K-Emphasis: Practicing to Perform

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Last week, Leroy Greene held its annual Multicultural Night event, and hosted many booths and performances that represent cultures from around the world.

All but one of the cultural performances were performed by the student body, and with good reason. Junior class president Adam Harris said that making the performances rely solely on students created a “sense of community.”

This sort of community was found in the practices for a group’s dance mashup of Korean pop music . The group of dancers, named K-Emphasis, are made up of Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshmen from our school: Athena Xiong, Tiffanie Nguyen, Emily Kirlis, Phina Wong, Stephanie Lozano, and Martha Mendoza.

The dance group is led by Athena, who took the liberty of teaching the rest of the group the dances. Every day after school, when space was available, Athena trained her team rigorously, dancing to the beat over and over, until even I, who knew no Korean, had memorized some of the words.

As the days counted down, and the group had less time to slack off, and they had to focus even more on practicing. K-Emphasis, as a whole, was having trouble staying coordinated, and keeping their jumps and kicks and gestures in time with each other.

Tensions grew higher, and the practices became more strenuous. The pressure of a perfect performance looming over them. Athena and Tiffanie worked even harder to refine their dances. K-Emphasis became more and more coordinated each day. The team was dancing so much that some of their faces turned red from exhaustion. In between dances, they would stand out in the rain to cool off.

Finally, Multicultural Night arrived. K-Emphasis had practiced as much as they could, and so they spent the first part of the event hanging out with their friends. When the time came, they took the stage with confidence. They performed with enthusiasm and vigor, putting their hearts into their dance. Their performance was exciting and fun to watch, a core part of the culture of LGA. Not once having a dull moment in their performance the crowd watched with awe as they jumped and moved to the beat of the music.

With the high of adrenaline still lingering, K-Emphasis joined arms and took a bow, to the cheers of the audience. Their sense of unity and friendship was strong. After they returned off stage they were met with friends and family congratulating and hugging them. Athena thanked her group, her friends for “working hard even though it was stressful.”