International Night approaches

Feb. 11, 2004, midnight | By Rocky Hadadi | 16 years, 11 months ago

With her hips sashaying in a figure eight, sophomore Rachel Martin glances over to the other side of room 119, as senior Julie Chiplis practices her poses to the Persian music playing from the stereo during their weekly meeting of Middle-Eastern Dance Club. "This is where International Night gets you," says Martin with a smile. "Frantically practicing, listening to the same song over and over, doing the same moves until your body aches, all until that one night to have your moment to shine."

For the past ten years, International Night has showcased various cultures through dances, plays and other forms of entertainment presented by a menagerie of clubs. "They are all spectacular in their own right. Each year brings new groups and clubs which creates new dynamics," explains International Night organizer Marguerita Bohorquez. This year, International Night will take place on Mar. 5 and will include ten different acts that hail from countries spanning the globe.

A chance to learn about a culture

With the recent success of half-Arabic singer Shakira, styles of Middle-Eastern dancing have become more popular in American pop culture. This year, the Middle-Eastern Dance Club hopes to expand upon Blazers' knowledge of Arabic and Persian culture, beginning with their set at International Night. Martin describes their performance for this year as a "several moves from different Persian dances, as well as dances from other countries like India and Hawaii."

To Martin, exposure to other ideas and opinions is the main reason for participating in International Night. "We dance, and it provides us with a shining moment for that, but the knowledge we acquire about other cultures is just as important. The exposure to other cultures, the whole experience we go through? Those kinds of memories last forever," she says.

A chance to bring two nations together

As one of the most involved clubs in fundraising both inside and outside of Blair, Chinese Club has dedicated itself to providing a supporting and educational environment for Asian students. The act presented by Chinese Club is usually a traditional presentation, and this year will be a graceful fan dance, performed by six to eight girls. In past years, Chinese Club and Korean Club have done separate performances, but this year they have merged. "We are collaborating with Korean Club, because the two cultures are very similar in their ethnic origins, and we thought it would be a good opportunity for the members of both clubs to come together," explains Chinese Club president and senior Yeelan Ku.

A chance to honor a visionary

For years, the Hispanic Club always provides fantastic dancing and a high energy vibe that electrifies the audience. However, there is always a message within the Hispanic Club's performances, and this year's show strives to disprove stereotypes about Hispanic culture, explains sponsor Elba Castro. "Sometimes we think that people in this country see us as a ‘burrito' or a ‘chimichanga'. However, we as minorities think that there are lots of messages from all our cultures that need to be seen, exposed, and understood in a positive perspective."

This year, the Hispanic Club is again delivering an intense performance. "We practice and prepare rigorously in order to have a good show and expose our culture," says vice president and junior Silvia Huezo. "This year will be super special because we want to have our modern dances -salsa, meringue and bachata- and present them in an eye-catching manner," explains Huezo.

With the passing of Cuban musical visionary Celia Cruz this past year, the Hispanic Club has decided to dedicate their presentation for International Night to her achievements. "She passed away last year, and it was a great loss for every Hispanic that enjoyed either salsa or Caribbean music, or just any Hispanic that felt represented by this woman that took our music everywhere," says Huezo wistfully. "In her memory, this year is where we get a chance to show other cultures what we're about and basically expose the beauty of being Hispanic."

A chance to remember a homeland

With well over 50 members, the Ethiopian Club is one of the most prominent organizations at Blair. Hard at work since the beginning of the year, club president and senior Adey Solomon has been striving to create a perfect show, one where she feels that the Ethiopian Club gets to truly "interact with the Blair audience." "When we are asked to represent our country in any way, shape, or form, we intend to do our best," she explains.

This year, the Ethiopian Club's set will include dances from different tribes of Ethiopia, exhibiting the many facets of Ethiopian culture. "I believe that every show we do brings us together as a club and also as Ethiopians," says Solomon with a smile. "Isn't that what International Night is all about? Remembering your homeland and helping others remember theirs'."

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Rocky Hadadi. So, Rocky Hadadi has a very small life. She likes Baz Luhrmann. She likes Rancid. She wants to have John Frusciante's lovechild of guitar solos. Her interests include: meaningful friendships with CAP girls, exceptional Magnet amigos, track suits, aquamarine, Chucks, velvet Docs, painting random crap … More »

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