International Student Council hosts dance night

Morgan Kelly

The bass was bumping in the South Ballroom at the Memorial Union on the evening of Nov. 14. Dance groups were gathered waiting to perform to the anxious crowd gathering outside the door.

As part of International Week, the International Student Council hosted a humanitarian night to raise funds for a primary school in Senegal in West Africa.

“It’s a relatively new event actually. This is only the second year we’re doing it,” said Neil Gerstein, senior in global resource systems and member of the humanitarian awareness committee.

The event was set up so the three preforming groups, Association of Malaysian Students at Iowa State University, Motion Sickness and the Bollywood Dance Club all had 30 minute time slots to perform and teach the crowd portions of their dances.

“It’s a dance-party fundraiser essentially,” Gerstein said.

“We don’t really have a dance group, but we dance occasionally for events like this one because we think this is our opportunity to show Malaysian dance to the students here,” said Ras Atiqah Mohd Rosli, junior in economics and international studies.

A retro dance from the 1960s included moves like the twist, whereas their next dance was a traditional dance called “joget” and consisted of fancy footwork and clapping.

Motion Sickness performed a piece that had a hip-hop influence.

“We love doing charity events and promoting our type of dance to other people because it’s not really known here in Iowa. It’s more of a Chicago-based style,” said Catherine Hester, sophomore in athletic training.

Though most of the members are American, Hester said there’s still many cultures represented in the group.

“We have a lot of talent in the group and a lot of mixed cultures in the group. We have everything from white, black, Indian and Chinese,” Hester said. “We have a real melting pot in the group.”

The last group to perform was the Bollywood Dance Club.

“We are a fusion group between Bollywood and hip-hop,” said Sahana Seenu Baskar, president of the club. “We copy the dances from the Bollywood movies, so it’s really a mix of everything.”

The club perfomed last year at the event as well and said it was a way to let student know more about Indian cultures.

“Dance in India is used to portray any emotion, any festivity and even tragedy. Some of the moves can even depend on the meaning of the song,” Baskar said.

The club also likes that the event is a charitable said Simrita Varma, freshman in global resource systems and agriculture and society.

“Education is very important and everyone deserves to have an equal opportunity,” Varma said.