SMC Travels the Globe for International Day

The young women and men dancing to traditional Mexican music while wearing long colorful dresses, big hats, cowboy boots and ear-to-ear smiles started the festivities.

This was Folklorico de Santa Monica College, a traditional Mexican dance group performing at SMC's International Festival, celebrating International Education Week, which took place on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the Clocktower.

Emcee Judith Douglas from the dance department introduced the two dance numbers by the Folklorico de SMC.

The numbers were from Mexico, sharing the long Mexican tradition and culture of dance.

These were followed by a dance number from the SMC World Dance Company, and the crowd was glued to the different dance styles and dresses.

A taste of Bollywood and its peculiar dance movements was also present thanks to Mayuri Bhandari, an international student from India. Bollywood refers a part of the Indian film industry that rips-off big Hollywood movies, which include big dance numbers.

Bhandari choreographed the Bollywood dance, which, just as its film counterpart, is an amalglam of different musical styles.

The dance was very physical, involving fast hand and arm movements as well as moving the legs, the choreography done perfectly by Bhandari.

Another salsa demonstration was followed by an invitation to the crowd by SMC Salsa teacher Laura Canellias to participate and dance.

After a song salsa lessons were given to the enthusiastic students and children present.

The event, besides sharing dances from around the world, offered the opportunity to taste pastries from around the globe in a booth located not far from the dancing.

The large crowd seemed to be having a good time, and those who were not dancing or observing the show were at either of the boots offering food and games.

The food booth had pastries from around the world, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico were some of the countries that features cookies, cupcakes, chips and candies that offered the different tastes, from salty to sweet to sour that some of the world has to offer.

"It's a great idea," said LSU President Laura Lopez, who was in the International Students Club booth, which featured a multiple choice quiz that challenged the students in their worldly knowledge for prizes (candy).

The quiz included questions with questions such as "Which Mexican city, the capital of Nuevo Leon state, is a major industrial center located at the foot of the Sierra Madre Oriental Range?" or "Which capital city, an administrative, commercial, and financial center, is also the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?"

The level of difficulty of these questions demonstrates that they were not only meant to educate but also raise awareness of international trading issues. (The answers are Monterrey and Brussels, respectively)

Myrna V Morales, an English major, and Latino Student Union Club member said "it was a great idea. I really liked the coin guessing game."

International Club also had coins from around the world in another game at their booth.
The inclusion of these games was another good idea to get the students interested and involved.

The fact that students at SMC have the opportunity to experience events like this that educate as well as entertain is one of the reasons why International Club member Diana Navarrete from San Juan Zilthlaltepec, Mexico, likes being a student here.

"I really liked the idea of the event, loved the little kids dancing and the booths," she said.