Students and DJ’s loved the multi-themed dance that kicked off the beginning of the fall semester on Sept. 7 because they believed it brought cultures together and was simple. However, the extensive planning involved to pull the event off along with the unbalanced attendance amongst the separate dances might prove a challenge for future events.
Conception and Preparation
Ivanna Roggiero, a student activity specialist for Seasider Sports & Activities, said the department had already come up with this idea at the beginning of this year but it required much preparation.
“It takes planning,” said Roggiero, a senior from Washington majoring in business management. “It needs multiple volunteers and multiple DJs, not just one DJ. We need one in each location. We also need enough students to do that. Spring term was a short term. Fall has the most students to come in.”
According to Roggiero, the purpose of having different kinds of music is to attract the diversity on campus. “Different kinds of people like different music. This is new for us, new for students, and new for BYU-Hawaii.”
Vili Toilolo, the DJ in the Aloha Center, shared how the kind of music he played in the Aloha Center during the dance is called reggae and that most Polynesians grew up listening to it. He explained, “Reggae originated from Jamaica. This style of music is light, slow, and relaxing.”
Toilolo said he had played reggae music in the dance parties at BYUH before as one part. As a result, there were Polynesian students who requested only reggae music to be played for the entirety of the dance, which Toilolo couldn’t do.
However, Toilolo commented he was pleased how the arrangement of splitting the dance into three locations finally made it possible for him to play only reggae and island music during the whole dance.
“Usually, I do the whole dance alone for a few hours and I [play] a lot of genres. I really like this idea of a block party. Tonight, there is only one genre in this area. I don’t need to wonder what they want to hear,” said Toilolo.
Emi Wainwright, a senior from Florida studying psychology, shared how much she enjoyed the arrangement of the dance. “It’s pretty interesting. If you get bored in one place, you can just go check out a different place. They have different music playing. I didn’t dance. I literally just walked through the three places, it was still fun.”
However, Ashley Greer, a senior from Virginia majoring in accounting, said splitting the dance into three different places made the number of people in each location unbalanced. “I don’t like the split. It seems like no one is in [the Aloha Center.] Everyone is in [the Aloha Center Ballroom.]”
Alyanna Calabazaron, a freshman from California studying biology, believed the three-part dance provided a good opportunity for students from different countries to develop friendships with each other.
“People that are supposed to be strangers have all come together, and they’re having fun. You don’t have to worry about being different from others because everyone is very different here,” said Calabazaron.