On Friday, Memorial Hall was filled with singing, dancing, spoken word and even a sex-themed fashion show — all in the name of raising AIDS awareness.
Jennifer Tran, a senior biology major, was co-chairwoman of Friday’s Triangle Dance Festival for AIDS. She said she has been involved with the annual event since her freshman year.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in getting involved with the 9th annual event.
The dance festival was conceived eight years ago through the student organization GlobeMed.
Tran said she was thrilled with the level of involvement and passion she saw at this year’s performance, which featured 10 groups.
“It was a really great event to help plan because it is open to the community, and it’s a huge issue all over the world,” Tran said.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize that the prevalence of AIDS in eastern North Carolina is almost as bad as sub-Saharan Africa.”
The evening was led by Baba Chuck Davis of Durham’s African-American Dance Ensemble.
Davis made the evening an interactive experience, encouraging audience members to get out of their seats, sing along and dance during certain parts of the show.
He also added his own personal commentary on the AIDS epidemic.
“We can go through time and wish for something to be done about AIDS, but some organizations are already putting their money where their mouth is,” Davis said.
“You are here tonight to support these organizations because you want to make a difference — we must make a difference.”
The acts ranged from a cappella performances by Cadence to a “sex-positive” fashion show by the UNC Sex Ed Squad, but most of the evening was devoted to dance.
Camryn Sherer, a member of the Durham-based Bellan Contemporary Dance Theatre, said this was her second year performing at the Triangle Dance Festival for AIDS.
“It’s a great cause that everyone needs to know about,” Sherer said. “It’s a serious cause, but it’s also a great way to get everyone from the community together.”
Community involvement, Tran said, is what the dance festival thrives on.
“Each year it gets a little bit bigger and we get more and more community members to come,” Tran said.
“I hope it just keeps growing.”
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