Student Voice

2019.05.13Student Voice

AIU Festival: Gray Denney, Beloit College, USA

Akita International University Yatose Team Beloit College Gray Denney

Gray (3rd from left) with the Yatose Team.

My semester here at AIU allowed me to experience something I never would have gotten to in America, a school festival!

AIU Festival

AIU Festival is a two day long fall celebration of what makes AIU special: its amazing and talented students. Different clubs and classes host unique food stands, performances and exhibitions, combining to make a perfect experience for both guests from the community and their peers. The unique mix of traditional Japanese cultural clubs like Aikido and tea ceremony, and other clubs like rugby and break-dancing makes for a diverse range of activities.


My AIU Festival experience was interesting because I am on the Yatose team. Yatose is a fusion of traditional Japanese dances and modern dance set to energetic music. We performed once on each day, and on the second day, we were joined by a local team who really brought a lot of energy to the stage. Even though there was a typhoon, moving our performances inside instead of out near the food stands, I had a lot of fun and when we invited the audience to dance and easy song with us, those who joined in made me really happy.

I think that the memory of walking down the rows of food stalls with friends, eating everything from taiyaki to hot dogs and enjoying performances by our friends will stay with me long after I leave AIU. Having friends from many different clubs and backgrounds meant that just walking around was an opportunity to learn about things they were involved in. It was an amazing event that is one-of-a-kind and not to be missed when you come to AIU!