Gerson Lanza, class of 2013, a double major in History and Spanish, was awarded funding for a comparative research project on the American roots of Brazilian tap dance. The award enabled Gerson to journey to Sᾶo Paolo and other regions in Brazil to examine the distinctive African, Portuguese, and Spanish influences that are reflected in Brazilian tap. Gerson will share his research with the Wake Forest community, and, in collaboration with faculty from Music and Dance, will choreograph and perform an original tap dance to showcase the distinctive Brazilian techniques, musicality, and rhythmic patterns in the dance. Gerson’s faculty mentor is Nina Lucas, Department of Theatre and Dance.
Leegan Lim, a first-year student who has yet to declare a major, received funding to analyze the
urban, street dancing styles, known as popping, locking, house, and breaking. Concentrating on
writing the first history of popping, Leegan will interview and record key members of the popping
community in California, including Nikodemus Malvinsky, of the renowned crew, Machine Gone
Funk, who was also Leegan’s dance mentor. Leegan plans to debunk popular myths about popping
and the hip hop culture through his research paper and videos; he will share his findings with Wake
Forest faculty and students through a series of workshops. His mentor is Casey Wasserman, of the
Department of English.