FRANKLYWNOW - Connecting cultures through dance at EY2015

Connecting cultures through dance at EY2015

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Drumming is a sound that connects the cultures in Alaska no matter where a person is from.

“It just hits your body,” said Valerie Tony, from Alakanuk. “With your soul it answers all the questions.”

“Just pure joy. It’s one way to celebrate the people we are and who God made us to be,” added Herman Ahsoak, from Barrow.

Dance teams from around the Last Frontier highlighted their heritage throughout the Elders and Youth Conference at the Dena’ina Center. The Alakanuk Dancers sang in Yupik, the Kodiak Dancers in Alutiiq.

“Our whole dance group, we’re like a big team and we’re keeping our culture alive,” said 15-year old Sadie Coyle, from Kodiak. “We’re doing that little thing and speaking our language and we’re telling a story as we dance. We’re singing and dancing like our ancestors.”

Dancers said the music bridges the past and the present.

“It brings back so many memories of our elders. So many are gone, but I can still feel them,” Tony reminisced.

The Barrow Dancers closed the conference with a performance inviting all the elders to join them.

“It never changes, the message is always the same. You gather, you’re a community you can get through anything,” Tony said.

The post Connecting cultures through dance at EY2015 appeared first on KTVA 11.

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