The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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iNite 2024: highs and lows

Through ups and downs, iNite’s diverse performances provided a thrill to watch
Alicia Yee
Flowing with the music, senior Yushu Zhang waves the fan with big, elegant movements in Chinese Honor Society’s performance. “It was refreshing to create memories with classmates and friends outside the school environment,” Zhang said.

The lights dim. The crowd hushes in anticipation. And then, the dancers burst onto stage as the music soars.

After weeks of preparation, Namaste proudly hosted International Night (iNite) on April 6. iNite displays Jefferson’s cultures and clubs through unique dances, music and costumes. Performers dance energetically on stage, making each performance special. Namaste recently won a Student Peace Award of Fairfax County for organizing iNite and donating the proceeds to various charities.

Every show has its ups and downs. Here are some highlights from iNite, from the unexpected difficulties to the most incredible moments.


While the emcees described the introduction video for iNite as one of the greatest films of all time, technical difficulties prevented the video from playing at the beginning of the 1:30 PM show. Unfortunately, this led to a rough start, as the emcees were forced to improvise. Although they did not have a script or much to work with, they asked the audience for jokes and tried singing, drawing some chuckles from the audience. At the end of the show, the emcees announced that the introduction video would be played, although most of the audience had already left at this point.

Luckily, once the lights started to dim, the audience became focused on the performances. The emcees did a great job introducing the next act with clever skits. I especially enjoyed the joke about Jefferson’s mom’s Honda Odyssey, which was hilariously true.


iNite is all about bringing together clubs and showcasing their uniqueness. Namaste never fails to deliver this message through dynamic dances. Though not always in sync, their four acts were fun and representative of Namaste’s spirit. The choreography mixed traditional and modern elements, and a highlight was the lift in the Namaste couples dance.

Ballroom Dance Club also offered an impressive performance. The music fit perfectly and morphed from a whimsical melody into a fun, jazzy beat. The costumes were also memorable. After the first song finished, the lights turned off, but when they turned back on, the dancers ripped away their long, flowy dresses and revealed white fringe dresses underneath, drawing gasps from the audience. The second dance featured dramatic dips, drops and lifts, displaying the chemistry between each pair.

Additionally, each act elevated their performance with unique lighting that emphasized the specific choreography. For example, some acts utilized flashing lights on beat to the music, making the dance more dramatic. Though stage lighting is often overlooked, the lighting at iNite was too stunning not to notice.

Every act in iNite takes weeks of preparation and hours of practice, but the stakes are even higher for Diabolo, which has a reputation for putting on unforgettable performances. Juggling a Chinese yo-yo with a string and a disk, performers exceeded expectations. When I thought the performers could not throw the diabolo higher, they started to juggle it between partners. It was mind-blowing how Diabolo executed each catch perfectly. One of my favorite parts was when an audience member threw up a diabolo and a performer caught it from the stage.

Another “high” point of iNite was Chinese Honor Society, which showcased a solo wushu performer seemingly defying the laws of gravity. Another performer ended with a bang by landing in the splits while pointing a spear upwards. Chinese Honor Society’s performance was one of a kind, featuring both group and solo dances.

Urban Dance Movement’s act was also extraordinary. The performance skillfully incorporated lights and music with sharp, synchronized steps. The choreography was big and bold, and the formations were well-practiced. They also took advantage of flashing lights to draw more attention to each precise movement.

Every club’s performance at iNite displayed Jefferson’s diverse cultures, making iNite an unforgettable experience.

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