Celebration of cultures at Extravaganza

Celebration of cultures at Extravaganza

Students from the Intercultural Extravaganza come together after the show to pose for pictures.

The chatter of students fill the air as they surround the library lawn waiting for the biggest celebration of dance at Chaminade University to start Friday night.

Every spring semester, Chaminade hosts International Extravaganza where it invites all of the clubs on campus to share their dances for the entire school. The event was emceed by students Vinney Hocog, De’andre Haskins and Nadia Fale who provided comedic dialogue throughout the night.

Hawaiian Club kicked off the event with a hula to the song “Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai.” The dance was choreographed by Kaipo Leopoldino, who was unable to perform because it conflicted with the opening night of the school’s musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

The ‘Ohana Steppers and Indigo Lotus clubs performed after the Hawaiian Club and a quick raffle drawing. Both clubs were formed in the beginning of the school year and made themselves known as they performed their respective pieces.

“I felt really good about how our club did,” said Britni Martin, a sophomore at Chaminade and a member of Indigo Lotus. “Several people said we looked great and I was really impressed with the group we had this semester.”

Indigo Lotus danced to “Jai Ho,” the popular song at the end of “Slumdog Millionaire.” The entire dance was choreographed by the club’s president, Alex Davis. Davis has choreographed dances for groups of six to nine, but this was her first choreographed dance with a large group of 14. Some of the members were nervous as they performed for the first time in front of a crowd, but were calmed as the crowd roared in cheers when the song was done.

La Familia Spanish Club performed their piece which touched on their cultural roots. Jennifer Santiago – member, choreographer and freshman at Chaminade – made sure that the club was comfortable with the dance. The club started the semester out with practices three times a week for an hour and a half to make sure everyone knew the basics.

As the event drew closer, Santiago moved practices to five nights a week for two and a half hours. Two days before Extravaganza, the club would practice for five consecutive hours after classes and eating dinner together.

“After Extravaganza, I had a mixture of emotions,” said Santiago. “First off, I felt a booming sense of pride seeing the dancers do the routine flawlessly and have so much fun while doing it. Also when the crowd and Dean Griselle, the club advisor, all gave their approval, it sparked a happiness unlike any other that I could be part of this shining moment.”

Following La Familia Spanish Club was the Micronesian Club. The club performed their dance in their traditional costumes. The origin of their dance comes from the island of Yap in Micronesia. Many of the students who performed in the club were from various parts of the Micronesian Islands.

Between the performances of the Micronesian and Tahitian clubs, Haskins was initiated into the Extravaganza experience. The performance on Friday was the first one he’s been to, his initiation was to dance to a song sung by Hocog and accompanied by OSAL director Makerusa Porotesano on the guitar. A few stanzas into the song, Porotesano and Hocog stopped singing. Almost immediately, the song “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones started to play in which Haskins promptly started to dance the Carlton, much to everyone’s amusement.

The night ended with the Samoan Club as they educated the audience about their tattoos, such as the origin and who receives which tattoo, as they performed the haka and other traditional dances.

“Everyone did amazingly,” said Joanna Chang, a freshman at Chaminade and a member of the Hawaiian club. “All the clubs brought something different to the table and gave it their all.”