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It’s that time of the year when walking in the hallways after school has become a struggle. Groups of dancers fill the hallways and classrooms to prepare for the FON performance on February 28 and March 1.
FON, or Festival of Nations, is a cross-cultural dance festival that is usually held in February. Students of many different cultural backgrounds get together to rehearse and perform a dance, complete with props and colorful costumes. Members don’t have to be of a certain nationality to join the group or have prior dance experience.
Abigail Calumpit, a freshman stated, “Right now I’m in Filipino FON and so far it’s been really fun! First of all, it’s nice to see people of your own heritage coming together as a “pamilya”, or family. Secondly, it’s really interesting and adorable to see non-Filipinos adapting to our culture.”
From Dhamaka FON (South Indian, Guju, and Punjabi) to the recently brought back American FON, the main goal is to represent the many cultures of the student body while having fun. Christina Marshall, a junior, said, “I love that FON allows us to showcase our culture. Every FON group is unique and it’s great that for the last two years we have had Caribbean FON. It’s really important to myself and the other members of the Caribbean community that our culture is displayed.”
Senior Kimberly Dabiedeen, one of the leaders of Dhamaka FON, also feels that it is a way to contribute her talents: “I love FON because it’s an amazing experience, working with everyone and making new friendships all while dancing is the best. I [also] love fon because outside of school I’ve been doing Indian dance for eight years and now Ican teach it in school.”
In addition to the many current FONs, a few new groups have been formed this year. American FON is one FON that has been restored this year. One of its leaders, senior Daniel Wuest, said “They had an American FON 4 years ago when I was a freshman, but they haven’t done it for a while. So we revamped it and brought it back.” Another is Polish FON. Students have been trying to organize a Polish FON for the past several years, but it hasn’t worked until this year. Junior Gabrielle Gozdyra was determined to make it work. “It’s really happening this time. I’m super excited to get this finally going. We’ve got a great group of people, lots of great personalities, and a super fun routine,” she said.