Ventura College

Rhythms of Life Dance for AIDS

Posted May 24th, 2011
by Fernando Maxilian - Ventura County Now Staff

Rhythms of Life: Dance for AIDS is a community driven, family oriented, multi-cultural dance performance that inspires and uplifts. On May 21, 2011 we shared stories of people living with HIV.

This year we were very fortunate to have the talented CathyJean Butter of Ventura College Dance Department produce the show. CathyJean Butter and Ventura College Dance Alumni and Students weaved creative and cultural dance, music, and journeys with AIDS into an inspirational and educational dance mosaic. 

Our amazing perfomers who lent their time and heart for the cause were: Capoeira at Arts for Action, IJOYA West African Dance & Drum Ensemble, Kealoha and Company Expressions of Polynesia, Nia Fitness Friends, Ñuu Savi Dance Group performs Oaxaca, Ventura College Dance Department.

Kealoha and Company, Expressions of Polynesia performs dances from several islands of the Pacific. The family based groups performs throughout Ventura County. They are interested in performing at Dance for AIDS where they can bring a little of the islands to those who are unable to travel.

Capoeira at Arts for Action’s mission is to foster cultural citizenship and community building through arts education. Capoeira, created by Africans in Brazil, includes drumming, music, dance, martial arts, education and community. Specifically, our efforts focus on producing high quality, accessible, creative opportunities in the Afro-Brazilian art of Capoeira, and in multicultural and multi-disciplinary arts. BBCC is committed to squelching the risk factors caused by racism, sexism, poverty, illiteracy, xenophobia, and homophobia that limit the development of healthy communities and the ability for all people to enjoy the benefits of cultural citizenship. Arts education for adults and children is produced in traditional and non-traditional settings (e.g., theaters, schools, community centers, universities, libraries, museums, and public spaces) to enhance the awareness of Latin America and the African diaspora, and to encourage cosmopolitanism. This is a great venue for us to support a worthy cause that goes hand in hand with our mission.

IJOYA West African Dance & Drum Ensemble’s mission statement is to connect people through cultural dancing while fostering an environment that promotes creativity, communication and becoming one with the drum. They believe that the community must educate on HIV awareness, that a big voice is needed to make a difference. They are honored to be one of many to help join in on this amazing cause here in Ventura County.

Nia Fitness Friends is an enthusiastic gathering of individuals(who primarily dance at the Ventura Nia Center), forming for this event to support the work of VCAP and promote our passion for Nia. Nia is an empowering sensory based movement practice that uses “The Body’s Way” to achieve physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual fitness and well-being. People of all shapes and sizes take classes barefoot to soul-stirring music in more than 45 countries around the world. Nia inspires and uplifts while bringing those who practice it to better health as it teaches us about “Dancing through Life”.

Ñuu Savi Dance Group performs Oaxaca traditional dances. Most of the dancers are from Oaxaca state of Mexico. They dance because it is part of their identify and they want to promote it within the large community of Ventura County. At this time they are presenting “Jarabe Mixteco”. They support this event because they represent a culture that believes in “sharing and giving”. They want to share their traditional dances. They want to give support to VCAP and help achieve their fund rising goals. They believe that together we can make a difference by supporting local HIV/AIDS programs.

Ventura College Dance Department prides itself on community outreach. They have performed for Downtown Ventura Artwalks, for Casa Pacifica and for local schools. Dancing to support the AIDS Partnership is another way for them to share the healing aspects of dance and their creativity through movement towards a better world.


Ventura College
4667 Telegraph Rd
Ventura, CA

(805) 654-6400