By Cristin O’Connell
In celebration of Black History Month, Sacred Heart University’s Multicultural Council presented its 3rd Annual Multicultural Dance Showcase, “Culture Shock,” on Wednesday, Feb. 21.
The showcase was hosted by three Multicultural Council Executive Board members: senior President Schmide Petithomme, senior Vice President Brittany Richards and senior Public Relations Chair Betheney Stevens.
“SHU Multicultural Council promotes diversity and social awareness. We want students to feel they are a part of something, even if you are a minority,” said Richards.
The showcase featured performances by DJ Fire, Southern Connecticut State University’s Caribbean Student Association and Organization of Latin American Students, Iota Phi Theta, Irish Step Dance Ensemble, a solo Scottish dancer and the Sacred Heart Dance Ensemble.
“It was a great show. It was different. Some people may not see it like so, but the big picture is that the variety of cultures in the room got to express their self and be comfortable doing so in a judge-free room,” said senior CJ Parvelus. “We need more stuff like that on campus so those kids don’t feel out of place on this campus. Overall great show and vibe.”
The Edgerton Center for Performing Arts was filled with students, friends and family ready for a night filled with dancing. The show began with music playing and dancers dancing down the aisles, waving flags representing Jamaica, Brazil, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Tobago and many others. Other cultures that were represented in the show included Ireland and Scotland.
“Amazing showcase of beauty, talent and love for all cultures,” said junior JT Spellman. “Truly a joy to be a part of.”
“Culture Shock” also featured poets, singers, and a fashion show put on by Southern Connecticut State University’s “Face Models.” Senior Shindler Auguste sang a song in Haitian Creole called “Laglwa W,” which translates to “Your Glory.”
“It was an amazing experience on stage,” said Auguste. “The energetic vibes from all the cultures really enhanced my performance.”
There was also a raffle during the showcase, but when the numbers were called, no one had the winning ticket. Instead the Multicultural Council got audience members out of their seats and let them dance battle it out to Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie.”
“The importance of sharing different cultures is that it brings people together and it makes no one feel left out, it is like a family unit,” said Petithomme and Stevens.
Petithomme said that is what makes “Culture Shock” so important, and it is what she wants audience members to take away from the event.
“The importance of an event like this is it gives awareness of cultures they never heard of so they don’t laugh, they won’t look at us strange, and they get a little piece of it,” said Petithomme. “Basically we want to have a melting pot at Sacred Heart and let everyone know that we are one at the end of the day, no matter what the color, what the race, what the ethnicity. At the end of the day we can all come together and learn about one another’s cultures.”