Freshman shares passion for dance, service
He started out dancing in a basement with his friends. But with organization, passion, and drive, Paul Miranda '13 helped form a successful dance crew called Royal Fam Krumpers, a youth group out of the Jubilee Christian Church in Boston.
Krumping is an urban street dance form characterized by free, expressive, and highly energetic moves. It has become a major part of hip-hop dance.
"We decided to form this group because it is our way or form to express our love for God and give Him praise," says Miranda.
The group is considered a ministry, he says, and its members hold community events to reach out to other youth. "We have honestly transformed lots of people's lives," he says.
Miranda's many volunteer activities include participating in youth conferences and feeding the homeless, which he finds particularly rewarding.
"There are so many stereotypes of homeless people, but when you actually sit down and talk to them you get enlightened. Homeless people are people. So many are very intelligent and choose that lifestyle, but just listening to their life story and talking to them makes a huge difference," says Miranda. "I love to serve."
MCLA is but one stop on Miranda's journey to reach his goal of becoming a pastor. A freshman, he belongs to the NEXXUS dance company and the Black Student Union. A Cape Verdean, Miranda also is starting an organization to teach others about his culture and to encourage other students to share their own backgrounds and traditions.
"MCLA is like fertile ground waiting to be tilled," he says. "The atmosphere here to begin programs is so clear. There is so much potential to get stuff done here it almost hurts. What I hope to do at MCLA - and in life - is bring my perspective, my culture, and what I know and represent it to the fullest. With this in mind and a liberal arts education, I definitely believe MCLA can prepare me for the type of future I have in mind."
One day, he hopes to start a church in Africa. He also enjoys public speaking, singing, writing music, and playing the piano. And, "At MCLA, I have begun to venture into the wonderful world of ballet, something I have always wanted to do, and I am so excited. I do a lot of freestyle genres of dance, but I really want to learn technique," Miranda says.
He also plans to take advantage of MCLA's many study abroad opportunities.
"I love immersing myself in other cultures and learning about it first hand, and then comparing it to my own just to look at the similarities and differences," he says. "I envision my MCLA education to be a very rewarding experience. I plan to continue to take advantage of all the opportunities and resources that present themselves at this institution. So far it is shaping up to be a very fun and good experience and I am learning a lot, both in and out of the classroom."
To see a video of Miranda's group krumping, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxKtOxEYWYc