Members of Fusion grooved across the Grasshopper stage in vibrant tunics. After boys dip and sway with girls in a line, they end in a semicircle while cheering on their fellow dancers, mirroring the freestyle circle that ends their every practice. Fusion, a new multicultural dance group, performed for the first time at Grasshopper Night, an annual student talent show.
Aliesha Jordan ’19, one of three co-heads of Fusion, said, “My favorite part is at the end of every practice we try to do a freestyle circle. And every day we play a different song from a different background. We don’t leave until everyone goes into the circle at least once, and that’s my favorite part.”
Fusion mainly performs African and Caribbean dance styles, according to Jordan. Fusion currently has 12 members from various ethnic backgrounds and meets at 6:30 p.m. every Monday and Friday in the Modern Dance Studio. The three co-heads of Fusion are Keely Aouga ’19, Jordan, and Abby Ndikum ’20.
“It was started last spring. It was an idea that me, Keely, and Abby had, and we said that we feel like our culture isn’t reflected in the arts as much. So, we thought that it would be a pretty cool idea to have African dance and Caribbean dance. Caribbean including Latinx people, as well as black-Caribbean people. And we thought that that dance style would bring something new and interesting,” said Jordan.
According to Jordan, Fusion brings a sense of home to people that identify with the background of African and/or Caribbean. For her, Fusion is a reminder of what home is like and what their culture is like, which may help someone gain a sense of belonging and support here at Andover.
“I think [Andover] needed a cultural dancing group just to give people that come from that background a… kind of home-feeling. I think it would give a lot of good memories to p
eople that identify with that background. And it would make them feel more comfortable here, now that they know that their culture is being represented accurately,” said Jordan.
Fusion’s main goal is to bringing cultural awareness to not only the Theatre and Dance Department but to all of Andover, according to Ndikum. They want to bring awareness to styles of dance that are not as well known.
“I think we bring cultural awareness because, there’s a lot of traditional dances like tap and ballet, but this is something new. It just brings awareness to the different cultures at [Andover]… I think Fusion stands for boldness and innovation, something new, and to inspire other people,” said Ndikum.
Fusion will be performing at International Festival this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in Kemper Auditorium.
Editor’s Note: Keely Aouga ’19 is an Associate Commentary Editor for The Phillipian.