International House hosts annual dance competition

The International House hosted its annual dance competition on Feb. 26 with participants representing their cultures through their dance skills.

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The International House hosted its annual International Dance Competition on Friday Feb. 26 in the Alumni Memorial Building.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni were invited to showcase their dance skills by representing their culture with choreography and costumes in a five to seven minute performance.

“Usually we have about seven to nine teams,” said Lauren Longino, coordinator for the International House. “We have about the same this year as we did last year.”

The seven cultures represented in the showcase included the Philippines, India, Japan, U.S, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

Gabby Joubert attended the competition to support her friends in Volatomix, an American hip-hop dance group, but said she enjoyed the variety of the competition.

Students create their own choreography for the I-House’s annual dance competition.//Photo by Kaitlin Flippo

“I really loved the different representations of the cultures,” Joubert said. “I didn’t expect it to be as amazing as it was.”

India’s UT Bhangra Jammers were declared the winners and Russia’s Vee-Khor team were named the runner-up.

“[We practice] about five hours a day, seven days a week,” said Pooja Saraf Dogra, a graduate student at UT and dancer for UT Bhangra Jammers.

“[It took] about a month,” added Arkadipta Bakshi, a fellow graduate student and dancer for UT Bhangra Jammer. “We used to practice from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. every day.”

In between performances, the host, Jianyin Roachell, interacted with the crowd before announcing each performer. He encouraged the audience to do the wave before each performance and tossed International House t-shirts to enthusiastic crowd members.

Roachell surprised the audience by closing the show with a contemporary piece.

For more information about International House events visit their website

Photos by Kaitlin Flippo

Edited by Taylor Owens