Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO Blackout hosts Michael Jackson Experience Dance Party

Monday, February 12, 2024
SEMO students play Micheal Jackson the Experience in the Redhawk room at the University Center.
Photo by Taylor Slaverns

Michael Jackson moonwalked onto SEMO’s campus on Feb. 9. SEMO Students were welcomed to dance along to the tunes of the legendary Michael Jackson.

Hosted by SEMO’s Blackout team, the Black American style cheerleading Stomp and Shake group, students and members were invited to an evening of dancing along to Michael Jackson’s own music and classic moves.

The group provided free refreshments and games like Family Feud and fun fact games about Jackson, but the main attraction was a dance-along game full of Michael Jackson’s music.

The Blackout team hosts a multitude of on-campus events, with this event allowing anyone to learn about Blackout Michael Jackson and to have fun. They also participate in community outreach events and community service around the Cape Girardeau area.

Team Member and an exploratory freshman at SEMO, Teylar Reed, said anyone is welcome to dance along and enjoy the party.

“People can come in, sign up to play a song against their friends, and whoever wins is the winner of bragging rights,” Reed said.

People gathered in the center of the Redhawks room in SEMO’s own University Center. Music filled the room, and everyone gathered to dance, following the dance moves projected on the wall.

Exploratory freshman and group member Janiyah Aylor says her goal for the event was to facilitate a place for students to get moving and have fun.

“We’re simply gonna do what Michael Jackson does best, get everybody up and moving,” Aylor said.

Blackout provides a safe space for people to learn and grow. The team, joined by the Black Student Union, is putting on what is being called a “Black History Month Marathon” to organize events to celebrate the month and raise awareness.

“I feel like the black community often gets overshadowed, and a lot of us think, ‘because a lot of people here don’t look like me, they’re not going to listen’. But if you make things happen, we can all get together and have a great time,” Reed said.

Freshman health science major Jada Bank said lots of students came out to celebrate Black History Month with the music of legend Michael Jackson. Jackson’s music transcends time and appeals to generations of fans.

“He left a big impact behind,” Banks said.

The team was even joined by a few non-members for the event.

Freshman Exploratory major Mackenzie Brown went to the event not only to support her friends but Black Out as well.

“I like to support them because a lot of the girls in the group are my friends,” she said. “I like what they do, and they’re always really fun and open.”