“It really opens your doors to doing things that you would have never imagined before: Vivienne Chang”

I am a part of the officer team of the Junior Taiwanese American Student Association at Irvington, which aims to spread cultural diversity throughout our community. Dancing is something I really enjoy, so I thought it would be interesting to include dance as a new aspect of our outreach since it is something that many people can appreciate.

Our first dance performance was at this year’s second rally, the Multicultural week rally. A lot of the people who took part in it had never danced before. At first, everyone just did it for the community service hours, but eventually, they were willing to look for more ways to help out. Even though I taught most of the dancing and choreographed our performance piece, everyone had a role in the project. Some people were involved in organizing logistics, while others were in charge of figuring out costumes, sewing them together, and finding accessories. I think our rally performance was a great experience for the audience and the dancers. A lot of them had never imagined themselves on stage dancing, but after performing for the first time, many of them just fell in love with it. We plan to perform at more community events, such as the annual Taiwanese Cultural Festival in San Francisco in the Spring. I just hope that by spreading cultural dance, I can impart the love for dance that I have to them, and that it will stay with them for the rest of their lives.  In the end, it doesn’t matter if they are good or bad at dancing; a smile is 50 percent of the performance.

I also individually perform at a lot of community events, like the Union Square Performance in San Francisco.  It’s a large event filled with cultural activities and cultural foods. I participate in the performance section every year. It always feels amazing to perform cultural dance in front of so many people, because in a way, it’s reminding the older participants of their homeland but also enriching the next generation about the culture of their family. Having so many people watching me and appreciating my performance always makes me feel fulfilled. Even though not everyone has the same culture, dance is a method in which people can really bond and become a community. I feel like dance is an important aspect of any community. People could be of all different races and ethnicities can appreciate dance because it’s kind of a universal language.