Editor's Note: A previous version of this article referred to Baile Folklorico as Ballet Folklorico Tapatio Company of Northwest Indiana. The article has since been updated.
Latinx Student Union (LSU) held Latinxpalooza in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center in Cardinal Hall Jan. 20, as is tradition for Ball State University’s Unity Week.
“Unity Week aims to challenge perspectives on matters of diversity, inclusivity, and solidarity in an evolving social climate,” according to the Unity Week website.
This was the 43rd annual Unity Week for Ball State, and Latinxpalooza continued the tradition of being one of the closing events of the week.
It was LSU President Stephanie Gutierrez’s, a fourth-year, last year for planning and putting on Latinxpalooza. Gutierrez said the event is about community.
“Just seeing everybody tonight from all these different groups, it really showed how diverse Ball State’s community is and how important Unity Week is,” Gutierrez said.
LSU Vice President Marleny Garcia agreed with Gutierrez, and she added on about how Latinxpalooza, as the first “big” event of the semester, promoted and put LSU’s name out to the Ball State community, along with the other organizations involved with Unity Week.
“This could be an opportunity for somebody who might be scared to go to other events, knowing that Unity Week is here, they'll know what kind of people that are going to be there, [and] they can just get to their group,” Garcia said.
Latinxpalooza had many acts involved, the opening act was Baile Folklorico from Union City. Folklorico performed cultural and traditional dances from Mexico.
The other acts of the show were Ball State’s Belly Dancing Club, singer Atyra Gonzalez, singer JT, dance group Operation Black Out, ABSO Improv Comedy, singer Jayana Fennell and hip-hop dance troupe Outlet.
Folklorico closed the show dancing to “El Son de la Negra,” and Gutierrez along with Garcia said their closing remarks.
Through the night MCs Alvaro Lagunas and Daniela Morales would introduce the acts in both English and Spanish.
Jennifer Avendaño, the “performance wrangler” and LSU member, felt Latinxpalooza and the other Unity Week events brought the Ball State community together and shone a light on the “Big Four” organizations: LSU, Asian Student Union, Spectrum and Black Student Association (BSA).
“It's important because this is something that not a lot of people have seen in their everyday life,” Avendaño said. “So, just seeing something that's new to them and giving them a new perspective in life and just seeing these new things are just important to people.”
Latinxpalooza is one of the closing events of Unity Week, but there are three more events left: the Beneficence Leadership Conference, Unify the Night and BSA Unity Pageant.