Walking through the newly renovated halls during eighth period and lunch, students may spot hordes of girls practicing the Korean Culture Club (KCC) fan dance, or the Chinese Honor Society members dancing under the canopy of a golden dragon near the trailer park, or the high-energy Urban Dance Movement dancers practicing the girls’ and boys’ dances in the lobby near the planetarium. Since the start of the new year, students have been hard at work preparing for the annual International Night (or iNite, as the students affectionately call it). Namaste, the Indian culture club in charge of organizing iNite, has required all iNite participants to attend 8th period and after school practices on Mar. 4, 11, 29, and 30, on top of periodic iNite practices that individual clubs organize.
“We practice for iNite every day during lunch,” junior Immalla Chen said. Chen is participating in the Black Student Union’s hip-hop and step performances and the KCC’s fan dance, on top of teaching the girls’ dance for Urban Dance Movement.’
With continual practices for students participating in multiple dances this year, it may be difficult for many to keep up with the mandatory rehearsals. Yet, clubs do try to take the time and ensure that their planning doesn’t interfere for most students.
“There’s a practice everyday but they’re never overlapping,” Chen said. “ [For Urban], I just teach and go over counts and help people. It takes up a lot of time, because usually I would study or finish homework during lunch, but I have to do it at home and get less sleep.”
Frequent lunch and 8th period practices have also been an obstacle for students like senior Rachel Vasta. “You definitely lose a lot of time at lunch,” Vasta said. “I’ll have friends [that] are studying for tests during lunch, and I’ll be like ‘I have to go to swing dance practice.’”
However, students strongly believe that the sacrifice is worth the experience – the different opportunities iNite provides appeal to many students throughout the school. For instance, Vasta enjoys the dancing aspect of iNite, while Chen enjoys the stress relief that iNite practices afford her.
“Instead of stressing about school during lunch, I get to do something else,” Chen said. “The actual performance is really fun; it’s just like the whole day you get to spend with your friends.”