Students sing and dance through the night at talent show

Ottobah Imhotep, sophomore biology major, and Kenneth Davis, sophomore history major, perform a combination of freestyle and viral dances at the talent show April 29 in Morgan Auditorium. The talent show, sponsored by Campus Activities Board, was a volunteer-based event, allowing any student to show up and showcase their talents. / photo by Drake Ingram
Ottobah Imhotep, sophomore biology major, and Kenneth Davis, sophomore history major, perform a combination of freestyle and viral dances at the talent show April 29 in Morgan Auditorium. The talent show, sponsored by Campus Activities Board, was a volunteer-based event, allowing any student to show up and showcase their talents. / photo by Drake Ingram

Samira Felix
Staff Writer

The Morgan Auditorium was filled with laughter and music as La Verne students showcased their talents on stage at the Campus Activities Board talent show on April 29.

Upon checking in for the event students had the opportunity to grab a Crumbl cookie from the multiple bags the Campus Activities Board had outside the event. The incentive for students who showcased their talents was a $25 gas gift card. At the end of the event students received a University of La Verne quarter zip sweater.

The Campus Activities Board comedy chair Tatiana Fakhoury, a junior psychology major, hosted the talent show. She said she was inspired by students who carried instruments on campus.

“I am the comedy chair and with my role I get to do a lot of different aspects and host a bunch of different events,” Fakhoury said. “I saw someone on campus with a guitar and I thought that it would be so cool to host a talent show. The guy with the guitar never ended up coming to the talent show, but the event turned out really good.”

Fakhoury welcomed students as they sat down in the auditorium. After she was done welcoming everyone, music by Adele started playing. A few minutes later she introduced the first participant.

Machaela McLain, freshman criminology major, was the first participant. She has been singing since she was young, but she did not take it seriously until middle school when she joined musical theater. In high school, she joined choir where she had the opportunity to do group and solo performances.

McLain said that she decided to participate because she has not been able to perform in front of a crowd since COVID-19 started and she thought the talent show was a great opportunity to perform “Minefields” because she enjoys various aspects of the song.

“I chose ‘Minefields’ because I really enjoy both listening to and performing the song,” McLain said. “I think the song is really fun and upbeat but also displays vocal ability well. I also think it’s a good fit for my voice and vocal range.”

After McLain performed, there was a brief intermission where “Pepas” by Faruko was played. Students danced and sang along to the song in their seats.

Once the song was over Fakhoury introduced the next performer, Ha’ani Untalan, freshman kinesiology major.

Untalan said she is a Pacific Islander and the talent show was a great opportunity to share a part of her culture. 

“I am a Pacific Islander and I am very proud of where I come from. A big part of what we do is the Aloha spirit where you try your best to be kind to everyone, show love to everyone and try to be very accepting,” Untalan said. “We tend to tell stories of journeys and one of our ways to share that is through dance or through song.”

Untalan performed Hula dancing, which originates from the islands of Hawaii and Tahitian dancing, which comes from the islands of Tahiti.

The following participants were a group of two students, Ottobah Imhotep, sophomore biology major, and Kenneth Davis, sophomore history major. They break danced to the song “Tu-Di-Shi (Dance Battle Beat)” by Ajay Adam.

Imhotep said that he was originally not going to participate because he thought participants needed to sign up in advance.

“I just came in and my friend, Kenny Davis just looked back at me and said ‘We should go up’ and that was all the motivation I needed,” Imhotep said. “I wasn’t nervous. I just went out there and had fun.”

The final participant was Amari Waddell, freshman business marketing and management major. Waddell recited a poem he wrote in an effort to bring awareness to racial discrimination.

“I wrote the poem because a police officer killed my friend when we were younger and he had a special impact in our city and on me,” said Waddell. “The poem explains how Black people are at a disadvantage from the start…We fight for something, but then we take 12 steps back. I was just trying to express that and bring awareness to it.”

After Waddell performed, Fakhoury ended the show and students got up to receive their University of La Verne quarter zip sweaters.

Fakoury said the event turned out better than she had expected, but she would do a few things differently for future talent shows.

“I was not expecting anyone to participate, but it turned out pretty good,” said Fakhoury. “ If we were to do it again next year I would definitely advertise more and try to make it a bigger event.”

Amaya Contreras, sophomore psychology major, enjoyed the talent show and loved that it was not restricted to a set list of participants and instead allowed audience members to join which made the event laid back.

“I think that’s why more people went up towards the end because it was a very welcoming environment. Every performer brought something very special to the stage,” Contreras said.

“They did something that represented them like Amari who spoke about his race and what they go through in his culture and how they feel about a certain subject.”

Contreras said every participant did something that represented them in a beautiful way, which is what she loves about talent shows.

Samira Felix can be reached at samira.felix@laverne.edu.

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Samira Felix, a junior journalism major with a concentration in print-online journalism, is a staff writer for the Campus Times.

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Drake Ingram, a junior criminology major and photography minor, is a staff photographer for the Campus Times.

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