Glow sticks and Zumba

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Attendees of the UPC Black Light Dance Jam pose for a group photo.
Black Light Dance Jam attendees were encouraged to wear glow stick necklaces and bracelets. (Facebook.com/University Program Council UNC)

Lights of red and green flashed and swirled while electronic beats pulsed as crowds of students eagerly lined up for entry into the location. Attendees created their own colorful couture of luminescent bracelets and necklaces using glow sticks and plastic connectors. Black lights flooded into all corners of the room and created mesmerizing hues of violet, indigo, green, pink and orange.

The University of Northern Colorado’s University Program Council hosted the Black Light Dance Jam Sept. 5 the University Center Panorama Room.

According to Sydney Crutchfield, UPC Bear Pride coordinator, the Black Light Dance Jam is the first dance event to be hosted by the UPC in collaboration with Campus Recreation.

“We’d like to do it more often if we’re successful tonight,” Crutchfield said, before the event began.

With over 50 students in attendance, the event served as an opportunity for underclassmen and upperclassmen alike to mingle.

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Students received glow sticks, UPC phone pockets and enjoyed a free Zumba class taught by UNC student Lauren Johnston. Johnston, a fitness class instructor through Campus Recreation, said she was excited to partner with UPC.

“I tried to include songs people would know and love,” Johnston said.

Dancing to selections such as Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” and Ariana Grande’s “God is a Woman,” Johnston actively encouraged students to improvise their stylistic differences and “just go ham” throughout the Dance Jam.

“Letting people add their own flair and personality builds community in classes like these,”
Johnston said. “I try to be silly so everyone feels that they can be silly, too. It’s the best form of exercise.”

Damara Goodloe, UPC’s arts and entertainment coordinator, explained the importance of organizing inclusive and welcoming events that encourage students to step outside their comfort zones and meet other Bears.

“We wanted to promote student engagement focused on fitness and fun,” Goodloe said.

First-year liberal arts major Ann Marie Parra initially made plans to attend the event after seeing it advertised in the Recreation Center.

“I love the adrenaline that dance brings to me,” Parra said. “Dance Jam honestly was so fun and the theme was honestly a really fun idea. Going to this event has introduced me to the idea that it’s okay to be yourself. College is a melting pot of different identities. I saw several.”

The UPC’s next event is Open Mic Night at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 1, in the University Center First Floor Atrium.

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