Northeastern opens their doors to the Boston community

Northeastern opens their doors to the Boston community
Photo courtesy Creative Commons.

By Taylor Driscoll, news correspondent

After rain soaked the streets of Boston, people of all ages packed into the Huntington Avenue YMCA’s small lobby. The crowd formed a circle, creating a makeshift stage on the tiled floor: the show would go on.

Members of Northeastern’s Kaliente Dance Group and Spinning Arts performance groups were scheduled to perform Monday in Krentzman Quad as part of the 11th annual Open Our Doors, a free community arts event. Under heavy rain, the groups moved inside and performed an array of arts from musical composition to different types of dance.

Open Our Doors was founded by Kelly Brilliant, executive director of the Fenway Alliance, in 2003. This year’s festival featured performances by art-related groups from all over the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, including several from local universities. Though the event typically features members from traditional groups in Boston, Brilliant said she wanted to make a change this year and include more college groups to promote community and inclusion.

“We reached out to a bunch of the student groups, mostly from Northeastern, some from Berklee and other surrounding schools,” Brilliant said. “Cultural experiences do not have to be these elite scary things. It’s fun, it’s safe, it’s welcoming.”

NU Spinning Arts held their workshop at 10:30 a.m in the YMCA lobby. The workshop was designed to introduce people to flow arts, an immersive dance and art form that uses props such as levitating sticks, hula hoops and poi balls. The group gave participants different props to create a type of flow that resonates with them.

“We encourage anyone on campus who wants to learn about flow arts or wants to practice to join us,” said Camila Aponte, a fifth-year music industry major and president of NU Spinning Arts.

Aponte said she wants people to understand what the art of flow is and how to express themselves with different objects.

“Anybody can do it,” Aponte said. “You don’t have to be a dancer … you just gotta give it a shot.”

Dani Glez, president of the Kaliente Dance group and third-year accounting major, was excited to showcase the group’s new dancers at the 2 p.m. performance.

“This is our first performance with new members,” Glez said. “This is just a tiny taste of what’s more to come.”

Kaliente focuses on Latin dances such as salsa, bachata and merengue. For their performance Monday, they focused on the bachata and also featured a special performance from two members of the salsa.

“[Open Our Doors] is so community driven,” Aponte said. “The feeling of doing something just for the city is really awesome.”

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