun to see how they are so alike but different at the same time.”
Godi is from Zimbabwe, Africa, and said she hoped the audience would learn something new by watching the performances.
“You don’t have to be part of the culture to be in the association,” said Brandon Fifita, a freshman studying construction management and president of the Polynesian Cultural Association. “You don’t have to be Polynesian to be a part of the Polynesian association, you can just come and join.”
Fifita said students can still have fun at the association meetings without having been born into that culture.
A total of 22 various associations performed for Cultural Night.
“I hope they gain a greater appreciation of all the cultures on this earth, because we are so diverse,” said Clarie Jessop, a junior studying history and president of the Russian Culture Association.“There are so many amazing people in this world. I hope that they will be able to recognize that this is what it’s all about.”
Jessop said the dancers represented a mixture of God’s children.
“All these people came together from different backgrounds and races,” Jessop said. “It’s a beautiful thing to see,”
More information about Student Associations can be found at www.byui.edu/associations.
“We already had all of the choreography for the dance from our studio back home, but we had to add our own steps in some of the parts,” Erin Andres said. “The original routine was with a large gro of people, so we had to switch it for just two people to dance to it.”
Lauren Andres said that she had to learn more of the dance in order to be ready for the performance.
“I was a little nervous because it’s been a while since I’ve done a dance performance,” Lauren Andres said. “At the same time, I was excited because it’s really fun to dance.”
Alissa Yi, a sophomore studying nursing, worked as one of the managers for Battle of Dance.
“It is really hard to be a manager for something, but I think it strengthens my testimony of service,” Yi said. “Heavenly Father definitely helps you when you are serving others.”
Yi said God is watching over those who serve and helps them get through every challenge that may come with the events.
Yi said she became a manager for Battle of the Dance because she likes to go out and serve others.
“The hardest part in organizing the show was communication,” Yi said. “If you don’t communicate with the members, and the members don’t do their assignment on time, it gives me extra stress.”
Yi said that her favorite part of managing the event was meeting new people, including other managers and the performers.
She said that everyone in the show was unique and had talent.
“My advice to other dancers is to follow your passion,” Lauren Andres said. “It seems typical, but it is true.”
She said once a dancer has a goal set in their mind they should go out and try it.
“You never know what might come of it,” Lauren Andres said.