The Ways of West
The crowd observed the stage as soloists sang under the beaming lights, the Choraliers harmonized to the beat, and the Color Guard waved their flags in synchronization. Showcasing Maine West’s multitude of gifts, West Got Talent was staged Oct. 27-28 in the theater.
From the first brainstorming sessions about what to perform to the moment the curtain opened and students walked on stage, every step of the way was a huge process. Sophomore soloist Frances Ann Dela Cruz recalled putting an emotional effort into her original song, “Took You a Year.” “My song is about when someone you love took too long to say sorry but you’ll always care for them even though you can’t take them back,” Dela Cruz said. Any free time was spent rehearsing her song and perfecting it. “Usually when I have an emotion, I take it out by singing and sitting with my guitar.” Backstage, Dela Cruz recalled being nervous but gave herself words of positive encouragement. “I kept telling myself, ‘You got this,’” Dela Cruz said.
Desi Dhamaka, our school’s Bollywood dance group, made sure to move in synchronized and clean steps on stage in their silver, sparkly, bhangra pants, an Indian garment made for dancing. Junior Co-Captains Elisha Joseph and Alyssa Stephen take inspiration from different Bollywood music videos and collegiate Indian dance groups and turn it into their own choreography. “A difficult challenge we had to overcome was people not showing up to rehearsal,” Joseph said. Without every single dancer, it was hard to grasp an idea of the progress Desi Dhamaka was making. However, members of the group put in individual effort outside of rehearsal to make it all work out. The best moment Joseph could describe was when the dance came together into one. “My favorite part of the dance was probably the classical or the couples dance because it highlights two completely different styles,” Joseph said.
A group of Maine West senior boys also put themselves out there in a way no one expected. These boys were unsure of their dancing capabilities at first. By running through the dance, adding more moves, critiquing the piece further, and with the help of Lisa Jacob, the co-sponsor of West’s Got Talent, they were able to string together an unforgettable performance of old-school hip-hop in baggy jeans and a backward cap. “I know a lot of schools don’t have a boys dance group so Maine West is really unique to allow us to dance. It’s really special that we’re able to perform and have fun,” senior Thomas Delaney said.
Much like the Warrior Strings, Poms, the duets, and the guitarists who performed last weekend, “West Got Talent allowed me to express myself in a way that I’m not usually able to on a daily basis at school,” Dela Cruz said.