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Dance, modern verse light up SDB bonfire

Justin Tardiff | Thursday, October 6, 2005

The Student Diversity Board (SDB) sponsored a bonfire on the Saint Mary’s soccer field behind Angela Athletic Center at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night. And the large bonfire was only the centerpiece of a night full of activity that both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students attended.

Many different talented individuals and groups performed on a stage in the soccer field. The performances included everything from Irish dancers to poetry readings to techno break-dancing.

SDB publicity chair Santa Brink prepared the event for weeks and choreographed and performed in a piece for the show.

“I think this event was a success,” Brink said. “There was a lot of hard work put into the event to promote diversity on campus.”

Performing wasn’t the only emphasis of the bonfire. Most students who attended came with an appetite. SDB created an autumn-like atmosphere with the hot apple cider and toasted marshmallows. They also provided hot cocoa, hot apple cider, trays of fruit and cheese and make-your-own ‘smores, roasting marshmallows over the open fire.

The October weather was warm for the evening, but students kept their distance from the fire and remained cool.

The evening kicked off with introductions from SDB, and the first act was the Saint Mary’s Irish Dance Club. The next event was Mexican Folk Dancing. These talented young dancers showed off their skills in a traditional Mexican Dance and then concluded with the Mexican Hat Dance between a boy and a girl.

The act that followed was an unusual type of expression called “Slam Poetry.”

Notre Dame senior Grant Osborn showed off his skills as a slam poet. He came back at the end of the evening to show off his rapping skills, as well.

Following his act was the Sajah Dance Group, which consisted of four talented dancers in beautiful one-piece costumes. Notre Dame’s Voices of Faith gospel choir performed next, composed of both men and women. Salsa dancers and more poetry followed.

Jennifer Hernandez led the salsa dancing and asked for audience participation. The Hawaiian club followed the salsa dancers and performed the hula dance.

Brandon Hoyte, defensive captain of the Notre Dame football team, recited two of original poems.

“Poetry is the easiest way for me to express my feelings,” Hoyte said. “It’s my way of exhaling. If there’s something I need to get off my chest, I do it through poetry.”

Hoyte said he has been writing and experimenting with poetry since junior high school.

The Notre Dame Irish Dance team came next, with five girls demonstrating their Irish Dance skills. Music was then put on and members of the audience danced onstage before the next act, considered a “surprise,” even to the SDB members.

This “surprise” turned out to be techno break-dancing by a talented student who used strobe lights and glow sticks to add to her act. The “1st Class Ladies” steppers came on following the techno dancing and illustrated the art of stomping.

Monica Velarde, a freshman at Saint Mary’s and a new member of SDB was happy about the way that the night turned out.

“I’m glad that it was a great success,” Verlarde said. “I’m one of the few minorities in school, so I think that it is really important to spread diversity.”

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