A Bahamas native, Kara Ingraham ’11 exudes the friendly, relaxed vibe of her island homeland. She sat down with The Argus to talk about dance, the name Sex-tacy, her love of French fries, and what she thinks Wesleyan students ought to have in their backpacks.
The Argus: You’re very involved with dance at Wesleyan. You’re part of Isis, which is the women of color dance troupe, and X-tacy. How did you get involved?
Kara Ingraham: I’ve been involved since my freshman year. I went to the dance showcase freshman year and I was in the front row— it made me one really excited freshman. I auditioned the weekend after the showcase and got into both, and have been at it ever since. It’s been a great ride for the last four years. I love it and I love all parts of dance.
A: Do you have any shows coming up soon?
KI: For X-tacy we are going to have “Sex-tacy” at the end of April. For Isis we have a show called “Essence of She,” which is usually the first weekend in May. It’s a showcase of all women of color on campus, and Isis just kind of headlines it and organizes it, but it’s opened up to the entire community.
A: So why the name “Sex-tacy?”
KI: Because among the many things that differentiate X-tacy from the other hip-hop dance groups, we are very sexually expressive. A lot of our moves are very informed by very sensual dance and we take off our clothes a lot, so it kind of works out well. We’re not going to get completely naked.
A: Oh good.
KI: [Laughs] Well, I’m not going to get completely naked, but the amount of sex that’s been in our routine has wavered my four years. It was really high my freshman year and toned back the last two years. So it’s more like having fun and being open with it. It’s kind of like the same philosophy as burlesque, except we have a coed dance group, so it’s for men and women to just be comfortable with their bodies on stage.
A: I hear you’re really obsessed with french fries.
KI: Yeah. I eat french fries almost every day. The perfect ones are the thin ones that have to be perfectly salted, and they never are here. See, I know way too much about french fries. They changed their supply at the end of last semester, so I didn’t really love the fries.
A: You’re from the Bahamas. How was your first winter at Wesleyan?
KI: Oh my God. It was awful. I guess I thought that winter happened for a short period of time and then it went away and then you were fine, but it actually lasted until April. After spring break was just the most miserable point in time. I just did not understand why it was so long and so miserable.
A: How are you enjoying your last winter here?
KI: It’s fine. I’ve kind of gotten accustomed to it. It’s funny when friends of mine from the Bahamas come up here because I’ll be wearing a light jacket and they are bundled up in winter clothing because they think it’s freezing. I guess I’ve become accustomed to the weather here. And sledding is pretty good, so there are some good points to it.
A: You’re a senior interviewer. I have to ask, what is the weirdest question you’ve been asked about Wesleyan?
KI: Kids are just like, “describe Wesleyan in one word” or “explain your entire experience in one sentence”…That’s always the strangest because we can’t be bottled into one sentence or word. One guy was really creative. He was like, “You’re walking into Neon Deli. A student is walking out. Tell me what they are eating, wearing, and what is in their backpack just then.” I thought that was an interesting question to ask.
A: What was in the backpack?
KI: What did I say? I said a MacBook Pro, and probably some philosophy book or some pro-activist book, and The New York Times, and probably some chill gossip magazine just to lighten the mood. It was a great question.
A: I’m sorry to ask this question, but what are your plans for after Wesleyan?
KI: As [Associate Director for Career Development] Jim Kubat and every other person I’ve talked to in the last year will tell you, I’m sure of what I want to do, but I still haven’t gotten there in terms of finding a job. I’m really interested in development policy and in gender empowerment so I’m looking for an organization that works with women in developing countries trying to help with economic and reproductive rights empowerment.
A: If you could have the dream job, where would you like to go in the world?
KI: I’ve had Southern India in my head for a while. But, honestly I’m willing to go wherever the work needs to be done…I’m just excited to get started and get into it.
A: So speaking of Southern India, you’re involved with the West Indian Students Association. What do you guys do?
KI: Well, the West Indian Students Association is actually the Caribbean.
A: Oh, I was in the wrong part of the world.
KI: [Laughs] It’s not your fault. It’s Columbus’ fault. Which is funny because I’ve never used the term West Indian until I got here. It was always West Caribbean when I was at home. We work with promoting the Caribbean and the presence of the students on campus…there are a lot of students on campus who tie their roots back to the Caribbean. It’s a great way to connect students with their heritage.
A: So my last question is, as a Government major, if you could be any political leader from any time period, who would you be and why?
KI: I kind of have a bizarre love for Obama still. Obviously it’s the present time so I find it more radical and interesting than older periods. I think this is a very unique period in time to take office. He’s done a lot but he’s also not accomplished a lot. I think if you really want to do great things you kind of go for the big things and go for the hard things and see how well you can perform.