Photo courtesy of Multicultural Club
Cultural Rhythms is a free monthly event held by the Multicultural Student Council. The event provides a space where people can get together and learn about different cultures through dancing.
The event is free and open to everyone. The first half hour is set aside for dance instruction then the floor is opened for people to try out their new moves.
Cultural Rhythms was started last semester by activities chair Guiliana Damiano. It focused mainly on Latin dance styles such as salsa and samba, but will become more diverse in the future.
“We want to bring in different dances from different cultures and backgrounds,” Damiano said.
The first two classes were taught by Jose Santiago who is the coordinator of UVU’s Cultural Envoy program. He said that at first there wasn’t much of a turnout, but as word started to spread the event became more popular.
“People who have come have really enjoyed it. They have good comments about it,” said Santiago, who continues to attend the events for fun.
Four styles of dance will be featured in spring semester, including step, hip-hop, swing and Tahitian drum dancing.
MSC will continue to hold the events on the second Wednesday of every month from 7:30 – 9 p.m. However, this semester, Damiano said they want to get more people to attend. They especially want to collaborate with more dance clubs around campus.
“We want to get the clubs involved. We want to get them to know us and know that if they ever need anything they can come to us. We can collaborate and make something great out of it,” Damiano said.
The MSC is a branch of UVUSA whose mission statement is to “facilitate student success by celebrating the rich cultures that students of diverse populations share within Utah Valley University.”
Damiano said this year the MSC is trying to emphasize that they represent all cultures and that everyone is welcome to get involved, even those who don’t think they are multicultural.
“We’re trying to get rid of the stereotype that multicultural means international. Whatever your background is makes you multicultural,” Damiano said.
Next year they hope to grow attendance to the events so they can hold them as often as once a week. They are now advertising at BYU, which holds similar events for Latin dancing.
There are no special requirements or dress code for attending.
“Just come in whatever you are in and we will accept you,” Damiano said.