The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

‘Your voice is validated’ in DLS

Group offers traditional dance, a positive environment
Dual Language Showcase works with area elementary schools on traditional dance and more.

One small group new to the South High clubs. One small group with the students as leaders. One small group with the potential to blow the audience away. This is what the Dual Language Showcase, a traditional dance club, has to offer.

It just started last year with the help of sophomore student Jeremy Amaya, the founder of the Dual Language Showcase. He created the club after he participated in a similar club at the middle school he attended, Beveridge Middle School. Some of his friends felt the same way and joined La Fuerza, but it just didn’t feel right. They were looking for something more traditional and a way to include their culture and identity all at the same time.

Academy teacher Alex Menéndez was the sponsor of Showcase last year. He became the sponsor because of Amaya and his enthusiasm for it, so the small group of six students was formed with the help of Assistant Principal Julie Johnson. According to Menéndez, the Showcase group was chaotic at first. “You’re having grade nine students run this meeting, and you’re not sure how it’s supposed to go yet because you’re only getting parts of the story that they are telling you.”

His responsibilities as a sponsor were to schedule meetings, find a meeting place, and assign presidencies to keep the students in charge of each other and hold them responsible. He said he could only sponsor for that year since he was already busy with DECA. He would like to sponsor it again when he has more time and when he doesn’t feel like a duck. “I always felt kind of like a duck sailing and underneath trying to figure it out.”

Amaya’s main goals for Showcase were to transform from a club into a class and to gain recognition from the school to invite incoming freshmen. But in the meantime, he said he looks forward to creating a positive environment for people to feel welcome, increasing attendance, and having more boys join the club. He said he also envisions the club evolving into something so big that other students from other places join and other teachers get involved, and even having competitions and performances as he did in the past.

Last year, the Dual Language Showcase participated at Sound Off, which was its only performance. Although they practiced and prepared to take part in CultureFest at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, they decided to back out. They thought that they needed to get together and rehearse more often to participate. Seven would have performed all together a cumbia song.

This year they have a new sponsor, Spanish teacher Cesar Castellanos. He was personally asked by Menéndez to sponsor this year. He said he first started enjoying dance when he was in eighth grade and has danced a variety of styles. “I personally love to dance, and I love all types of dances. Bachata, cumbias, de todo de todo, everything.” And although it first started as a small group of six, Castellanos was moved during their first meeting this year. “I was actually surprised by the amount of students that showed up to our first meeting. And the willingness of the students to learn off the bat some pasos, some steps, for the first song we are working on.”

This year, they are planning on attending and performing in many more places. They are planning on performing at CultureFest in April and a competition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln March 16. They are currently planning on visiting and performing for other schools to draw curiosity, interest, and inspiration, but it has not been confirmed yet. They plan on visiting Crestridge Elementary, Marrs Middle, and Castelar Elementary.

“Showcase is a really important thing I do,” said Amaya, and although his dream is to watch his club grow, his main priority is to make sure that the students feel respected and heard. “I want the people to understand that we’re all together and your voice is validated,” he stated. He also said he is in desperate need for more guys to join the club. If you are interested in joining, registration will be open again in January.

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David Garcia, Staff Writer
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    Jeremy AmayaJan 11, 2024 at 1:17 pm

    Good job very secure and motivating