The Dimensions of Diversity Dance Team presented the Evolution of Dance Performance, designed to spread awareness about black history month and how the origin and background of the different genres of dance were included in the black community.
Destiny Davenport, a junior from Pomaria, S.C., narrated the event, informing the audience of the importance of each dance in the African American community. Throughout the night, the Dimensions of Diversity Dance Team performed five separate genres of dance.
The event also welcomed FMU poet Rischard Admust Brown, a sophomore from Monks Corner, S.C., as well as FMU’s Praise in Motion Dance Team.
The event opened with the entire Dimensions of Diversity Dance team dressed in black with tribal accessories as they performed an African dance.
The next dance was a modern ballet. The performance represented the struggle and perseverance of African Americans to become involved in the ballet community. Davenport said that it wasn’t until last year that the first black woman, Misty Copeland, was named the first African American principal of a ballet academy. FMU students performed the dance. Brittany Greene, Klieopatra Humphries and Breanna Minus performed a dance to “Let Freedom Reign” by Chrisette Michelle.
After the modern ballet performance Richard Brown read his poem “God What’s my DNA?” Brown said he began writing poetry in May 2015 and found his inspiration in the way that writing helped him release the pain and frustration that built up within him. However, he said he soon began to use his poetry as a way to encourage others who were struggling with their place in life. As he read the poem, he addressed issues of race, love and self-acceptance.
The Praise in Motion Dance team performed an interpretive dance to “Glory” by John Legend and Common. The dancers dressed in simple black and white with half of the dancers in long black skirts and the rest in black pants and white shirts. The dance was meant to represent the struggles of the African American community during the civil rights movement.
Afterward, the Dimensions of Dance Dance team performed a jazz rendition of “Black and Gold” by Sam Sparo. Davenport said the importance of the African American community in the creation of jazz dances like the Charleston, Lindyhop and Jitterbug. Kimberlin Green, Diamond Greene, Shakeria Jenkins and Olivia Rutledge performed the dance performance dressed in flowing black skirts and black tops.
The performance was followed with a performance of reggae music. Throughout the late 1960s reggae became more popular with the growing fame of Bob Marley and its mixture of traditional African beat drums as well as its tie to the representation of slavery. The dance was a mixture of dancehall music and was performed by Alexis Bradford, Monica Grant, Zaria Kelley and Shakayla McCants.
The event ended with a hip hop performance by the entire Dimensions of Diversity Dance Team as they danced to P. Diddy’s “Finna Get Loose.”
The Dimensions of Diversity Dance team’s advisor Erica James, a new psychology professor and 2009 FMU alumna, helped the team prepare and rehearse for the event.
“She has done an amazing job with the dance team this year and they thank her dearly for all of her dedication and effort,” Davenport said.