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Published:October 19th, 2007 05:38 EST
UCF Student Explores Culture through Dance

UCF Student Explores Culture through Dance

By Laura Franco

For Mallory Flores, 20, bamboo sticks and traditional Filipino dresses and outfits have been a part of her everyday routine this semester.

As dance troupe coordinator for the Filipino Student Association at UCF, Flores, a liberal studies major, is in charge of putting together the annual Sayaw show. The show consists of traditional Filipino songs and dances which promote the culture to UCF students. The show is usually held at the end of April.

The show showcases such traditional Filipino dances as Tinkiling, the national dance of the Philippines.  Its dancers jump in and out of bamboo poles. One well-known and liked dance is Maglalatik. In it, men represent the celebration of the coconut harvest by placing coconut shells on their bodies and tap to the music. Another favorite is andango sa Ilaw wherein dancers balance oil-lit candles on the top of their hands and heads.

According to Flores, the preparation for the show takes the entire school year.

Flores said, “There are 50 dancers involved in dance troupe. We had to hold practices three times a week for four hours this semester alone. We also had to learn 15 new dances from four different islands of the Philippines.”

Flores added that FSA hired new choreographers to teach these dances. She added that new lighting, sound, costumes and props will be added to this upcoming year’s show.

Flores said, “In Maglalatik alone we used new choreography which made the dance more lively and exciting.”

“Sayaw,” means to sing and dance in Tagalog, the native language of the Philippines. Flores said that Sayaw came about in 2006, when a former officer brought up the idea. She said that “FSA dreamed of having a show they called their own.”

Flores also said that FSA’s dance troupe not only contributes to Sayaw, but to the purpose FSA as whole.

“Dance troupe is a huge part of the network,” Flores said. “Not only are we involved with UCF, but with other organizations throughout Orlando and Florida.”

Flores says her family had a huge influence on her Filipino upbringing. She said that she has been involved with Filipino organizations all her life and that it continued when she came to UCF.

Flores explained, “FSA has helped me to share my talent with others. I have created lasting friendships, and I am more in touch with my roots. In putting together Sayaw, I have learned so much more about my culture.”

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