Festival fosters dance culture on campus

Students, faculty, and staff from across Duke Kunshan University joined a series of activities celebrating dance culture at the 2022 DKU Dance Festival, which ran Oct. 31 through Nov. 6.

This year’s festival, which was sponsored by DKU Athletics and co-organized by Duke Kunshan University’s Street Dance Club and Chinese Dance Club, comprised of three parts: Dance Flash, workshops, and a dance party.

The Dance Flash activity took place in the Academic Building lobby on the opening day of the festival.

Five coaches specialized in various dance styles were invited to provide workshops during the week, giving participants an opportunity to learn new skills and to appreciate the culture behind different dances.

“It woke every muscle and improved my body coordination,” said Scarlet Huang, an associate accountant in the university’s Finance office, after attending one of the workshops. She said the experience taught her about the “beautiful body language” that can be found in dancing.

Participants learn new techniques in different dance workshops.

For the festival’s finale, members of the Street Dance Club and Chinese Dance Club prepared three programs, including random dance challenges, to perform outdoor on the campus soccer field.

Xueling, who was among the street dance performers, said taking part not only helped her improve her dancing skills but also boosted her confidence and sense of belonging in the community.

After the show were complete, the party started, with students, faculty, and staff rushing to tear up the dance floor to their favorite tunes. “It was just amazing to see everyone light up when they dance,” said one audience member.

Student dancers perform at the festival’s outdoor finale.

Xiaochen Su, president of the Street Dance Club and one of the lead organizers, said the aim of the annual dance festival is to increase engagement among the university community and create a shared memory. She said she hopes the DKU Dance Festival will become a tradition and ambassador of the university’s dance culture.

Find out more about Duke Kunshan University’s Street Dance Club and Chinese Dance Club.