I don’t know about you, but with the emergence of shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and, most especially, “Dancing with the Stars,” I am severely inclined to shake my bum bum. If you feel the same way, perhaps you should consider nabbing a spot in Brown Pride’s New Orleans PFLAG Charity Dance Off to compete for radical prizes, like a brand new iPod Shuffle!

The dance-off will welcome all sorts of dance styles; Da Chau of Brown Pride hopes to see everything “from cultural to modern, break dancing, salsa and Scottish. We are trying to get as many varieties as possible.”Dancers will be judged on a scale of one through ten based on various criteria, including style and the performer’s ability to dance to the particular music and in the style they chose.

Prizes other than the iPod are not confirmed, but will most likely include paintball, dinner, and a gift certificate to play pool. Chau also hopes that there will be prizes contributed by the Outdoor Center.

Even if you are a bit less likely to jump in the spot light, this is a wonderful opportunity to see a mixed-bag of different dance styles and also to benefit charity. All of the proceeds will go to the New Orleans PFLAG.

PFLAG is a national non-profit organization that is devoted to promoting “the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights,” according to their web site. They offer resources, programs and scholarships to help in this effort.

Chau’s goal is to raise between $500 and $1,000 dollars that he hopes will be used for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in the area, although the exact use for the money has yet to be determined.

Brown Pride and the co-sponsors of the Dance Off, the Ethnic Student Center and the LGBTA, will have tables set up so you can donate money and get more information on the clubs themselves.

Brown Pride is an organization on campus that works with both LGBTA and the Ethnic Student Center to “inform students that there is a safe place for queer people of color. We also make sure that if any students of color don’t feel welcome to campus, we step in as a resource and as a comfort zone for them,” Chau explained.

Though the campus has been very supportive of their efforts, Chau said that Brown Pride’s biggest problem on campus is “trying to get students more involved. Sexual orientation is a touchy subject. We don’t just want to point out certain students and tell them that they should join Brown Pride. Not a lot of students know who we are.”

Because of this, Brown Pride has done a lot of hard work in conjunction with other groups, co-sponsoring events such as the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day last October with the Latin Student Union, Transgender Awareness week in November of 2005 and the March Against Hate with Feminism Is For Everyone.

The New Orleans PFLAG Charity Dance Off will be on May 2 at 7 p.m. in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room, and will cost $3 for students, $5 for general admission.

To get involved in Brown Pride or to get more information about the Dance Off, contact Da Chau at (360) 820-0351.