For the past couple of weeks, Suffolk University’s Diversity Service offices have been acknowledging the important role that the diverse dance groups on campus, play in unifying the diverse student body. As a part of the University’s Black Student Union’s month-long Black History Month celebration, an African dance workshop was held on February 24. The hour and a half workshop was taught by Suffolk University student, Congo native, and Up-and-coming choreographer Havel Krishna Kombo (‘HK’ for short). Participants laughed nervously after watching Kombo aggressively twist, swiftly sway his way through the first few steps of the routine. I laughed and shook my head, remembering how Kombo’s choreography had the same effect on my “Trxbe” teammates and I when he first began choreographing our routines.
Sure enough, after several attempts the group started to get the hang of it. Having only known Kombo for several weeks, and having only seen him during Trxbe rehearsals, I’d never really heard him say much more than “let’s try it” or “1-2-3-4.” After the session ended, I walked up to Kombo, using my usual “Hi, I’m writing a blog about dance” approach to squeeze a few words out of him. When asked how and when he started dancing, he answered just as I’d expected him to (Kombo’s movements are an indication that he’d been doing this for a long time): “I can’t really tell you how I started to dance because I’ve always loved dancing, ever since my childhood.” Kombo later tells me that friend of his is to thank for getting him started with choreography, and that he has all of his friends to thank for their support: “Every time I have a show, they’re always there to support me.”
The following week was appropriately dubbed “Unity Week.” Trxbe African Hip-hop dance group kicked off the festivities with their own workshop on Monday, February 29. The team actually promoted the event a week prior, when they conducted a flash mob in the middle of Suffolk University’s Somerset Cafe. Staff members dropped by the workshop to show some support as a few members of Suffolk University’s “Pasion Latina” dance group dropped by to try their hand (or should I say their feet, haha) at some African Hip-hop. Pasion Latina conducted a dance workshop the following day, an event hosted by Suffolk’s Caribbean Student Network. A cultural fair (which featured performances by the Suffolk University Step Team as well as Pasion latina) fell somewhere in between.