News Journal Center hosts Multicultural Event

Photos and Story by Taylor Erdman

Daytona State College’s News-Journal Center hosted the 7th annual Multicultural Show, hosted by the Department of World Languages and Speech. Running Just over 90 minutes, the event was free to anyone wanting to immerse themselves in a multitude of varying cultures that presenters brought to the stage.

Starting with the introduction of  “The Star Spangled Banner,” Senior Professor Ray Cornelius provided the history behind the song, noting that it originally was intended to be a poem. Following the introduction, Cornelius asked the audience to show respect to not only our flag, but also their culture. The song was further accompanied by DSC’s American Sign Language Club, which signed interpretations to the lyrics and iconic melody.

Each act brought something unique to viewers. Be it popular songs like “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, covered by Yolaiza Jones Richardson, to acts like number “Waikiki Hula” performed by the Hanalei Dancers.

Hula is most commonly known as a spiritual dance and a passing down of a Hawaiian legend to future generations. Master of Ceremonies Cornelius informed onlookers about the dance before the Hanalei Dancers Graced the stage, enticing the crowd with fluid and calm movements. The performers left audience members such as Ana Gucman with a smile on their faces: “It was beautiful and we had a good time. Very nice performance.”

Other acts included “Rumba Flamenca,” performed by Giannia Biglia, with the final act of the night featuring Flamenco del Sol, a group of nine lead by Tamara Weber de Millar. Members come from all walks of life, says dancer Vanessa Urbina, including workers from NASA on the Space Coast, doctors and lawyers. who dance with the company.

Influential as it was informative, many of Flamenco del Sol’s  songs and dances hold deep meaning to the performers, as well as the audience. Among those, José Santiago, who says, “It was amazing. I from Spain so last performance reminded me of home.”

Despite all the talent, one of the biggest surprises and hits of the night was the American Sign Language Club. Throughout the event, the ASL club performed skits showing the crowd the benefits of learning sign language, be it in situations that prevent colleagues from interacting with one another or simply preventing a misunderstanding. ASL is taught in the Department of World Languages and Speech and can even be taken as students’ language elective.