New Rules and Regulations for I-Night Dancers
By Lukas Hoffman
Anticipation is already building for another International Night to kick off next spring. This year’s groups have already started meeting and preparing for their May performances, with many looking for new members at Clubapalooza on Sept. 28. One week prior, Asian Club, which runs I-Night, gathered all dance leaders for an information session on this year’s proceedings, outlining new changes and rules for this year’s show.
Due to the difficulty of planning the order of the dances, rosters will have to be finalized before winter break. Explaining the reason for this change, Sue Wee, Adv. 900, Asian Club president, said, “We order the dances entirely by hand to give dancers a good amount of time between their dances. The earlier we have the rosters, the more time we have to prepare the schedule.” Asian Club also reiterated a rule implemented last year which limited students to a total of three dances to further streamline the scheduling process.
The tryout process has also been changed to ensure students are ready for the show. In past years, only one tryout has been required before the show, but the constantly increasing interest in I-Night has made this change necessary. Starting this year, two tryouts must be completed for groups to perform on I-Night. The first is a video sent to Asian Club at the end of the first semester, showing a minimum completion of the dance based on the song length. Three weeks before the show, all dances must perform an in-person tryout to show the completion of their dance. A majority of their members must be present for this trial, and the stage of each dance’s costumes must be presented as well. Although this changes the process for dance leaders, most did not mind. Brianna Gonzalez, Adv. 900, who leads the Folklore Rico Dance Group, said, “It adds an extra step to the process, but to me it makes perfect sense. Besides, dances should already be at those stages by the time of the tryouts.”
The most dramatic rule change came regarding sponsorship. Due to changes in Chicago Public Schools policy, sponsors must be present for the entirety of dance practices. Although this has always technically been a rule, it was previously never enforced. Oftentimes, clubs would only check if their respective sponsor was present in the building while practicing, and some dances had no sponsor at all. This rule change may impede practice scheduling and comes as a major surprise to leaders and members of many dances. Ikenna Elue, Adv. 909, said, “A dance group I was in didn’t even have a sponsor, so this comes as a major change.” This feeling was echoed by nearly everyone in attendance, with some groups left scrambling to find an official sponsor.
With the new rule, any dance group found practicing without a sponsor can be terminated immediately. However, if the group’s sponsor is not present, students can have another faculty member supervise their practice. Similarly, volunteers and visitors to practices must be vetted by CPS and approved by Northside in order to be present. These changes came neither anticipated nor appreciated by meeting attendees, but it was understood that it was not a fault of the organizers, just a policy change that has to be followed.
Even with the changes being made to the I-Night process, groups are still excited for the year. The excitement in the room was palpable even eight months before the show, with leaders discussing their plans and ideas with one another. Matthew Villalon, Adv. 903, stood up at the end of the Asian Club presentation to ask for a round of applause for Asian Club saying, “Without them, I-Night would not exist, so we must recognize that fact and treat them well.” This sentiment was echoed by the other dance leaders, and the meeting was concluded with a round of applause for the I-Night organizers. Although the new changes may add difficulties for dance preparations, leaders are determined to put on a great show.