Brighter As One: International Day
By Esther Huescas
Countless hours of practice came together on Mar. 27, when Northside’s 23 dance teams performed for the student body. The dancers came early to school to get ready and run through their dances once more before the big performance. The day was split into three different sections: the gym, the auditorium, and the finale once again in the gym. In the gym during the first half of the day, Northside had the pleasure of watching Polish Dance, Korean Fan, Tango, Le Lo Lai, Tari Saman, Greek Dance, Jamaican Dance, and Ohana perform. In the auditorium, Mustangs saw Hypotnik, Bosnian Folk Dance, Korean Troupe, Isang Hakbang, Belly Dance, Viet Mua, Folklore Rico, and Chinese Fan perform. The finale included Uzuri Wa Africa, Irish Dance, Baile Sorpresa, NCP Shaki, Martial Arts, Sabor Latino, Soran Bushi.
I had the pleasure of being one of the five emcees for International Day so I was able to see the excitement and nerves as the dancers prepared first hand. My co-emcee in Northside’s gym was Jacqueline Rodriguez, Adv. 901. When asked how the experience was, Rodriguez said, “It was really fun! I never thought I would do anything like that but I am definitely glad I did. All the groups did amazing and you could tell how hard everyone worked.”
The crowds were ecstatic to see the dances throughout all the three sections of the day. The finale was one to remember as well; many new dances made it into the finale this year. Two dances in the finale were Sabor Latino and Baile Sorpresa. Gillianna Hernandez, Adv. 908, captain of both groups, said, “I think I especially appreciated the finale this year because I realized it was my last one. Aside from being able to perform in it which was so much fun on its own I got to see the other performances too and it was so amazing to see the result of all the hard work all the dancers have put it throughout the year.”
Another captain of a finale dance that missed International Day was Jayson Coy, Adv. 905. Discussing his favorite aspect of International Day, Coy said, “Seeing how the different cultural dance groups blend. I remember walking into the gym and I saw Karen Nguyen, Adv. 003, doing the African routine in a traditional hanbok. Seeing how the graceful K-fan and the high energy Uzuri Wa Africa can entice the same person for different reasons was mind blowing and exciting to me.” Regarding her experience as part of Uzuri Wa Africa, dance team member Erica Kwakye, Adv. 009, said, “It was a fantastic time because we worked hard all year and made it into the finale.”
Although International Day was once again a success, the sadness among the class of 2019 after finishing their final dances was surely felt. For many participants, this year was not their first time performing and they certainly wish it was not their last. International Day veteran Alison Tatchoum, Adv. 907, performed in Uzuri Wa Africa, NCP Shaki, and Sabor Latino. When asked how she felt the day went, Tatchoum said, “It was giggin!” Christina Yoon, Adv. 903, who performed in Belly Dance, Ohana, and Korean Fan said, “For me, the best part of I-Day is getting ready in the morning. It’s usually super stressful but the exhilaration of that morning is so fun. I wish I was more conscious of the fact that it was my last time because I was so caught up in the performing part that I forgot it's actually the last time I’ll ever do this.”
It is clear that the seniors will miss International Day and International Night, just like Northside is bound to miss the senior dancers. I encourage you tryout next fall and to join a dance group because these talented dancers regard it as a memorable experience.