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Students win national cultural dance competition

South Asian Alliance dance team







Dressed as popular Disney characters, UTSC’s South Asian Alliance dance team took home first-place at the 2005 South Asian dance competitions. Their program, themed “Scarborough magic kingdom,” won top awards for costume, dance, spirit, and best overall performance.

The event, held at the University of Western Ontario, was organized by the Western Indo-Canadian Students’ Association and featured performers from 14 Canadian universities. It is the largest university cultural event in Canada.

Since its inception in 1983, the show has evolved from a talent showcase to a national competition between spirit squads. In the past, schools have brought projectors, signs, banners, and even flying blimps to celebrate their unique cultural heritage.

However, dancers say preparing for the competition was not “all play” for the teams.

“We went until 2 a.m. every night practicing during reading week. It was a lot of fun and it really brought us closer together,” says performer Priya Nagraj, a fourth year life sciences student.

The show featured a variety of eastern and western music genres including bhangra, hip-hop, bollywood, dance, and reggae.

“When we won, there were tears. The excitement was surreal,” says Nagraj.

“We’re just really proud of the Indian culture. There were a lot of teams that were good but what has earned UTSC three victories over the last five years has been our energy. The Scarborough community really is true to its roots.”

© University of Toronto Scarborough