We had our second in-front-of-the-whole-school performance last Friday at the multicultural rally. This seems to be a tradition at a few of the high schools in the district, where once a year the school gets together to celebrate the multitude of different cultures on campus — at least as much as possible in a one-hour assembly. this one featured a multicultural fashion show, organized by the French Club: girls (yes, they were all girls) in traditional dress of their own or their parents' homelands (we do have a lot of 1st- and 2nd-generation immigrants) — from Persia, Punjab, Pakistan, Liberia, Laos, and the Philippines to Guatemala, El Salvador, Jamaica and Brazil... It also featured dances from the Polynesian Club as well as the dance classes.
Since I knew the Polynesian Club would be performing, I had hoped that my students might choose to perform Samba for some variety and wider cultural representation (and we do have a relatively large pocket of Brazilian-Americans on campus, who might have been pleased to see their national dance represented). But the overwhelming consensus among the student performers was for kahiko (ancient) hula — Kilauea — and the Tahitian dance Papio; and since those were the two dances that were relatively simple and the students were already confident with, it did make sense. We had 39 dancers opt to perform (our biggest group yet), most in both dances. We rehearsed exclusively during class time, within each class, but managed to pull all performers together just once, the day before the rally (this will all be easier next year when we have one specific performing class working together every day). They all remembered their places and danced very well — these students were again a pleasure to work with!