2022 Winter Showcase highlights cultural expression in university community

Students+perform+at+the+winter+showcase%2C+West+Haven%2C+Feb.+12%2C+2022.

Photo courtesy of Mia Adduci

Students perform at the winter showcase, West Haven, Feb. 12, 2022.

Saige Batza and Mia Adduci

On Saturday night, the University of New Haven Music Industry Club (MIC) and Black Student Union (BSU) hosted an evening of music and dance performances to highlight cultural expression through the arts on campus as practiced by student-led organizations.

The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) performed as the opener, followed by an acoustic performance from MIC. The Monsoon Dance Crew took over next, and MIC followed with an instrumental piece to share with the lively audience. The next performances were made by the Incendio Dance project, then Miss Majorettes.

With spotlights on the performers as the only source of light in the room, all eyes were drawn to the stage.

Performances included songs such as Doja Cat’s “Need to Know,” Nicki Minaj’s “I Get Crazy” and Lil Nas X’s “Industry Baby.”

Aside from choreography to some of the most prominent Black icons in today’s music industry, group performances experimented with synchronized cultural/historical chants and stepping routines from the MGC organizations called “strolling.”

President of Miss Majorettes Rashade Rid, a junior criminal justice major, shared her thoughts on what Black History Month means to her.

“Black History Month is a designated time to be true. Something about it makes me extra proud,” said Rid. “Now I’m starting to see a lot of diverse organizations, like the Multicultural Census, which has always been there, but now we’re starting to see more multicultural RSOs holding events and them being broadcasted.”

The university and the organizations within the student community have been working to advocate the value of culture throughout BHM this year, and these performances, hosted in the middle of BHM, continue to capture the expression of culture through a medium of performing arts.

Another member of the dance crew, Fransheli Ventura, a junior criminal justice major, said it “feels good knowing that instead of having to speak about our culture, we can do it through dance–– it’s more receptive since people are usually visual learners.”

Kiana White, a junior business major closed the night with a spoken word performance.

“I write to you to encourage and uplift you.” she said. “Take this short sentiment as a token of my appreciation to your future accomplishments. Just know that you are valued, appreciated, and underestimated. Stay solid, persistent, and motivated, and be the change you want to see. Be immovable, steadfast, and firm in your stances, in your decisions, and in your aspirations.”

White shared encouragement aimed primarily at Black men listening to her, encouraging her audience to pursue their dreams and be fearless.

“You are overcomers, fighters and warriors. I believe in your success,” said White. “Lift your head high, walk your talk and follow through because you can make it.”

The university is continuing to host events in order to showcase the importance of Black History Month throughout the rest of February.