Dancers celebrate African roots

Liz Miller, who has been line dancing for four years, dances in celebration of Black History Month on Saturday at the African American Museum of Beginnings in Pomona. / photo by Ashley Villavicencio
Liz Miller, who has been line dancing for four years, dances in celebration of Black History Month on Saturday at the African American Museum of Beginnings in Pomona. / photo by Ashley Villavicencio

Erica Rae Sanchez
Arts Editor

The day was filled with energy and laughter as a group of about 40 line dancers came together to celebrate Black History Month on Saturday at the African American Museum of Beginnings in Pomona.

The atmosphere was inviting as people danced in sync with one another, enjoying themselves as they encouraged everyone to join in.

The line dancers meet up frequently, but this event was special because it had a theme: Black History Month.

This event was held to raise money for the museum.

Jus Dancin, the company that hosted the event, has been in business for over 10 years, said Eric and Tish Jennings, instructors from Fontana.

Multicolored bright tops with shapes and designs stood out and created an atmosphere of a bright sea of people.

“It is all about blackness and bringing awareness to our history, and it’s just fun,” said Chino resident Vera Hall.

The music that was played throughout the building set the tone for each dance.

From slow and laid back music to fast and energetic rhythms, all of the dancers knew the same steps.

“I think we [African Americans] forget our African side and this event reminds us of our African roots,” said LaBarbara Nash, resident of Moreno Valley.

All the dancers are at different levels of experience; while some are more advanced, there also remains a mix of amateurs.

Participants said the community welcomes everyone with open arms, even those with a lack of experience.

Nash has only been line dancing for four months and enjoys the benefits of making friends, exercising and traveling to different cities, she said.

Pasadena resident Carol Lockhart said line dancing is fun and good for the soul.

Lockhart has been participating for six years and she said she enjoys the dancing and fellowship it has to offer.

People travel from different cities across the Southern California region, and from various different line dancing classes, to collaborate for these big events, said Jennings.

The Jennings started dancing with Jus Dancin’ but decided after seven years that they would instead take their own route and open their own line dancing company.

This company wanted to teach people how to dance differently, Jennings said.

“We like to break down the steps to bring confidence to the dancers,” said Jennings.

Although the line dancers enjoy the communal aspect of dancing, one important reason for their dancing is health and wellness, said Hall.

“When I first started dancing I had a herniated disc and I was on a walker,” Hall said.

“This is what I found that encouraged me to move and since I have been dancing, people with my problem need injections every three to four months, but I only need pain injections every year to a year and a half because I move,” Hall said.

Erica Rae Sanchez can be reached at erica.sanchez2@laverne.edu.

Latest Stories

Related articles

Happenings

Campus and community arts events for the week of April 12, 2024.

Rap artist celebrates trailblazers

Shaun Boothe, a recording artist and motivational speaker, shared his work  “The Unauthorized Biography Series,” on Feb. 23 in the Campus Center before an audience of about 30. 

Cultural celebration recognizes Black creativity, expression

An Arts and Cultural Celebration was held in honor of Black History Month Saturday at the Upland Public Library at 450 N. Euclid Ave, in Upland. 

Fair brings community organizations to campus

The University of La Verne held a Community Fair that featured nonprofits, student organizations, and more Tuesday morning in front of the Ludwick Center. The goal of the fair was to promote service opportunities for students within the local community.