Homecoming: Sophomores overcome tight deadlines to produce punny performance

September 23, 2018 — by Connie Liang
Photo by Alan Zu

Sophomore Bollywood dancers walk into the quad to begin their performance.

The music stopped playing for the K pop dancers, but they kept the performance going.

“If I’m going to do nothing for an hour, you might as well just enroll me in leadership class!”

“That’s it! Who do you think you are?”

“I’m pretty hot chocolate if I do say so myself.”

This year the sophomore “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” skit centered around the premise of a candy-making class led by Mr. Wonka. Emphasizing inter-class roasts and puns with a sweet twist, the performance included all-boys, all-girls, hip-hop, stunt, colorguard, Bollywood, K-Pop and finale dances.

Hip-hop dance coordinator Tabitha Hulme, who acted as Violet in the quad day skit, said that the dance coordinators placed more emphasis on organizing schedules this year due to the earlier Homecoming week. These measures included additional dance tutorial videos on Facebook, specialized one-on-one lessons and separate groups to help those who missed practice catch up.

“With the less time we’ve had, it has definitely been a little more challenging getting everything finished to how we want it to look,” Hulme said, noting that although there were rehearsal conflicts they always found a way to work around it.

Sophomore Jessie Zhou, who participated in the hip-hop dance, said practices were mostly productive, a difference compared to freshman year.

“Last year was a little more laid back,” Zhou said. “I think it’s because this year we have to make a better impression than the freshmen.”

Some factors to the performance, however, were out of the dancers’ control.

A little more than 10 seconds into the beginning of the K-Pop routine, the background track cut off. For the following few minutes, sporadic bursts of music were interrupted by long pauses while the dancers attempted to synchronize their movements, having to restart the dance repeatedly. Finally, they continued on without the help of music, following instead a background drummer’s beat and the audience’s chant of “K-Pop, K-Pop, K-Pop!”

“When we had to do it over and over, I️ was laughing because we roasted the freshmen on how their music kept on stopping and yet it backfired on us,” said sophomore class treasurer Lauren Tan, who participated in the dance.

The long hallway stretching from the school’s front entrance to the library, where sophomore decorations are traditionally held, also proved problematic for the sophomore class. Sophomore Arnav Mangal, who organized the boys’ dance and played Mike in the skit, said the many exits and entrances in that particular area caused the decorations to appear more sparse and spread out.

The sophomore Homecoming coordinators also created incentives including pizza during move-in day in hopes that more people would show up to help decorate. They also asked certain teachers to give extra credit for participation, but this resulted in “some people coming just for the extra credit and not helping that much,” according to Mangal.

Although the sophomore decorations became the butt of many jokes from the upperclassmen, Hulme said that everyone was surprised by how well the overall performance turned out, especially given the tighter deadlines this year.

“I’d definitely say this year’s Quad Day was a success because of how motivated everyone was to put on their best performance,” Hulme said. “We wanted to really go hard on roasts and dances, and we were really happy with what we produced.”