Spending more than 30 hours of a weekend in a bus with 37 others may seem like a form of torture, but some members of a BYU dance group say it was one of the best weekends they have ever had.
Living Legends, a dance group in the Performing Arts Department, spent the weekend in the Four Corners area of Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona performing their show titled Seasons for the locals there.Lauren Flores, publicist for and member of Living Legends, said the show included elements of the Book of Mormon story, especially showing the pride cycle, all without being too overbearing for non-LDS audience members.
“Every tour we go on, we do Seasons,” Flores said. “It’s a way for us to tell the story of our culture and the story of the Book of Mormon through our show.”
Native American, Polynesian and Latin cultures are all represented in Seasons. Jerad Todacheenie, a sophomore majoring in psychology, said the show tells stories as seasons through traditional cultural dances. He echoed Flores’ thoughts, saying wherever they perform, non-members say the story seems familiar, and it is always met with appreciation. He also believes the program has a positive effect on those who see it.
“It makes a big difference; lots of people bring inactive members who recognize the Book of Mormon story,” Todacheenie said. “Especially on the reservation we went to, it helps the youth be proud of their heritage. It kind of encourages them to do better and get an education.”
Adriana Ampuero, a senior from Windsor, Calif., majoring in exercise science, said her favorite part of the tour was the performance they gave on the Navajo reservation.
“I’ve spent a lot of time on the reservation before,” Ampuero said. “I love just seeing how well the people we encountered were able to connect with the group.”
She said she enjoys performing with Living Legends because it gives her an opportunity to show off her Latin heritage.
“Just being able to represent my own culture and where I come from alongside other people who share my beliefs and talents makes it worth it,” Ampuero said. “I think the people we perform for see how much we love it.”Living Legends performed three full shows, as well as smaller outreach shows in each city they visited. Flores said they performed seven times over the weekend.
Along with dancing, they held a morningside for a branch with an estimated 40 people on Sunday. It was a musical fireside, where they sang and had a few people bear their testimonies on different aspects of the gospel. Flores said doing the morningside had a good impact on those in attendance, as well as the group itself.
“They were just so receptive, it was one of the most spiritual experiences that we’ve had,” Flores said. “I think it really helped us become closer together as a group. Sharing that spiritual experience is something so unique, it makes us have a greater sense of unity.”