Judges come to Pullman to encourage participation

Three professional dancers will determine winner of competition, lead their own dance classes

Joseph+Martin%2C+coordinator+for+Group+Fitness+and+Instruction+at+the+Chinook%2C+says+the+purpose+of+the+dance+competition+is+to+bring+together+different+dances+that+each+competitor+will+perform+on+Thursday+evening+in+the+Student+Recreation+Center+Lounge.
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Judges come to Pullman to encourage participation

Joseph Martin, coordinator for Group Fitness and Instruction at the Chinook, says the purpose of the dance competition is to bring together different dances that each competitor will perform on Thursday evening in the Student Recreation Center Lounge.

Joseph Martin, coordinator for Group Fitness and Instruction at the Chinook, says the purpose of the dance competition is to bring together different dances that each competitor will perform on Thursday evening in the Student Recreation Center Lounge.

IRIS JOAN-ROBERTS

Joseph Martin, coordinator for Group Fitness and Instruction at the Chinook, says the purpose of the dance competition is to bring together different dances that each competitor will perform on Thursday evening in the Student Recreation Center Lounge.

IRIS JOAN-ROBERTS

IRIS JOAN-ROBERTS

Joseph Martin, coordinator for Group Fitness and Instruction at the Chinook, says the purpose of the dance competition is to bring together different dances that each competitor will perform on Thursday evening in the Student Recreation Center Lounge.

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen reporter

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The first-ever Cougar Dance Competition will be hosted by three professionals from across the country. The judges will then host their own dance classes for Pullman residents to participate in.

The Student Entertainment Board and University Recreation partnered to host the competition for dancers within the WSU community to showcase their diverse styles.

“It gives students a platform of cultural and creative expression,” said Joseph Martin, group fitness and instruction coordinator for UREC. “We wanted empowerment through dance. When I dance, I feel so free.”

The three professionals will judge which group or individual brings the most to the dance floor. A two-minute routine must “wow” the judges with technique, execution, showmanship and choreography, he said.

“We want them to provide diverse feedback for our dancers, and help facilitate their growth,” Martin said.

The group, individual or duo who wins the competition will win $500 and the chance to perform at events throughout the school year until the next competition, Martin said. It is unknown what exact events the winner could perform for, but he said some events could include Springfest and Mom’s Weekend.

Registration has ended for this year’s competition, Martin said, but the public can watch for free.

Festivities don’t end once the last performer dances Thursday. All three judges will host their own workshops in their respective dance styles.

Cesar Valentino, judge and prominent figure in vogue-style dance, will host a workshop about vogue dance from 3-5 p.m. Friday at the Student Recreation Center. Valentino has danced vogue since the 1980s in New York City. Vogue dance is a series of striking poses, like modeling in a photoshoot.

Another judge is Nkeiruka, otherwise known as NK. She is a self-taught professional dancer, as well as an AfroBeats dance instructor.

NK will also host an Afro-Beats workshop 1-3 p.m. Friday in the SRC.

The third judge, Jessica Sanchez blends dance styles like ballet, modern and classical. Sanchez grew up in Washington state and now teaches in her home studio.

She will lead a workshop about ballet and contemporary dance from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Friday at the SRC.

“We wanted the judges to have a more personal interaction with not just the competitors, but anyone from the community,” Martin said.

The Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center and Multicultural Student Services partnered with the UREC for a keynote speech from Valentino about the history of how vogue dancing progressed to a global phenomenon and how it relates to the LGBTQ+ movement. The speech will be at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Chinook Student Center, Room 150.

“It’s styles of dance that we never really get here. So it’s a good opportunity for people to come and participate,” Martin said.

The dance competition is open to the public 6-9 p.m. on Thursday in the CUB Auditorium.