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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

JOURNAL: Dancing Through Life

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Photo by Katie Craig

Bayanihan Student Organization and Saoirse Irish Dance Team are both cultural clubs on campus. They highlight their cultures by doing authentic cultural dances. They showcase their skills by performing at bars and other events at Marquette.

Krystiana Borres, a first-year in the College of Health Sciences, is a member of BSO. They produce a cultural show on campus every semester to highlight their dances. 

“BSO is very welcoming,” Borres says. “For the cultural show, there is a big presence of cultural dances, and I am getting to learn more about traditional aspects of my culture from those.” 

Borres illustrates one dance called Pandaggo sa Ilaw that is a popular folk dance in the rural Philippines.

“Pandaggo sa Ilaw is a beautiful candle dance,” Borres says. “I feel very grateful to celebrate and perform it here at Marquette for the first time.”

Emily Madden, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, is a member of the Saoirse Dance Team. As she danced her way through high school, she was excited to continue improving her Irish dancing skills while in college.   

“We perform at bars in the Milwaukee area, and it’s a unique way to educate others on Irish dancing to people in the community,” Madden says. “Performing in bars is a great way to spread happiness and it’s really lighthearted.” 

Some parents put their children in dance when they are young to give them something extracurricular to do. Learning to dance can start at all different ages and some do not learn to love it until they are older and find the beauty in dancing. 

Borres started dancing ballet at three years old and continued until eighth grade. She loved ballet because of the skillful movements and how artistic it is. Borres realized that she wanted to carry on dancing because it allowed her to escape the world and be in her own bubble.  

“It’s a unique way to express yourself,” Borres says. “It’s a hobby of mine and a way to get away from the stress of school.” 

Hayley Jamiola, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, is a member of the Marquette Dance Team. She performs in front of thousands of people at Marquette basketball games and other sporting events. She expresses that she enjoys the challenging choreography that pushes her dancing abilities and helps her grow.

When the pandemic hit, people all around the world were affected. Jamiola says COVID-19 affected her normal life in high school and every aspect of her performances changed, like wearing masks, social distancing and not performing in front of an audience.  

Although how Jamiola performed changed significantly, joining the Marquette Dance Team allowed her to get a sense of normality back. She reveals that dance is also a way to express the emotions you are feeling, a way to escape the realities of the world.  

While each of the dancers embarked on dancing as an after-school activity, now on a college campus and even on an NBA-level stage, dance has become more than just an extracurricular activity. 

Madden expresses what dance means to her and how dance is what you make it, your own interpretation.

“Dance can be done anywhere, and people don’t have to have anything in common like a language, culture or an education to share the experience,” Madden says. “Additionally, dance can also be interpreted completely different by every person.”

Borres expressed how words can be limiting, but dance is an outlet that allows you to express yourself and show your emotions through your movements.  

“Seeing dance visually is a way for me to convey what I feel,” Borres says.

Jamiola explains that dance is an artistic and powerful way to express yourself, but it takes a great deal of skill and hard work to learn different techniques and styles of dance. 

“No one really understands the physical aspect of dance,” Jamiola says. “In order for the dance itself to look good, we have to look like we are performing the choreography effortlessly.”   

Dance is a universal language that can tell stories, express emotions and more.

I think that dance can capture emotions that words can’t because your body is doing the talking,” Jamiola says. “Dance lets me express how I’m feeling in the form of movements, and sometimes it feels good to shut up and dance.”

This story was written by Aiyona Calvin. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Katie Craig, Staff Photographer
Katie is a Staff Photographer at the Wire. She is a first-year from Lakeville, MN studying digital media and minoring in advertising. In her free time, Katie enjoys photography and hanging out with her friends. This year Katie is looking forward to getting to know more people and improving her photography skills.

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