Innovative Dance Company Headlines Black History Month Event

Celebrate with food and entertainment

By Megan Landvatter, Current Staff

For the third annual Black History Month Celebration, the West Bend High Schools are welcoming the Water Street Dancers.

Water Street Dance Milwaukee is an outreach for emerging dancers in the Midwest. In the past year, they have performed in San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis and New York City. However, they will be performing for free at the Black History Month Celebration at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Silver Lining Arts Center in partnership with the West Bend High Schools multicultural club.

The Water Street Dancers are choreographed by Morgan Williams, who started his professional dance career at the age of 18 with Dance Kaleidoscope in Indianapolis. Since then, he has performed with multiple other groups and was featured on season 10 of the show “So You Think You Can Dance.” He was a finalist in season 11.

While the Water Street Dance is an attraction to draw in guests, the main events are done by the students involved with the multicultural club. 

“I personally am going to be saying a speech,” West senior Caleb Tillman said. “The focus is how we as a society have advanced greatly, yet in certain areas such as race, sexuality and sexism, we still struggle with acceptance.” 

Other students will also be giving speeches, including East junior Sierra Tillman.

Past years have included student flag routines, drum sets, skits, singing and speeches, as well as guest performances by Teju the Storyteller, FIT Oshkosh, Ko-Thi and Tamarind. This year, students will be performing similar events designed to match the entertainment of previous years.

 “I personally think that each program has been better than expected,” said Barseana Simond, the multicultural club advisor. “Last year, we did have a lower attendance; however, everyone did a great job, the students were happy and from what I gathered, the attendees were happy.” 

Simond is very proud of the students who have decided to perform as well as those who are volunteering at the show. In hopes that the community gets involved, free food and refreshments will be offered starting at 5:30 p.m. outside of the auditorium. 

“Being on stage can be difficult for some people,” Simond said. “To have all eyes on ‘you’ can be an amazing experience. When the community comes to support the student performers, it reinforces the fact that they are ‘somebody.’”

The multicultural club has also worked on many other activities, including volunteering at Casa Guadalupe, hosting the Cedar Community Diversity Community, volunteering at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Marcus Performing Arts Center and speaking at the Cedar Community Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. However, many of the students involved believe that Black History Month Celebration is one of the most important projects that they do all year.

“Every year the program gets better and better and I’m really excited to see this one come together,” Sierra said.

(Top image: Monica Miranda-Hernández and Caleb Tillman stand in front of the Black History Month billboard near the West Bend East High School entrance. Photo by Megan Landvatter, Current Staff.)

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