The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

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La Noche Cultural celebrates diverse Hispanic culture

Ariana Goetting
Spanish teachers Diana Moss and Isabel Garcia dance the cumbia to “Baila Esta Cumbia” by Selena. Attendees also danced the salsa at the end of the night in a competition.

Students and faculty gathered to celebrate La Noche Cultural, Spanish Culture Night, on April 19. Hosted by the Spanish National Honor Society, the annual event welcomes past and present Spanish students to enjoy a night of traditional Spanish food, performances and games.

“This year, we had more acts than ever, and we were slightly concerned about how it would feel for the audience to listen to that many,” Spanish teacher and Spanish National Honor Society faculty adviser Abel Olivas said. “But we mixed them up so that they remained engaged. Many of them wanted the participation of the audience, so that made [them] even richer. I was really impressed with the quality of the acts.”

Brianna Madrigal (9) serenades attendees with “La llorona,” a Mexican folk song. She also danced to “La negra” with Mariana Ryder (12), Sofia Vasquez-Perez (10) and Natalie Warmdahl (9) earlier in the night. (Ariana Goetting)

Students performed Spanish songs, skits and dances to kick off the event. Five of 16 acts featured student-performed songs, like “Recuérdame” sung by Max Xing (12), accompanied by Carol Song (12) on the guitar. Faculty acts included “Asturiana,” sung by English teacher Beth Wahl. Students also performed dances, performing “La Negra,” a traditional Spanish folk dance, and “Bum Bum Tam Tam,” a reggaeton dance. Several AP Spanish Language and Culture students performed a skit about a family scandal in the style of “Caso Cerrado,” a Spanish courtroom reality TV show students watched in the class.

“Watching everybody do their acts is really awesome because you see people you don’t really see every day, and you see what they’re capable of doing and their talents,” performer Bhavya Srinivasan (11) said. “When we’re all dancing together here, we’ve never really talked to each other, but we all form such a bond in the moment. We’re all kind of family here.”

All students participated in a salsa dancing competition, in which pairs were eliminated from the dance floor by teachers until all but three teams remained. Bhavya and Sid Sanghari (11) won the competition out of the last three pairs.

To finish off the event, attendees formed a conga line and danced together, sharing laughs as salsa music blasted through the speakers. The group dance was Spanish 4 student MacEnzie Blue (10)’s favorite part of the night.

Performers and salsa competition winners Sid Sanghari (11) and Bhavya Srinivasan (11) dance. The audience voted on the winners with cheers and applause. (Ariana Goetting)

“It was really fun because I got to participate in the dance with everyone, which was a mix of Spanish cultures,” MacEnzie said. “It was fun to just enjoy the moment with everyone because this event happens only once a year. I really love the people, the music and the dances.”

After La Noche Cultural, many attendees stayed behind to talk to their past Spanish teachers or chat with other students. Bhavya reflected on how Spanish language and culture creates a strong sense of community.

Spanish National Honor Society’s cooking committee poses in front of their paella. SNHS organizes and hosts the annual event. (Ariana Goetting)

“We’re bonding over something we’re all learning and we all love, or we’ve learned in the past,” Bhavya said. “I think it’s really important because although our school is small compared to other schools, we’re a huge group of students, so finding some kind of community in such a huge group is really an awesome thing. We all work together to make this happen, and it’s really inspiring.”

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About the Contributors
Lily Shi
Lily Shi, Reporter
Lily Shi (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Lily hopes to get to know the members of the journalism team and write many meaningful articles. In her free time, she likes to dance, read, and spend time with her friends.
Ashley Mo
Ashley Mo, Reporter
Ashley Mo (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Ashley hopes to write about stories both within and outside of the Harker community, form friendships on the journalism team and learn more about global news events. In her free time, she enjoys playing golf and listening to music.
Ariana Goetting
Ariana Goetting, Winged Post Co-Editor-in-Chief
Ariana Goetting (12) is the co-editor-in-chief of the Winged Post, and this is her fourth year on staff. This year, Ariana looks forward to designing creative page layouts for the Winged Post, getting to know everyone on staff better and taking more photos. Outside of the journalism room, she enjoys drinking overpriced iced coffees, oil painting and watching movies with her family.

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