World Dance Show Highlights Hula to Belly Dance

Published: Apr 20, 2010
As Jessica Bullock ’11 ties on her hula skirt and starts embracing the movements of the island music, it is hard to tell the environmental science and philosophy major considers herself shy.

But the music and the dance have brought this UT junior out of her shell. This Wednesday, April 21, she is helping host the International Dance Showcase from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Vaughn Courtyard.

“The goal is to incorporate any and all forms of dance into the show,” said Bullock of the seven performances to include Middle Eastern, Polynesian, Indian and Mexican forms of dance.

So moved by her interest in world dance, Bullock started UT’s World Dance Organization last spring.

“I noticed only Western types of dance were offered here,” said Bullock, who teaches hula and belly dance. “I wanted to give people other forms of dance to try.”

Bullock grew up watching Indian Bollywood films with her aunt. Intrigued by the foreign moves, at 16 she signed up for lessons at a dance school in her hometown of Wichita, KS, which also offered hula and belly dance.

“I love the uniqueness of it,” Bullock said, admitting she really just wanted to learn how to dance. “I really can’t dance if it’s not choreographed.”

María José Laso de la Vega Olivares ’11, an exchange student from Mexico, dances with a folk group in her hometown and will be performing at Wednesday’s showcase.

“I miss it very much,” said Olivares, who is majoring in creative writing at Monterrey Tec. “Folk dance in my city is a tradition. I perform in very popular folk parties that keep this tradition alive.”

Olivares was introduced to the dance in college and has since discovered a love for the art. The dance, zapateado jarocho, involves fast footwork and loosely translates to “a stepping dance from Veracruz, Mexico.”

The International Dance Showcase, which is free, will include henna body art and prizes.

The World Dance Organization meets Fridays at 6 p.m. in the Austin Oak Room. For more information, contact worlddance@ut.edu.


Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
Sign up for UT Web Alerts