Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Rep Your Roots: A Celebration of Diversity

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Written by Destiny Mizell | Assistant Lifestyles Editor

Photos by Cat Curtis Murphy

The outdoor Student Union commons of Middle Tennessee State University served as a basin of unity, diversity and entertainment in the evening of Sept. 15.

Rep Your Roots is an annual talent show put on by MTSU’s Intercultural and Diversity Affairs division office. It is a moment to represent your country, showcase your talents or share original songs/mixes/beats made by you! Students are introduced with their name, major and what they will be performing. If they are representing a certain ethnicity or country, they share that as well. There are 3 trophies that competing students aim to win as the talent show judges see fit.

Last evening’s acts ranged from original acoustic songs, rapping, breakdancing, beatboxing, latine dancing and music, saxophone playing and even a drumming compilation of childhood melodies.

MTSU junior Liz Morgan had a blast at the talent show. “It was so good to see so many different styles of music presented all in one sitting. I can’t wait to find all of these people on Spotify,” she said. As a song writing major, she shared that she felt a deep appreciation for those sharing their original work in the talent show.

Between some acts, dance songs like “The Cupid Shuffle”, “Wobble” and “The Cha-Cha Slide” would play. Instantly, the crowd ran down in front of the stage and started following along to the song. Nearly everyone was dancing and even passerbys stopped what they were doing to join in.

When the show ended, all performers were applauded and the awards were handed out. In third place, Ray Lefebvre was awarded for their performance of their song, (“Earthly.” Rapper and breakdancer, Legendary Nedge won second place for his compilation and dancing. In first place, Louise and her backup dancers won for their authentic latine music and dance. The first place winners represented Mexico, Panama and Guatemala.

Despite there only being three winning awards, Director of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Danielle Rochelle made sure to make all performers feel appreciated and supported.

“I hope you enjoyed the fellowship, the food, and the vibe. We absolutely love to see the energy and support. We can’t wait to see you all again next year,” Rochelle said at the close of the event.

Overall, the evening embraced diversity of all kinds. Friendships were made, fun was had and those in the show had the opportunity to put their talents out there. Rep Your Roots perfectly displays diversity at MTSU and beyond.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Ethan Pickering, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News

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