On Campus, Arts

Dance on My Block Show Gets the Crowd Moving With Dance Forms From Around the Globe

The Dominican Association of Boston College (DABC) brought together 10 culture clubs and dance groups, filling the Vanderslice Cabaret Room with the swaying hips, popping shoulders, and tapping feet of dozens of dancers.

The culture clubs and dance groups came together on Friday night for an event titled Dance on My Block—not just to provide an evening of dance and entertainment, but to give BC students the chance to learn new forms of dance from different parts of the world. 

Melanie Paredes, event coordinator of Dance on My Block and MCAS ’25, kicked off the event by asking the audience to stand up, come to the front, and get ready to dance. Many audience members looked apprehensive, but as chairs were pulled to the back of the room to make space to dance, everyone was up on their feet to join the experience. 

Representatives from the Mexican Association of Students at BC took the floor surrounded by audience members to teach cumbia, the national dance of Colombia that blends European, African, and Indigenous cultures. Club representatives modeled the back-and-forth motion accompanied by circular hand movements. Soon enough, people in the crowd were swaying and twirling partners to the rhythm of “Baila Esta Cumbia” by Selena. 

With an engaged crowd, representatives from Presenting Africa to U took over the floor and brought high energy as they demonstrated the Pouncing Cat—a dance that uses a bouncing heel toe movement and extended arms to mimic its namesake. 

Next up, members of the Organization of Latin American Affairs announced upcoming events, including an Encanto movie night on Sunday, Oct. 16. 

Dance group Vida de Intensa Pasión was up next, and co-captain Eduard Smith, MCAS ’23, emphasized that dance is for everyone. 

“Our mission is that anyone can dance—all you need is a little bit of pasión!” Smith said. 

Co-captain Camila Lopez Giraldo, MCAS ’24, took the floor to teach bachata, a dance originating in the Dominican Republic that features hips moving smoothly back and forth with the occasional pop and added spin. After perfecting the movement, audience members grabbed a partner and danced to “Carita de Inocente” by Prince Royce. 

The BC Caribbean Culture Club followed to teach three modern dances called stir fry, Leggo di Bird dance, and rifle walk. Stir fry uses a twisting leg movement and a step back, making sure the leg is really stirring and “cooking the stir fry.” The audience joined in to dance these fun and different moves to the song “Happiness” by Ding Dong. 

To give the audience a much-needed breather, Sexual Chocolate took center stage to perform a halftime show containing stomps and clamps that filled the room, as the audience stood with rapt attention. 

The group moved in unison with arms flailing and Timberland boots slamming into the wooden floor. After holding their iconic pose with arms bent in front of their chests for several seconds, one member soloed, followed one by one by the rest of the team, creating a cacophony of slaps and thuds. 

To bring the audience back into the action, Fuego Del Corazón took the floor to teach the basics of salsa partner dancing. Audience members coupled up and added in spins to spice up the movement. 

The Ethiopian Eritrean Student Association then took over to teach eskista, a traditional Ethiopian dance known for its intense shoulder popping movements. Audience members clapped along to the beat of “Feta Feta” by Behailu Bayou as the representatives demonstrated before the crowd joined in and popped their shoulders to the rhythm. 

The grand finale came with the Cape Verdean Student Association teaching passada, an intimate dance requiring close proximity between partners. This slow dance allowed for the audience to cool down before enjoying some delicious food provided by DABC. 

October 16, 2022