By Emma Livingston, Co-Editor
Thunderbird’s last Regional Night of Spring 2016 took place Saturday April 2nd. The theme was “Ensemble” and the dinner menu impressively managed to incorporate cuisine from four continents: pierogis from Europe, feijoada and empanadas from South America, injera and atkilt wat from Africa and even pepperoni pizza from North America.
After we’d stuffed ourselves to the point of immobility, it was time to begin the wild dancing and singing that is the heart and soul of Regional Night. Hosted by MCs Prita John (MGM ’17, India) and Brad Willcoxon (MGM ’17, USA), the night started with a performance by kawambe-Omowale African Drum and Dance Theatre, a Phoenix-based African dance group who brought two dancers and two drummers to perform for us. After a few songs, the lead drummer told us: “African dancing does not usually have an audience,” and he invited all the students to join the dancers on the stage for dancing and singing and a joyful march around the tables and chairs set up in the TEC.
From African drumming, we moved to North American jamming with a raucous, truly international performance by the newly reinvigorated Global Sounds. No fewer than 10 performers representing 6 different countries took the stage to give passionate renditions of a wide range of North American musical styles: from pop to hip-hop, to blues, folk rock, and a rap medley that got many audience members up from their seats and dancing in front of the stage.
The Latin America Club took the stage next with a couples’ dance and a group dance, and the night came to an end all too soon after a performance by Mambo Exquisite Dance Co., a professional salsa troop.
While we were disappointed not to have the traditional final mass dance on the stage, students made up for it by taking copious selfies and pictures at the photo booth with random props dug out of storage for the occasion.
For many of the students graduating in May, myself included, the night was a bittersweet one. A beautiful celebration with this crazy group of Thunderbird friends, but tinted with the dawning realization that we will all be going our separate ways in the near future. I hope to be dancing and singing with my T-Bird friends somewhere again on this crazy journey through life.