Black Collegians attempt World Record
In honor of singers Whitney Houston and Etta James, 240 people organized by the Black Collegians program of Santa Monica College attempted to break the Guinness World Record for largest "Soul Train" dance last Thursday’s Club Row. Sunny weather and colorful stands on SMC’s quad representing various SMC clubs created a perfect setting for students, faculty and other employees to attempt to set the record.
The "Soul Train" dance was popularized in the 1970’s television program with the same name. The program was nationally syndicated for over 30 years and featured prominent African-American dancers and singers.
The previous record for the largest Soul Train dance is 211 participants. Members who participated wore vintage clothing with colorful patterns and oversize gold and silver jewelry referencing classic "Soul Train" dances from the 1970’s.
Black Collegians is awaiting confirmation that they broke the record from Guinness World Record.
College President and Superintendent Dr. Chui L. Tsang joined the students during Club Row, and said he enjoyed the carefree atmosphere of dancing and socializing. “Attending the college is not only about learning in class, it is also about students learning a lot from each other and working together, and today’s club row shows that. This is the real college experience,” said Tsang.
Even campus police joined the festivities. “We are here for the students. We want to keep them safe, see them graduate and make a difference in the community,” said Bryan Wilson, SMC police officer, after he joined students in the line to help break the record.
The Black Collegians Program at SMC currently has around 400 members. “We want minority people to be able to get together and gain a sense of community, while pursuing higher education,” said Roderick Hunter, the president of the program. “We wanted to forget about recent activities at the campus, and have a good time within our community,” he said, referring to protests at the college last month.
Club Row is an event held by the Inter-Club Council each semester in order for college clubs to spread awareness to recruit new members and raise funding. Outgoing Associated Student president Harrison Wills appeared at Tuesday’s event. “Santa Monica College is a really great and culturally rich campus,” Wills said. “It is reflected in the clubs which all have a purpose and excitement in which they bring people together,” he said.
Members of other clubs also participated in the attempt to break the world record. “This was probably the club that offered the most fun today,” said Jesse Ramirez, newly elected Associated Director of Publicity. Ramirez added he enjoyed dancing at the Quad with other students.
Participating clubs included Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, I.D.E.A.S of SMC, Gender Sexuality Alliance, Red Cross Club, UNICEF at SMC, Students Against Sexual Slavery, various international clubs, honor societies and many more.