BYU Living Legends kicks off touring season

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Hinckley Kennach, a dancer in the Polynesian section, performs a Tongan Dance number. BYU Living Legends just began their touring season. (Jonas Wright)
Fernando Ramos, president of Living Legends and dancer in the Latin American section member of the Latin American section, talks to student dancers backstage before performing. (Jonas Wright)

Friday, Jan. 19 marked the beginning of the touring season for the Living Legends dance group as 30 BYU students took the stage at BYU-Idaho.

Hinckley Kennach, a dancer of Samoan and Tongan heritage, shared his anticipation and excitement prior to the performance.

“I don’t think it will hit me until like, we’re in our first costume and then we, like, see people out there, and I’m like, ‘Oh freak this is happening,'” Kennach said.

The dancers spent fall semester learning the dances for the show to present on tour, Cami Losik, a dancer of Native American and Argentine heritage, said.

The biggest challenge of being on tour is missing school and feeling behind in classes, but Living Legends has helped her to have a place in the university, and in the world, she said.

“I’m more like quiet, shy girl vibe,” Losik said. “So, this is like, for me a way to show who I am and to express my emotions through dance and music, and to share my testimony, to show other people … that they’re important; that they have a place in this world.”

When the dancers perform at home, they have family and friends to support them, but being on tour is a different experience, Fernando Ramos, a dancer of Bolivian heritage and president of Living Legends, said.

Because a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to see dances like this, engaging with the audience is something he emphasizes to the group, Ramos said.

“Interacting with audience is like, that is super key to like not just building the team’s reputation, but making sure that they get the most out of the show,” he said.

Cami Losik, dancer in the Native American section, performs Women’s Jingle, a dance representing the Native American Ojibwe Nation. (Jonas Wright)

Ramos said this is intended to help others who are “wanting to be in touch with their roots.”

The show is predominantly about remembering ancestors, which isn’t always a common practice outside of Utah, Ramos said. A lot of people forget to honor their heritage, so the show has a different impact.

“It really, like, connects to the spiritual side of things too, which I think is like super sick,” he said. “Because it’s like what we do, like, actually has meaning, you know. We’re not just like, doing numbers for fun, if that makes sense.”

The purpose of Living Legends is “to help show that we’re all sons and daughters of God; that we’re all the same no matter where we came from,” Losik said.

The Living Legends tour this semester includes locations in Utah, Idaho and Arizona.

Kui Eldredge and Tallin Kaitoku, dancers in the Polynesian section, play music backstage before performing. BYU Living Legends just began their touring season. (Jonas Wright)
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