Caribbean and African Dance Club to hold showcase tomorrow night

The Caribbean and African Dance Club spreads awareness about the importance of dance in Afro-Caribbean cultures. (Photo courtesy of Reanna West ’22)

By Shirley Liu, Arts & Culture Editor

As winter approaches in Easton, students can experience the sunny beats of Afro-Caribbean music right on campus.

Tomorrow night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Caribbean and African Dance Club (CADC) will be hosting their annual dance showcase in the Marlo Room in Farinon. CADC, founded in 2018, focuses on both popular and traditional dances in Caribbean and African culture. The main three genres of music that the club dances to are dancehall, Afrobeats and soca.

According to Reanna West ‘22, co-president of CADC, the goal of the club is to spread awareness on campus about the importance of dance for various Caribbean and African cultures.

“I feel like a lot of people, when they think about, for example, Jamaica and dancing, it’s very oversexualized. So we just want to give people an idea of what it really is and what it means to us,” West said.

Usually, the general body of CADC meets for rehearsals once a week while the board meets twice a week to come up with choreography. However, in the time leading up to the showcase, the club increased their rehearsals to twice a week. This past week, the club met every day to rehearse.

West described the intense rehearsal period as tiring but worthwhile because of how important the showcase is to CADC. Briana Derivois ‘22, co-president of the club with West, explained that for some people on campus CADC is their only exposure to Afro-Caribbean culture. For that reason, Derivois and West are passionate about putting forth the best image of the club for the showcase.

“Knowing the fact that not everybody is familiar with Afro-Caribbean culture, it means that we’re the ones setting the foundation for this type of knowledge for people,” Derivois said. “So we can’t mess that up. You have to get the best type of knowledge available.”

In addition to spreading awareness of Afro-Caribbean culture, CADC also provides a space on campus for some students to feel more at home.

“Being a student of color in a PWI [predominantly white institution], you want to have the campus feel like as much of a home as you can. Having this dance club for myself, and a lot of other people who come from backgrounds similar to mine…It makes you feel at home,” Derivois said.

The club plans to partner up with the Lafayette African and Caribbean Students’ Association to host an event for Black History Month.

“We’re not going to tell you because we want it to be a surprise,” West said of this upcoming event. “Just watch us and see what’s coming up.”

CADC welcomes all new members, regardless of skill level.

“The main thing is that you show dedication and a willingness to learn,” Derivois said. “You’ll enjoy yourself a lot.”