Arts & Entertainment
Nov. 6, 2012
Heads held high, Featherettes fly By Priya Lee
From pirouettes to jazz walks to dazzling performances, Fremont’s own dance team, the Featherettes, do it all. The dance season started with a bang at Dance Camp USA over the summer at UC Santa Cruz. It was a four-day dance camp made for dance teams, providing awards, such as an excellence award for choreography and Super Sensational awards for the girls. The camp was “very intense” and all they did there was “eat, sleep and dance,” according to Ofek Avidan-Antonir, sophomore. The dance team also practiced three times per week each week over the summer. Those practices put them ahead of the game, because they had more time to prepare for the upcoming season. The Featherettes currently practice Monday through Thursday for two hours a day and perform at all home football games during halftime, dancing to “Starships” or “Let Me Think About It.” “Performing is the best feeling in the world because everyone is screaming and you get that rush of adrenaline,” Adi Zilberstein, freshman, said. The Homecoming game was a big deal for the Featherettes, because they perform the “Georgia Porcupine” dance, which has been a Fremont Homecoming tradition for many years. Homecoming week was also a big event for the dance team, because each grade got to choreograph their own routine for their class rally and showcase their best tricks. Then, during the all-grade rally the Featherettes performed a lyrical dance to “Go Your Own Way.” This song and dance had a significant meaning to the girls on the team.
Priya Lee | The Phoenix
FEATHERETTES honor one of their two captains, Vivian Lue.
“The words were about letting our seniors go,” Zilberstein said. “Then they were about letting our coach go and showing how we’re going to stay strong if there’s someone leaving us.” A couple of weeks ago, the Featherettes did not have a coach. “We’re kind of like orphans,” Vivian Lue, senior, said. Despite all the obstacles they had to face, the dance team was determined to practice without a coach, holding sessions at Ortega Park. “We have great captains that are helping us get through this,” Kinoka Masumoto, sophomore, said.
The captains, Lue and Valerie Rico, helped the team get through their situation by cleaning up the routines and running the team all on their own. They had some help from Daniel Perez, an English teacher at Fremont and former ballet teacher, who supervised the dance team practices. But the girls on the team did most of the work. “Overcoming it was very simple,” Avidan-Antonir said. Since the Featherettes are such a close team, it was not hard for them to bond and make the best out of the bleak situation. “The strength of our team together is what makes the team good,” Rico said. “We’ve grown a lot as a group and we’ve gotten closer even though there were bumps along the road,” Lue said. The Featherettes just received a new coach, Miguel Mendoza, a couple of weeks ago. Since football season is over, the Featherettes are preparing for their competition season. They took home fourth overall for their small team and seventh overall for their intermediate team at last year’s national dance competition. “We did better than we ever expected,” Lue said. However, they’re still making improvements by being open-minded, focusing on looking clean and sharp and working harder than ever to do better than before. The Featherettes have had a rough season so far, but with strong leadership and partnership, they have overcome dilemmas and the season is likely to go downhill from here. “Although at times dance may be frustrating, the end result only matters if it satisfies me,” Sammi Ling, senior, said.
Hip-hop doesn’t stop
Don’t judge an iPod by its playlist
Nas let the world know how he felt about hip-hop when he released the album, Hip Hop Is Dead back in 2006, and since then, not much has changed. Hip-hop culture was born in the 1970s; a time led by many other extensive genres, like disco and punk rock, but it was the “rose that grew from concrete” in the hoods of the Bronx where it first originated. It was popular and thrived in the AfricanAmerican community, and was influenced partially by African art, beat-boxing and culture. Hip-hop could have very well started in the apartment of DJ Kool Herc, a legendary emcee on 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the ‘70s. However it started, it wasn’t limited by state boundaries and quickly spread to different areas of America, and the growth continued until various forms of hip-hop bloomed. West Coast and East Coast became rivals as the predominant branches of hip-hop, and the hip-hop scene began to be associated with gangs, profanity, drug use and gun violence. “You have to think about the motivation behind the lyrics and what the artist went through to create them,” Elliot Lehman, sophomore, said. “They could have been forced to do something for the sake of their family’s safety. Music is all about expressing emotions though sound, and that’s why that older hip-hop is better, because, in general, their lyrics are more meaningful.” While some individuals believe that these sensitive topics usually regarded negatively by society are what made hip-hop such a powerful and controversial movement to begin with, others disagree and have their own
One of the best things about music is how it comes in different varieties for various kinds of people. As individuals, people typically gravitate towards the type of music they find relatable to their life; music that epitomizes what they want in life, or just instruments and rhythms that give off a “feel good” vibe. The interesting thing about music is how similar it can be to people, when considering how main branches of music spread out and cover smaller sub-genres so that every person in this world has something they can relate to or find appealing. Just like society stereotypes those who dress and act a certain way, there’s stereotyping for music as well. Based on what you listen to, how loud you play your music, and other factors, each person blindly judges others, simply because their taste is music may not be alike or pre-set to look like a certain image. “I have musically stereotyped people before and I think we do this as humans because we all make prior judgments of people and when we see that our judgments don’t match up to how they are in reality we become shocked and voice our shock,” Ryan Pugh, sophomore, said. Pugh himself has been musically stereotyped, and while many people are uncomfortable or upset with the idea that they fit into a specific image they may not see themselves as, Pugh has a different outlook on the matter. “I don’t mind being musically stereotyped. I actually think it’s rather interesting because it allows me to see how people view me,” Pugh said. Others can’t help but be slightly offended as to how the world may view them based on their own uncontrollable preferences. “I don’t think music stereotypes are really fair because you can’t control what you like and why you like it. What’s popular isn’t always what you like,” Monsi Magal, sophomore, said. “Having individuality in music is something else that makes everyone unique.” While being musically stereotyped can give individuals a new angle on how society and their peers may view them,
By Parisa Ayoubi
beliefs. “I think that many music genres have a lifestyle associated with them, hence the quote ‘sex, drugs & rock ‘n’ roll’, but some have a more violent undertone to them,” Kristina Lechuga, sophomore, said. With violent and yet poetically artistic groups like Wu Tang Clan, The Notorious B.I.G, Tupac, Big L and NWA, hip-hop continued to develop from what people would call “street noise” into artists expressing spoken word, emotion and life stories. These rappers translated their sorrows and struggles into a relatable topic for other individuals who may have grown up in rougher areas of the country or have had to deal with traumatic events as a young adult. With success comes rivalries. And with hip-hop rivalries, more common to the hip-hop community than other genres of music, comes gun violence and murder. In fact, the majority of all deceased rappers were victims of random murders, with rare exceptions. Examples of the most well-known and tragic passings include the death of The Notorious B.I.G, fondly known as Biggie, and Tupac, rivals from the East and West coast who were killed and whose murder cases have not been solved to this day, 15 years later. Although numerous original hip-hop artists are still alive and countless others have passed, the ones who remain have reached their mid and late 40s and 50s. As a result, their lifestyles are slowing down; music-making no longer a priority for them as they age. They start to fade out of the picture, and new generations replace their positions as influential and intelligent beings, but don’t seem to quite fit the shoes. “I feel like sometimes
the songs on the radio are too similar. A lot of artists do the same type of things and that kinda annoys me,” Sabina Dayal, sophomore, said. Popular artists like Drake, Nicki Minaj, Tyga, 2Chainz and the hip-hop affiliated group Young Money currently rules the hip-hop/ rap section on iTunes and top charts, while they dominate radio stations with songs that boast and brag about various superficial things, a feature older hip-hop generally didn’t support. “I feel like music artists aren’t making music for a purpose other than making money,” said Lechuga. “True music comes from the heart with no other intention than to make music, because it takes passion and dedication.” And still some of those who have witnessed the rise and “fall” of hip-hop are more hopeful for the present and future. “I think the current genre of radio hip-hop will separate into another sub-genre of hip-hop, just like what happened with different genres of metal,” Lehman said. “And hopefully, styles like Odd Future and Wu Tang will become more popular so that artists will become more attracted to producing music similar to that.” While lyrics like, “Make it nasty, drop drop it on a b----, make it nasty,” might speak to today’s youth, s omething older and perhaps more meaningful, like, “A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but one,” there is no doubt that hip-hop has evolved. It’s up to each individual to consider the struggles rappers and artists had to overcome and the emotions they showcase in their lyrics to decide on whether it’s for better or worse.
By Parisa Ayoubi and Courtney O’ Hanneson
Courtney O’Hanneson | The Phoenix
it’s a ponderous topic as to why we even have music stereotypes. Perhaps it’s because music is a gateway to our souls, and as individuals, we choose the type of music that appeals to us most, be it techno, alternative rock, pop, or hip-hop/rap. What we choose is what we are judged on. Music has always had such a prominent influence in culture and people, which is why when musically stereotyped, it can cause people to look down upon you, simply because you don’t see the beauty in their favorite kind of music. When tracing the beginnings of music stereotypes, history has blurred its’ origination. Music stereotypes are a branch of original stereotypes, something society is taught is disrespectful and a mass generalization. Music stereotypes are the same, interestingly enough. Just because one Asian boy enjoys techno doesn’t mean the whole Asian population wide-spread across the world does also, and just because one African-American male likes hip-hop/rap doesn’t mean he can’t like rock or pop or country as well. The amount of people that have been musically stereotyped compared to how many of those individuals actually mind being stereotyped is a strange number, seeing how low it is. Whatever the definite reason may be, a reasonable guess would be because of how spread out music selection can be, especially with so many genres of music around the youth of today that interest in something new isn’t uncommon at all. In the end, it’s what makes you feel invincible and gives you physical and emotional strength, so plug in your headphones, crank up the music, and jam out to Dubstep, Rihanna, or Taylor Swift.