Why Do You Dance

Staff Writer Maria Christine C. Castro

Photographer Karlee Oyama

Description of photo

“Everything happens for a reason.” This is what we tell ourselves in order to see the brighter side of bleak situations, to overcome hardships we face, or even to just give meaning to what we do. The latter cannot be more true to the members of the UH Hilo’s very own dance group, “Inspiring New Talent”, commonly known as the INT Dance Squad. Dancing means everything to them, but each member dances for their own personal reasons.

During one of their dance sessions at the Student Life Center, the question, “Why do you dance?” became the prompt of the night. Each member dug deep within themselves and came up with their own unique answers that cater to their love of dancing.

For choreographer Karlee Rye Malapit, dancing allows her to “escape from reality.” When she dances, she becomes who she wants to be and her mind is freed from all of life’s negativity. Choreographer Kiana “Kiki” Kamala proudly dances to release her body and emotions from the stresses of school, work, and life in general. “There is so much negativity out there in the world, and sometimes it’s great to just let go, to be free, and let your body feel the music.” says Kamala.

INT member Tom Rafanan dances for two reasons. He joined INT to better himself as a performer. Already feeling comfortable singing and acting, he wanted to add dancing to his repertoire as well as try something new. He now continues to dance for the fun and thrill that performing in INT gives him.

Simianne “Simi” Taber gets to have fun with her creative side when dancing. Taber expresses that, “You can be as goofy or as expressive as you want. As a beginner, it’s really good to just let loose and have fun.”

Every member of INT agreed that when they are dancing, they feel a sense of joy that they cannot explain. It must be because dancing brought them all together. Dancing made them feel as if they belong with each other.

It wasn’t just the members of INT that got in tune with their personal side. Every person who attended the class was encouraged to reflect upon their reason for dancing. The responses ranged from dancing for fun, to try something new, or even for the sake of exercising.

The beauty of having a question that had no right or wrong answer was that it allowed every person to give a free and individualized response. The passion that each person that night felt towards dancing left everyone feeling inspired.This was what made the night meaningful before another session of choreography began.

Hearing the love and joy a person could feel when they dance can remind us all that there is beauty and reasoning to why we do the things we do. When the session ended, everyone was thankful that they attended that evening’s INT dance class and for many, it put their reason for dancing into perspective and at the forefront of their mind.

If you would like to see and hear more from the dance group Inspiring New Talent, their dance classes are every Saturday and Sunday 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. They are held in Aerobics Room 2 of the Student Life Center. If you miss them on the weekends, choreographer Kiana Kamala also hosts the “Hip Hop Funk” classes in the same room on Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. You can also catch INT performances in upcoming events like the Great Leaps Fall 2017 in December at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.