Blast from the past: BSU holds ‘90s themed dance

Umoja Team founders Regina Mahiri (right) and Byron Reaves (left) pose for a picture before being called to the dance floor for the "Cha-Cha-Slide."

Taylor Seprish, Staff Writer

The SRJC Black Student Union, Umoja, the Intercultural Events Committee and others held a 90s Hip-Hop and R&B dance on Friday, Feb. 23 at the Bertolini Student Center on the Santa Rosa campus. While the venue wasn’t packed, the energy on the dance floor rivaled a high school prom. Attendees flashed dance moves and were all smiles at the event, put on to celebrate Black History month.

“We don’t want to just do educational events, like documentaries, panels and lectures,” said Michael Hale, an English Teacher and Umoja member. “We also want to have fun.” Hale chuckled as he compared the event to the 1984 film, “Footloose” in the sense that this dance is a chance to express “joy and love in the face of oppression.”

Jay Cruz, 26, and his brother and apprentice Danny De La Cruz, 20, served as DJ’s for the event. The brothers are members of the Latino-based fraternity, Nu Alpha Kappa, at Sacramento State University. Cruz credits the fraternity for giving them the “backbone for helping out.”

The brothers expressed their desire to create unity between different races through events like this. “There are many different races, and within those, there are different aspects to each of our cultures, but there is still something that unites all of it together,” De La Cruz said. “The love and passion we all have for our culture.”

Their music choices set a welcoming and energetic mood. There was a lively mix of classic Hip-Hop and R&B tracks, as well as new hits like “Finesse” by Bruno Mars featuring Cardi B. The brothers fostered a family-friendly environment, as the attendees ranged from toddlers to adults.

In addition to the tasty refreshments, the hosts issued a warm greeting to every attendee. One of the friendly faces often seen mingling with the guests was president of the Black Student Union and Umoja member, D’yonna Johnson. Her inviting demeanor was one of the highlights of the night.

When asked why this event was chosen to celebrate Black History Month, Johnson said she hoped it would create more culture on campus and provide a stress-free dance for students to come together in solidarity.

The event was not only enjoyable, but inclusive. There were no cliques dividing the room. Rather there was one large, interchanging circle of people dancing to the rhythm of music and laughter.