By Megan Martin
One of the beloved traditions in the world language department is putting on the annual World Language Talent Show, which happened for the eleventh time on Dec. 18 .
The first thing the world language teachers do when planning the talent show is meet a month or two before to coordinate how it is going to play out. Spanish teacher Teri Olsen, the director, explains that every language teacher participates in networking the talent show.
A month before the talent show, each teacher tells her students that it is coming up and they begin to feed them ideas.
“We encourage the students to participate and then once they decide they want to participate, to maybe help them with pronunciation, some ideas about props and with how they are going to present on stage,” French teacher Denise LaBarre said.
After networking comes time for auditions. This year, the department said the turnout was fabulous. There were so many groups who tried out that the department had to cut five of them. “All of them were good this year. We got a good variety,” Olsen said.
After auditions, the talent show had two official days of rehearsal where they tried to work out the kinks so they would not happen on the actual day.
On the day of the talent show, LaBarre and Olsen said that their main jobs were to be backstage supervising the kids and making sure everything ran smoothly. Spanish teacher Clarissa Yeo sat in the audience and filmed the show.
Sophomores Aikaterina Demopoulos and Anna Lynch performed to the French poem “Dejeuner du Matin.” Lynch recited the poem while sitting at a table while Demopoulos acted it out for the audience. Demopoulos said she participated in the talent show “because my friend (Lynch) asked me to and I thought it would be fun.”
Lenora Yee, also a sophomore, sang the song “El Arroyito” in Spanish. Yee also played piano to accompany her singing. Yee said she did the performance because “I like singing and I had never done a school based performance, so I thought it would be a really fun experience.” Yee also said that she believes that as the day went on (because there were multiple performances), she got more comfortable on stage.
Sophomor Julian Sazo performed a birthday skit in Spanish with sophomore Eugena Gardner. The act included Gardner on stage first getting ready to celebrate Sazo’s birthday. She was holding two yellow balloons. As it turned out, Sazo’s character’s birthday was the previous day, so he started crying and he hated the yellow balloons Gardner got for him. In the end, the balloons were popped.
“The purpose of the act was to show people the humor of Spanish and how crazy Eugena can actually be,” said Sazo. Sazo says that he participated in the talent show because he did it last year and he had a lot of fun.
At the end of the show, most everyone agreed that the show was a success this year.
“The talent show was good because a lot of talented people showed the school how great they are,” said Sazo.
LaBarre believes that the world language department puts on the talent show to show students that they can use their language in other situations, not just the classroom (i.e singing, conversation).
Olsen agrees. “We do it because it gives our students a way to personally connect with the language they have been acquiring. To actually participate in some of the cultural traditions of the language they are acquiring. Those personal connections, when language comes to mean something to you in your own personal experience, that’s a powerful thing,” Olsen said. “We know too that performance is incredibly powerful as a teaching tool.”