GALLERY: FUSION performance showcases global dance styles

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Members of LU Bhangra dance Thursday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. LU Bhangra opened at FUSION. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Daniel Moncada, '18, lifts Mikayla Cleary-Hammarstedt, '18, at FUSION on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. Moncada and Hammarstedt performed with the Latin Dance Club. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Male Latin Dance Club members dip their female partners on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. Latin Dance was one of the twelve performing groups at FUSION this year. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Overdoze dance on stage during FUSION on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. The Asian Cultural Society and the Black Student Union hosted the event. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Members of Overdoze showcase their dance moves Thursday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. FUSION stands for Fostering Unity Staged in One Night. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Allen Chan, '18, and Brian Bell, '17, pass a Chinese yoyo to one another on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. Chan has performed at Fusion in the past. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Lehigh Dancin performs at FUSION on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. FUSION took place in Baker Hall from 7 to 9 pm. Zhané Jackson, '18, performs with Lehigh Dancin on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2017 in Zoelner Arts Center. Jackson is also a member of the Belly Dance group. From left: Athanasia Qirjollari, '18, Ileana Exaras, '18, and Tara Chaisson, '19, perform Thursday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. Qirjollari, Exaras and Chaisson are members of Bad Company. Members of Bad Company scream during a dance on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. The various acts represented a variety of ethnic backgrounds through their specific dance styles and music. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Members of Belly Dance perform during FUSION on Thursday Nov. 9, 2017, at Zoellner Arts Center. The multicultural event was the kickoff to Lehigh's annual International Week. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Zhané Jackson, '18, performs with Belly Dance on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. FUSION was open to the Lehigh and Bethlehem communities. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Leela members perform at Fusion on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. The dancers used traditional sticks, called dandiyas, during their act. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Paige Hapeman, '19, and other members of Leela perform at Fusion on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Zoelner Arts Center. Fusion is an event held every year that gives student dance groups the chance to perform on stage. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) LU's Finest Step Team performs at FUSION on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. The Global Union helped fund FUSION as part of International Week. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) JM Entertainment performs at FUSION on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. JM Entertainment is a student-run K-pop cover dance group at Lehigh University. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Members of Helius Dance Club perform at FUSION on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. Helius is a multicultural dance group that combines American and Asian hip-hop. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Members of Helius, one of Lehigh's multicultural dance groups, perform at FUSION on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. FUSION marked the kick off of the Global Union's annual International Week festivities. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff) Mitul Surti, '20, of African Renaissance, dances at FUSION on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center.  Earlier this semester members traveled to Philadelphia to perform in AfroFest. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff)
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Members of Helius, one of Lehigh's multicultural dance groups, perform at FUSION on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Zoellner Arts Center. FUSION marked the kick off of the Global Union's annual International Week festivities. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff)

Since 1997, Zoellner Arts Center has hosted student performances, and as campus evolves along with the ever-changing social and political climate, events such as Thursday’s FUSION play a role in highlighting the different cultures represented at Lehigh.

Twelve acts, including African Renaissance, Latin Dance Club and LU’s Finest Step Team, took to the stage in Baker Hall from 7 to 9 p.m. The performances represented a variety of ethnic backgrounds through their specific dance styles and music. The event, hosted by the Asian Cultural Society and the Black Student Union, was the kickoff to Lehigh’s annual International Week.

“FUSION is a great way to get people from all over campus to celebrate each other,” Vanessa Pedraza, ’20, said.

FUSION, an acronym for Fostering Unity Staged in One Night, is more than just a dance recital — it’s an act of cohesiveness between minority groups that want aspects of their culture to be recognized and celebrated through dance.

“It was a great way to experience the diversity that Lehigh has to offer and see different cultures represented in such a cool way,” John Pendergast, ’19, said. 

Pendergast said he enjoyed the variety of performances and the standard of excellence that past FUSION events have set.

Mitul Suri, ’20, had no dance experience before joining Bad Company, LU Bhangra and African Renaissance. He said the groups went to great lengths to be prepared for performing in front of such a large audience — something that many students had never done before this event. 

“We run through our mixes multiple times and look at each other to find the critiques we need in order to be better the next time around,” Suri said. 

Suri said being a part of his three groups “feels like working with family,” and the inclusiveness of the environment made it easier to integrate into something out of his comfort zone.

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