By Alexander Victoria | Contributing Writer

I was more than a little late to the dance, having to walk from BART, to my friend’s, and then, after some confused detours, to the 28th annual Saint Mary’s College Diversity Dance. We must have walked for nearly an hour, and by the time I got to the Crowne Plaza of Concord, I was feeling cold, tired, and certainly not in the mood for a dance.

The generic hotel exterior and environs didn’t do much to lift my spirits, but after lingering in the parking lot for a moment, my friend and I stepped into the building. The gold-accented interior conjured a powerful contrast with the amorphous exterior, and I immediately began to feel warmer and at ease. Moving into the entrance hallway only served to elevate those feelings, and the event organizers attending to the guests made us I feel welcome and eager.

The sight of my good friends goofing off and contorting their faces in front of the photo booth, which I spied when I first entered, was simply magnificent. That photo booth was just one among many of the particular details of the dance that helped create the comfortable and joyous ambiance. Not to mention, there was a delectable assortment of food and refreshments, which helped fuel the constant movement happening that night.

Of particular note was the dessert, at least according to Adaora Ezike ‘18, a member of the executive team and key organizer of the event. During our brief but delightful interview, I asked Adaora what the goals of the event were. She summed up these goals as “to have fun,” “celebrate together,” and “celebrate the different aspects of people.” For Ezike, the diversity part of the Diversity Dance is the critical part of that duo. “We don’t realize how culture affects our social events.”

As I asked around for comments in between passionate bouts of dancing, it was clear that the full force of the intention behind the Diversity Dance was in effect on all of us there that night. Joshua Moore said the dance was “just like Saint Mary’s…small, but personal,” and, of course, “a lot of fun.” Barbara Ibarra ‘17, President of the Hermanas cub on campus, could strongly feel the diversity present at the dance. She was particularly glad to see “diversity organizations coming together to express cultures that we don’t often see on campus.”

Whether I was gauging the reactions of my fellow students or moving to the rhythm of an irresistible banda hit, I was always having a great time. Though the dance is now behind us, I know that its success as a night of celebration and community will mean that those feelings and memories left their mark on us all. It certainly helped keep me feeling warm as I walked back into the cold night and, eventually, into a warm bed. 

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