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The Altima International Dance Association spreads awareness on

Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 16:08

 

This past Wednesday night in the Student Union theatre, Alima International Dance Association presented “A cultural showcase of music and dance to benefit Invisible Children.”  Invisible Children is the group responsible for the viral ‘Kony 2012’ campaign from earlier this year.  Their goal is to help find and take down Joseph Kony, the man responsible for creating and leading the Lord’s Resistance Army, a violent organization composed primarily of child soldiers stolen from their villages.

The show featured multiple groups from both UConn and The University of Rhode Island (where Alima originated), including Alima branches from both universities, B.A.I.L.E., UConn Irish, the Steel Pan Ensemble and UConn Surya.  Each group presented dances that represented their individual groups and connected to Invisible Children’s African theme.  UConn Irish, for example, preformed a traditional Irish step dance to Shakira’s “This Time for Africa.”  UConn Alima, which featured over twenty dancers, had the most performances and danced to songs such as “Azonto,” “Heartbreak,” “Internationally Urban,” “Sets” and “Caribbean Dispute”.

Every performance was met with uproarious applause.  JoJo Winsor, a 5th-semester mechanical engineering major, appreciated the evening performances. She said, “They did a great job both performing and educating people about the issues over in Africa.  It’s different from what you usually see here at the university, but it’s also great altogether.”

The “Alima” (meaning, “those who are skilled at dance and music) International Dance Association,was founded at the University of Rhode Island in 2005, and works to achieve widespread acceptance of cultural diversity through dance.  They came to UConn in 2009, and are now one of the largest and fastest growing student-run groups on campus, having tripled their membership in only a year and a half.

Kylie Noell, a 7th-semester communications major and member of Alima, said, “Every fall, Alima at UConn hosts a showcase to raise money, awareness about a different cause, and of course, awareness about Alima itself.  This is our fourth year, and considering how big Kony2012 became during the early part of this year, we figured it was an obvious choice.”  The guest speaker for the night, D’Mario Sowah, a former child soldier, is also a good friend of Alima’s President, which Kaylie said influenced the decision.

Although the show was free to attend, donations were accepted at the door, and all proceeds were donated to Invisible Children to help bring an end to Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army in East and Central Africa.  Anyone interested in learning more about the cause, or joining any of the groups that performed, can visit Invisiblechildren.com or getinvolved.uconn.edu.

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