I am now learning about the bomba which is an Afro Puerto Rican tradition where dancers challenge the drummer. It is important to gain the connection and to never lose the connection. The drums are getting louder and louder, and everyone is starting to clap and sway. It is great seeing people and especially women of all ages and ethnicities gathering together and uniting through dance, especially on such a beautiful day. This by far is my favorite part of the event because of the participation from many people. I can tell everyone is much more excited and feeling confident in their own skin which is what so much of this event is about. The dancers are making music with the bomba and they are connected with everything that is happening here. While I was dancing I was feeding off of everyone’s energy, truly connecting with them and getting in touch with the afro puertican dance. This has definitely got me more excited for my upcoming trip to Puerto Rico next week!
Walking in, I feel an immediate warmth surrounding me. Not just from the people greeting me, but from the white sage scent and bright colors everywhere, getting me excited for the event to start. The paintings and decorated tissue paper is making me jump out of my seat. Evelyn Mikayla Martin(spelling may be wrong), a student at the University of Washington who is actively involved, came up first with an opening statement. I did not know that we were on Native American property, so that was very intriguing. I thought the art on the walls was very interesting because it is a graphic campaign started in Mexico by women bringing attention to gender violence which is very important. Some of the themes for this year are power of women and community, and the power of the rhythm. The first dance starts with a fiery passion of two women locking eyes and stomping their feet in a passionate rhythm. Their feet are stomping faster and faster making more of a beat. Singing has started, smiles are on their faces and hips are moving. The dance ended with a genuine hug between the two dancers and they mention that the dance is “Where do I come from” and is a piece about identity.