Massive Monkees break loose on WSU Vancouver campus

Massive Monkees (sic), the renowned break dance crew from Seattle, wowed an audience of more than 180 students, staff and faculty at the Washington State University Vancouver Marquee Diversity Event this fall. The energetic, jaw-dropping performance was part of a two-day event that attendees said was one of the most memorable experiences they had encountered on campus.

performances at massive monkees event

Phillip Nguyen, a senior majoring in social science, and Bola Majekobaje, assistant director of student diversity, led the student diversity team in planning the two-day Marquee Diversity Event. They aimed to raise cultural and diversity awareness, confront issues of equality and emphasize student leadership and student experience through the power of performing arts.

The Marquee Diversity Events began with an educational workshop titled From Joyluck Club to Gangnam Style: Asian Pacific Islanders in the Media. An expert panel discussed the ways Asian Pacific Islanders are portrayed in pop culture and how these portrayals impact our society today. The panel included Sharon Carstens, professor of anthropology and director for the Institute for Asian studies at Portland State University; Jason Lim, marketing manager of the Asian Reporter; Melissa Navas, communications specialist, Multnomah County; Carol Seigel, professor of English at WSU Vancouver; and recording artist, Rachel Wong.

“We had some incredible discussions with great people over great food,” Nguyen said of the event’s first day.

massive monkees break dance

On the evening of Nov. 15, Firstenburg Student Center was transformed into a performance hall, where opening acts, DJ and Christian, and Rachel Wong warmed the audience with their musical talent. Next, Massive Monkees’ b-boys and b-girls, (break dancers) Anna Banana Freeze, Jeromeskee, Secret Skwerl, Tim the Pitt, Dancin Domes and Junior, tore up the stage with mind-blowing moves. Partway through the program, the dance crew called volunteers to the stage to dance.

Nguyen said the team hoped a performance-based program such as Massive Monkees would offer the student body something innovative and interactive.

“After the performance, students, community members, faculty and staff told us it was great having something new and different come to campus,” Nguyen said.

Jeromeskee, one of the Massive Monkee’s lead dancers said, “This is the first time we’ve been at this campus. Everybody here greeted us really well. Everybody is kind here. It’s always good to [have a] warm welcome. We know we have that here, so thank you.”

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