Luz Rivera watched her daughter, Gianelle Rivera dance underneath the Puerto Rican flag with the members of Caliente, a Latina dance group. The dance group dipped, twisted and waved around miniature flags of Puerto Rico, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
When Caliente invited audience members on stage to dance with them, Luz Rivera jumped at the chance. She made her way through the aisle, ran up the stage and danced side by side with her daughter, a no-preference freshman.
"We're so proud of who we are," said Luz Rivera, a Monroe resident. "In the Hispanic community, family is really important."
The act was part of "Multicultural Xtravaganza III," held Friday night at the Fairchild Theatre. "Xtravaganza" was put on by Zeta Sigma Chi, a multicultural sorority. Different acts, ranging from hula dancing to rappers, entertained a crowd of about 200 students and Lansing area residents.
"This is a great opportunity for people to get together, no matter what race or ethnicity," Luz Rivera said, still excited after leaving the stage.
"The more we get things like this, the more we can become one," she said.
In total, 13 student and nonstudent groups took the stage.
Student dance troupe Urban Dreams integrated reggae music with hip-hop dance moves during their performance. They commanded the stage, dressed in T-shirts adorned with the Jamaican flag, '80s-style basketball shorts and knee-high gym socks.
After a five-minute nonstop routine, dancers seemed to breathe in unison as they took deep breaths while the audience gave them a standing ovation.
With a calm, whispery voice, rapper ALIAS let the crowd know hip-hop music wasn't about diamonds and Cadillac Escalades.
"It was built on unity in the community," he said as he performed one of his songs, "The Element."
A singer by the name of Christian, whose parents are from Nigeria, took the stage and performed a cover of D'Angelo's "Lady." After the song he entertained onlookers with some of his own lyrics.
"As soon as I grab the mic, something takes over," he said after the show. "It's my only outlet from school and work."
Some of the women of Zeta Sigma Chi performed a step show, a combination of stomps, claps and chanting popular with greek organizations.
"We run the campus now, a Z-Chi legacy