Blair community celebrates its multicultural student body
Blair's 2004 International Show was a night filled with dance as Blair's cultural clubs performed traditional pieces on March 5 to an eager crowd in the auditorium.
The evening was hosted by ESOL teachers Katie Honerkamp and Jody Tomesek, both of whom kept the audience of family and friends entertained as they introduced each act. Honerkamp and Tomesek told the audience that each club's purpose was to "promote their culture" through "one of the unifying themes" of the event: dance.
The show began with a bamboo flute fan dance as several members of Blair's Chinese Club performed, dressed in cultural attire against a purplish-blue background. The girls—seniors Joanna Chin, Yeelan Ku and Lauren Wong, junior Yicong Liu and sophomores Nina Yang and Tiffany Yee—got the show off to a good start as they impressed the audience with their formations and unifying routine despite their shaky beginning.
Performing next was the Hispanic Club, which executed three dances consecutively, each representing different countries in Central and South America. Sophomores Johanna Maldonado, Mayra Ramos and Daidi Ramos began the routine with a dance from Paraguay. Each wore pretty, colorful dresses. A few more members marched on stage and along with Maldonando, Mayra and Daidi, danced to upbeat Spanish tunes and maintained unified formations throughout their routine. The girls impressed the audience with their agility in balancing flowerpots on their heads while moving, leaning forward and bending over.
As the music ended the girls left the stage while Alejandra Chapana, Cristina Escobar and junior Andrea Sempertegui strutted on stage in modern outfits to music representing Bolivia. The girls were dressed in mini skirts and blouses of different shades—two members were dressed in blue with green and silver, while the third wore red and silver—and wore heels and hats that corresponded to the colors of their skirts and enhanced the look of their traditional attire. This portion of the club's performance gave a more modern taste of South American culture.
Maldonado, Daidi and Mayra marched out for the third dance wearing ankle-length blue, ruffled skirts with white blouses as they represented El Salvador. With their hair tied back in buns and wrapped in flowery scrunchies, the girls ended their club's first performance by displaying the Salvadorian flag embroidered on one of the skirts.
The focus of the night switched to Asia as students representing Cambodia performed a traditional piece choreographed by Natalie Chhuan and Sovanny Chun. Senior Irene Le and juniors Catherine Lee and Camila Silva danced in fitting yellow, calf-length dresses with matching scarves around their heads. Seniors Anthony Gutierrez, Albert Fall and Ulysses Som danced in white pants and shirts with red plaid wraparounds and black hats. The club's routine reminded the audience of the show's emphasis on cultural pride.
The globe rotated to the left as continents were switched and the African Club performed. Seniors Diane Mba and Fatima Munu, juniors Antoinette Godwin-Cole and Kadiatu Kamara, sophomore Harrier Jallah and Muna Kawarbi moved to the rhythm of the drums, beat by Clovis Mba, who was dressed in a yellow African outfit.
Students in the Middle Eastern Dance Club performed a traditional dance titled "Mashahlah," which the hosts interpreted as "congratulations" and "with the grace of God." Members of the club—seniors Julia Chiplis and Sara Yousefnejad, juniors Roxana Hadadi, Yasmin Haghighi and Ana Karimi and sophomore Rachel Martin—wore black, short-sleeved tanks with long, layered skirts, either red, blue or purple. Copper and aluminum waist bangles accentuated every move as the girls shook their hips and shimmied their shoulders. The group was very energetic throughout their performance and successfully entertained the audience.
The Hispanic Club reappeared for a second round and enlivened the audience with choreography that demonstrated their preparation and effort. The club's focus was now on the Caribbean. Senior Damaris Garay, juniors Silvia Huezo and Andrea Sempertegui and freshmen Irina Espinoza and Susan Rios impressed the audience while junior David Flores, sophomore Armando Blanco and freshman Braulio Salas stepped out in red collar shirts and black pants. The group performed the bachata and the merengue and kept the show spirited throughout their segment.
The hosts took the audience back to Asia as the Vietnamese Club presented the "Viet Project." Juniors Quynh Nguyen and Phuong Vo, wrapped in cultural dresses and accessorizing with traditional Mongolian-style hats, danced with confidence and gave the audience another cultural piece to appreciate. Nguyen, along with senior Sara Rivera, danced to a modern Vietnamese rap song, which they dedicated to all the soldiers that fought in the Vietnam war. The girls wore army-print shirts and bandanas.
Honerkamp and Tomesek led the audience up the map to India as junior Meenakshi Singh and sophomores Saba Alemu and Prabhjot Kaur performed a traditional routine for the audience. The girls gave the audience an appreciation for their heritage as they wore dressy tops and skirts of maroon, gold or yellow, respectively, complete with silver and/or gold bracelets. The club added a new flavor to the show as they moved to mixed selections of upbeat Indian tunes. Sophomore Pham Bui made two appearances during the girls' performance and added to the light mood of the evening.
The Cambodian Club also made a second appearance, this time performing an instrumental piece.
Several members of Blair's Ethiopian Club performed next and displayed more traditional dress for the audience to admire. Seniors Bruktawit Abebe and Elham Amir danced against a salmon background wearing white dresses with green lining and cloth head wraps. The show continued as seniors Mahidey Tekeste and Telile Tolossa danced on stage and skillfully jerked their necks while dressed in brown skirts and tops and adorned with beads in their braids. Senior Adey Solomon and sophomore Ephrita Barake performed the last number in white dresses with red patterns, but their segment was cut short when a roused former club member from the audience jumped on stage and joined in on the dance.
Nevertheless, the Ethiopian Club hyped up the audience and prepared them for the Hispanic Club's final performance: salsa dancing from the Caribbean. Sophomores Wendy Blanco and Karla Cordon appeared on stage wearing dressy, flattering black dresses, black high-heeled sandals and curls in their hair. Sophomores Alex Berglund and Algenis Liriano moved skillfully while dressed in white slacks with black collar shirts and black dress shoes. The group kept the audience alive not only with their unified and well choreographed routine, but also with their smiles and tremendous display of energy.
The African Club performed the last dance of the evening, this time to music from the West African nation of Ivory Coast. The girls from the first performance reappeared, this time with senior Tiangay Koroma and junior Theresa Otchere, and demonstrated to the audience how to move with rhythm and dance to the beat, as they did throughout their individual and group performance. Although the girls did not wear traditional outfits, the members managed to keep the African spirit alive with their cloth wraparounds, black tights and energy.
The show ended with all the performers joining hands while the audience applauded the students' hard work and preparation.
Blair's ESOL department, club sponsors and stage crew contributed to this event.
Feza Kikaya. Feza Kikaya is finally a SENIOR in the CAP program at Blair. She enjoys driving, hanging out with friends and laughing. Most importantly, Feza is counting down the days to graduation so she can begin a new chapter of her life in college. Her favorite … More »