The Multicultural Affairs directors are hosting the first multicultural dance competition in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom, March 13 at 7 p.m.
The infamous Lor Brothers, M-Pact and Villin of The Kinjaz, a hip hop group, as well as Darren Wong will be performing as special guests at this event.
Groups competing in the competition must consist of at least four members. Originally, the Multicultural Center had a rule that stated each dance group must be comprised of at least 80 percent of MNSU students, staff or faculty, but decided against it after seeing the widespread interest in the event. Now, any dance group can compete, as long as they are one of the first 20 to sign up. Kinsmen, who has worked with Institutional Diversity in the past, donated a $100 cash prize to be awarded to the winning team, as well as a trophy and an opportunity to dance with members of The Kinjaz.
The Kinjaz will be judging the competition. They have performed for “The World of Dance” and many other high profile celebrities and artists. They were also the runner up in “America’s Best Dance Crew” competition. The Kinjaz perform all over the world and are well-known in the hip hop community.
The idea started out as a hypothetical event that could be held on campus. Dr. Pao Vue, director of Asian American Affairs, came up with the idea when he was watching the lip sync battles held in the first few weeks of school of the fall 2017 semester. He observed that many of the teams had incorporated many multicultural aspects into their routines and wanted to highlight that in an event or competition.
“I just think that dance is beautiful,” said Dr. Vue regarding the upcoming event. “It’s multicultural and a lot of people participate in it. You don’t have to be one culture to understand the beauty of it.”
Vue has a passion for dance and hip hop. He believes this event is a great opportunity to highlight all of the multicultural dances out there.
“How I look at this is, this is an opportunity for blacks, whites, latinos, Asians, American Indians and all different people of different backgrounds to practice and share each other’s cultures,” he said.
He believes that they are competing against one another, but they are still sharing their cultures and cheering each other on.
Vue voiced that American culture is multicultural at its core and he hopes to have groups of all different backgrounds cheering each other on, appreciating dance and acknowledging the cultural aspect of it. Vue believes that this will benefit the university by allowing everyone to come together to perform, have fun, and learn about the different cultures that make up this school.
The multicultural directors decided to team up and also perform their own dance at the event.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity for the multicultural directors to come together for an event,” Vue said, adding that they all brought different strengths to their team. The directors will not be competing, but plan to perform for those attending.
To sign up, teams can email Dr. Pao Vue at firstname.lastname@example.org. Only the first 20 teams to sign up with an appropriate team name will be able to participate. Every form of dance is welcome as long as participants are respectful in their choreography and music choice.
To attend the event, students can buy tickets in advance for $4, or $5 at the door with a MavCard. Community members without a MavCard can buy tickets for $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Members of registered competing dance teams may purchase their tickets in advance at half price. Tickets can be purchased two weeks before the competition date by stopping by the competition table that will be up in MavAve in the CSU.
For more information, students are encouraged to check out the Asian American Affairs MNSU- Mankato Facebook page.
Photo: (Courtesy of Asian American Affairs)