UR’s melting pot sprang to life in the Douglass Dining Center on Saturday, Jan 26. Sigma Beta Rho Fraternity Inc., along with clubs representing different ethnic backgrounds, including Association for the Development of the Indian Subcontinent, Black Students’ Union, Campus Activities Board, Chinese Students’ Association, Korean American Students’ Association, Filipino American Students’ Association and Spanish and Latino Students’ Association, united together to plan Fusion, one of the biggest events of the year.

Through a collaborative effort, this event was carefully planned from the beginning stages of fundraising and ticketing to lighting and music. The artists who got the party started included DJ Mr. Illmatic, Svetlin Radoslavof the Hip-Hop Violinist with Roman Empire and DJ Envy as the special guest. Students from UR and surrounding schools, including Rochester Institute of Technology, arrived at the scene dressed to impress.

The party started at 10 p.m., but, as the flyers had instructed, students arrived “fashionably late.” Within an hour, any open space on the dance floor was quickly occupied by students from every possible race, major and class year imaginable.

Despite the freezing temperature outside, the Douglass Dining Center was crowded with several hundred girls wearing tank tops and denim skirts, still well heated from the nonstop dancing and enticing hip-hop music. The infamous Rochester winter was not a problem for everyone enjoying themselves as they danced the night away for four hours.

“I got to see my first hip-hop violinist,” freshman Amy Roth said. “I thought the whole dance had a good vibe, and it was fun, but a little strange to be dancing in Douglass.”

One of the night’s highlights included Radoslavof’s performance as he impressively and enthusiastically added his own style and touch of the violin to many of the hip-hop songs that were played that night. The DJs attempted to create a giant human beatbox out of the audience as Radoslavof’s background rhythm in order to engage the audience for his performance.

Another highlight was a brief dance competition where three girls were chosen from the audience to see who had the best moves on stage. Each girl was given a minute to dance to a random song, and the best dancer from the three was determined by the loudness of her fellow students’ cheers. The winner, without a doubt, had the loudest and most supportive cheer. Everyone had a great time watching the contest and dancing afterward.

The best part of Fusion, however, was the diversity that was evident on the dance floor. Students from all over the world, from places like Afghanistan, Cameroon, Canada, China, Guyana, India, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan and Vietnam, came to the party excited to experience American culture. The racial cliques seemed to have dissipated as everyone danced as one, sharing a common love for music and a good time.

It was a much-needed social event after the first few weeks of school, as it gave students a chance not only to meet new people, but also to settle down from the stress of class, schoolwork and time away from home.

Overall, Fusion turned out to be a success, and I am looking forward to next year’s event.

Lee is a member of the class of 2011.

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