By DANIEL WANG and ERIN HOLLOWAY
Editor: MICHELLE DANNER
Talent shows are a very popular activity around the world and a fun way to gather and celebrate communities. With the great help from University Towers staff, New Mind Education hosted a joint event intended to celebrate the talent of UPP students and American residents as well as provide more opportunities for UPP students to meet and talk with Americans. The show was held on the ninth floor in University Towers on February 25th. After another round of exams, the talent show was a great chance for UPP students to relax and practice their English through conversations with American students.
With the help of UT RAs and interns, half of the dining hall was transformed into a decadent jazz club with a series of tables with red tablecloth, white balloons, live music and fresh snacks. The food was a mix of American classics and fresh Asian pastries from Grand Asia market. To begin the show, a band made up of RAs performed live music to set the tone and allow visitors to mingle. After that, the talent show started. The prizes awarded to the top three performers in show included a Fitbit Surge, Powerbeats 2 headphones and a $200 visa gift card. Thanks to the energetic hosts and music, the talent show attracted about 85 people, 25 of which were UPP students. “This RA’s band was probably the best music performance tonight,” Olivia Song said.
Four UT residents performed a variety of talents, including singing, jumping rope and doing a glow stick performance. Elliott Holliday began the show with an impressive “poi” display, twirling two glow sticks on strings in intricate patterns to music. Next, Brad Meir sang a popular American love song to his girlfriend on stage! Charles Keen then performed a song he had written while playing his guitar. Lastly, Kaley D’Erminio shocked the crowd with her jump rope skills, which included her being almost seated on the ground and still able to skip the rope!
Unfortunately, despite repeated encouragement from their advisors, no UPP students signed up to perform in the show. “There were too few performances tonight, and I really wished to see some Chinese students to show their talent,” said Constantine Zong. “If we had more than 10 performances, there would be a lot more fun this evening!”
Even though there were not many people performing on the stage, students were very satisfied with the excellence of the talents displayed. “I thought it would be all singing and dancing, but surprisingly, there were different kinds of talents to show,” Brain Li said. “The jump roping was awesome, I wish I could do that,” said another student Theresa Liao.
Speaking of awesome, many students liked the handmade costumes that student advisor Erin Holloway, and her friend Jackson Yuen, wore to the show as their talent. She was dressed as a final boss from a popular video game, and Jackson was a convincing Cloud Strife, a famous Final Fantasy character. Before and after the show, several students took selfies with them!
The Grand Asia pastries were another successful part of this event. “I really like the pastries and snacks here, they are tasty with low calories. I’m happy as long as it is not pizza,” Viola Sun said. Another student, Xinhua Du also added, “These Chinese-style pastries provided us a great opportunity to talk with American students. Americans are very curious about the taste of the pastries, and this little bread is acting like an ice-breaker tonight.”
Mark Yang also had a valuable comment for the organizers of this event, “There could be some more interactions between the stage and audience, or maybe a raffle with some gifts would be prefect in the future.” This is some advice the organizers will keep in mind for next year!
To conclude the show, the UT band played one more song, in which several of the singers’ voices cracked. Nevertheless, they (and the audience) laughed it off and ended the show on a light note. “This event makes me feel like I am in an American party, which is great.” Theresa Liao said. “I wish we can have an event like this again, with more performances, of course.”