AIS shows ‘Sounds of World’ through dance

By: Jessica Nunez/Staff Reporter

Students got the chance to travel the world and learn about many different cultures through music Friday.

The Association of International Students (AIS) sponsored their fourth annual “Sounds of the World Dance” in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

The event included individual and group performances by AIS members, an open dance floor for audience members, musical chairs, raffles and food.

The first performance included an interpretive Indian dance held by two international students from India.

One of the dancers, Samyuktha Chowdary, a graduate technology major, said she was proud to take part in this event for her second year at Eastern.

Chowdary said this is one of the many great activities Eastern provides for International students.

“We can feel free here and get exposed to other cultures while still expressing our own,” Chowdary said.

Cheng Nian, a graduate biology major from China, took advantage of this event to introduce Eastern students to Chinese traditional music, culture and arts. He invited his wife, Zhou Siyan, to play the Guzheng, a traditional Chinese instrument.

Siyan has played for 12 years practicing up to eight hours a day, and is always in search of other opportunities to play for students.

“This was a good opportunity to give students a perspective of Chinese culture and music,” Nian said.

Joy Ignalaga, a senior graphic design major from the Philippines and the media coordinator for AIS, led a Hip Hop dance with a group of other female International students.

“These girls were good dancers but they never danced Hip Hop before this performance,” Ignalaga said.

Ignalaga said the performance was all about exposing women to American culture. The women chose to incorporate international music from their own cultures as well songs they heard on the radio into the dance.

“There were ups and downs but we made it through. I know it was challenging for them but it was also a good experience,” Ignalaga said.

One important part of the event was getting the audience together to partake in the dancing. AIS provided multiple songs for all different types of students to get on the dance floor including the “Cupid Shuffle,” which many audience members joined into.

Arelys Flores, a junior biology major, said she came out to the event to get familiar with other cultures and styles of dancing.

“When you are familiar with different cultures you become more tolerant and accepting to different ways of thinking,” Flores said.

Jessica Nunez can be reached at 581-7942 or janunez@eiu.edu.

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