Dance for the Cure
By Artrice McCrea
Every year Bowie State University’s Dance for the Cure event raises awareness about HIV and AIDS both on campus and in the surrounding community. Students get together each year to put on both individual and group performances in the name of the CURE.
This year’s Dance for the Cure event kicked off the 2011 Homecoming Week festivities with a individual and group performance on Sept. 12 in the Leonidas James Physical Education Complex.
Hosted by 93.9 WKYS’ DJ Flava, this year’s event began with a moment of silence for the late DJ William “Ill Will” Walker, a former BSU student who hosted the event in the past. DJ Big Easy, also from 93.9, started the night with tunes familiar to Bowie State students. After the crowd got hyped and pumped with energy, special guest judges were introduced: celebrity choreographer Brice Vick; Grammy-nominated songstress YahZarah; Former Raven’s football player Chris McAlister; and radio and TV personality Jennie “Kitty of the City” Jones.
After each performance the judges conferred and offered individual, constructive criticism based on creativity, blocking, and contestants’ overall performance.
While there were a number of performances for the crowd to go wild over there could only be three winning performances. Two individual solo performers, one male and one female, and a one group performance would stand to win a total of $3,000. The solo winners, Ebony H. and Matthew T., both won $500 checks each and the group performers, The Puppeteers, won a $2,000 check to split amongst three people.
“This event was fun! I came just to get a feel for the college school spirit and had a great time dancing and singing along with the crowd,” said Calvin M., who was visiting Bowie State with his girlfriend.
Others in the crowd focused on other things like the cheerleaders and their great school spirit. “I like the fact that the cheerleaders were here and dancing to the different songs,” said Alicia P. “It seemed more like a mini pep-rally.”
At the end of the event special guest judge YahZarah sang a soulful, upbeat rendition of the birthday song to Brice Vick.
During the event there were free condom give-a-ways and pamphlets on HIV and AIDS, and also, confidential HIV testing and counseling.
According to www.avert.org, there are 1 million adults and adolescents who are living with HIV in the United States, including those not yet diagnosed and those who have already progressed to AIDS. There are 9,475 people living with an AIDS diagnosis in the District of Columbia and 17,063 in Maryland (all of these studies were performed at the end of 2008).
A slideshow presented during the event by RU + that UR -, stated that Prince George’s County has 5,230 people living with HIV or AIDS; Montgomery County has 2,790 people living with HIV or AIDS; and Baltimore City and County has a combined total of 18,371 people living with HIV or AIDS. It is because of such high statistics in the BSU area event organizers said that raising awareness for HIV/AIDs is critical.