Page 1

De tijlen THE STYLES

Inside Yearbook The people behind the cameras page 15

Choir’s Impact

A look at the different perspectives of students inside choir page 33


Twists and Turns A new look at dance competitions page 24

Drawn to Art

An introduction to the art class at LASA page 8

Letter From the Editor


o, some of you may be wondering about the title De Stijilen, and there is a very good explanation for that. De Stijil, or neoplasticism, was a Dutch artistic movement in 1917, and it uses many different materials and colors in the art. All of us were very inspired when we found this, so we thought it would be appropriate to contribute De Stijl into our magazine. We thought that we would call the it De Stjilen because it means ‘The Styles,’ and our magazine is about the different styles of art such as dancing, photography, singing, and painting/sculpting/drawing. The main color scheme for a De Stijl piece is on the cover and used throughout the pages of the magazine. When you read this magazine, we hope that you will become more interested in the world of arts, and even if you aren’t interested afterwards, we hope that you have learned something worthwhile. Every person who helped make this magazine had a great time figuring out which classes to present to you and what to tell you about them. I think that one of the most challenging subjects we faced was not putting our own opinions and thoughts into the articles because we are all so passionate about what we write. Whenever I put someone’s idea onto the document, I would have this huge urge to write my answers to the questions I asked as a follow up to what the interviewee had said, but all is well and there are few editorializing mistakes now. We hope you enjoy this very special issue of De Stijilen.

-Megan Smith

photo by Sarah Edgar


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Contributors Andrea

photo by Sierra Obermoeller-Gilmer

Andrea Garza can be usually found laying on her couch

or found at the park playing basketball. She absolutely loves french fries, cheeseburgers and a root beer. Well, she just loves food in general! She also loves to have a great time with friends and family. Megan Smith said, “Andrea loves to talk to herself,” however Andrea thinks that’s not true... but it is! She also finds herself dreaming about the day she will get to sing in front of thousands of people.


photo by Andrea Garza

Eunice Kim can usually be found scrolling through posts

and blogs on Tumblr, Instagram and other social networking sites and apps. She really enjoys dancing in her free time, both competitively and for fun. Because her mom was a ballerina, she has been involved in dance ever since she was born. That’s why she doesn’t really enjoy ballet! She also loves food, but not as much as Andrea does. She is currently a new member of the LBJ/LASA First Ladies Dance Team and is looking forward to next year.

Meet the crew


photo by Megan Smith

Sierra Obermoeller-Gilmer, former yearbook student, can commonly be found crouching in an absurd position to achieve an eye-level photo of a squirrel. When she isn’t practicing photography she is procrastinating doing her Latin homework with a Brandon Sanderson novel and a bowl of ice cream. She claims to be an avid defender of the Oxford comma and is disheartened with the restriction of using them in this electronic magazine.


photo by Sierra Obermoeller-Gilmer

Megan Smith will come running out loud in the hallway if

you say “The Legend of Zelda,” “Lord of the Rings” or manga. At home, you can find her playing “Skyward Sword,” having a “Lord of the Rings” marathon bundled up in a blanket, on the floor drawing in her sketchbook, or just staring at the ceiling with a book on her stomach and a cup of Lady Grey tea in her hands. She is ecstatic about going to see “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” with her friends, and yes, she will be going to the movie dressed as an elf. De stijlen


Table of Contents Cool Contemporary Creations 8 Drawn to Art 6


photo by Sarah Edgar

From Ancient to Automatic 16 Through Another Lens 12


photo by Paula Paysan

Decide and Dance 24 Between Twists & Turns 20


photo by Tina Hughes

Singing Posture 33 Voices, Friends & Family 30


photo by Cory Denena


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Painting Classes There may come a day when the creativity of man fails, but it is not THIS day! Classes for beginners and veterans are offered. Acrylics, oils, and watercolors!

Great fun with friends AND family! Become the artist you were destined to be!

Gondorian Art Studios 3791 Vigorous Spring Ln. 121212 Minas Tirith, Rohan

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GENERAL FACTS Contemporary Art usually... References pop culture, mass media, humanities and art history. Can be seen in parks, installations, events, online and other public places. Critiques the meaning of beauty, authority and originality. Uses a combo of materials, methods and subjects to create a non-traditional piece. Is created in groups of artists, individually or with an audience of people.


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This piece is called Santa Monica, and it is an above ground level view of the city Santa Monica. Tinglof has painted many aerial views of the modern western United States in her time as an artist. Much contemporary art portrays the society and culture of today whether it be its landscapes or its people. It can also show modern media and incorporate music and technology. Not only did this artist paint views of cities from above ground, but she would paint themes and ideas that are unknown to people or that have been wondered about for years. In New Territory, Tinglof portrays the interested confusion that people have when they discover new places. Contemporary art often uses timeless themes and forgotten history to generate new ideas and emotions in the viewer. When Tinglof painted Surface Tension, she was remembering what she saw and the feelings she had while flying with her dad in his airplane. Though this work may mean one thing to her, it could mean another thing for her viewers. The viewer completes the piece with his/her own emotions, experiences, and interpretations.

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This is the art room where the art classes take place; it is used during lunch for artwork and recreation.


Photo taken by: Megan Smith

By: Megan Smith

An introduction to the art classes and students at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy.


arah Edgar, a freshman at LASA high school, walks into her art classroom excitedly anticipating what she is going to do today in one of her favorite classes. She looks around and notices some assorted objects spread out across the room: plastic flowers, cardboard shapes, and plaster hands. Her teacher, Jessica Michlik, said that they would be working with still lifes for the next week. Sarah drew from three different angles a still life that the instructor had made. Then, after the illustration had been approved, the real fun began. Sarah set up a pair of plaster hands with pearls around them, and she delicately and swiftly sketched them. After completing the drawing and getting it approved by the teacher, she began to paint while carefully capturing the light that was reflected off of all of the different surfaces. After hours of hard, concentrated work, Sarah had the satisfaction of holding her very own, genuine still life. “I thought that just being able to pick 8

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what you were drawing was the most memorable part of the class,” Edgar, an art student at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy said. “I remember that really well because I could set up whatever I wanted- millions of different things. I got to create it on my own!” According to Edgar, being able to create masterpieces and express oneself through art are two very useful and enjoyable skills to have, and being in an art class is a great way to begin harnessing them. Experimenting with different kinds of art enhances the creativity that is needed for other classes in school and projects or extracurriculars that take place outside of school. Many different types of mediums are experimented with on a daily basis in class, and learning about them has really given the students an appreciation for art and a better understanding of how important it really is to them. As stated by Michlik, in order to learn and appreciate art and the class, it is

important to have a nicely structured schedule to keep everyone on track and to make sure that different types of mediums and tools are experimented with equally. “A typical day in class involves an introduction to the project, which happens about four times a six weeks, where we cover art history, technique, use of materials as well as going over previously learned techniques and materials,” says Michlik. “I will do a demonstration of the new technique and show a few examples of what we will be making. From there we will practice the technique as a large group, and then go over the rubric for the major project. Clean up is a must at the end of each class period.” Edgar says that even though learning new mediums, styles and history may seem a bit overwhelming in a six weeks period, everyone has shown a great passion for the various techniques.

“There was one project that was doing a self portrait in four different mediums, all in one picture,” Edgar says. “I remember being overwhelmed with covering all of the details of my hair and wrinkles in my clothes. The sheer size of the paper we had to fill out was intimidating on it’s own. I really like that we do different types of mediums and that you get a taste of everything though. First we did painting in acrylic paint and we’re doing print making now. We did sculpture, so there were many types we got to try before we take the next class so I thought that was really nice.” Aside from the fondness of the diversity of techniques and styles of art that are presented in the class, every student has their own preferred style of art such as sculpting or painting. “I really liked the painting because we were painting still lifes,” Edgar says. “You could really look at it and see it really easily without it changing much. I prefer using acrylics because it’s really thick and I can use that for anything that I’m painting. The different values are really easy to portray in different ways. If something is too light then you can go over it and make it darker. I don’t like watercolor because you can’t change it once it’s been down on paper.” Aaliyah Tucker, another art student at LASA, has experimented with mediums that she likes and dislikes as well. “I’m not very good at painting or sculpting, but I really enjoy water colors,” Tucker says. “I’m someone who is really into coordination and can not get over being a perfectionist. Sculpting with clay specifically is therefore a significant challenge, as clay is a difficult substance for me to manage. I am also not a big fan of creating 3D art because I happen to be very talented at making horribly irreversible mistakes. Drawing, however, happens to fall onto the opposite side of this spectrum. It is by far the easiest medium for me because it is more familiar and I have far better control over a pencil than a clay scalpel. I’ve actually had teachers who were surprised when I turned in

Drawing by: Aaliyah Tucker

Lucario was drawn on paper with a #2 pencil.

some homework that was completely unscathed by the weird jumble I call my mind. Once a teacher even left a little comment on a comic I drew on my math review in middle school, and I was purely dumbfounded.”

when they move to AP or by the end of the course, they are able to creatively execute a final product using these technical skills.”

Even though the students have different tastes in art, they both share a passion for learning about and creating artwork. At LASA, still lifes, drawing, sculpting, and watercolors are not the only kinds of art that are available to learn about. Michlik herself teaches Art I, Drawing III and Drawing IV, Painting III and Painting IV, Print Making III and Print Making IV, AP 2D Design Portfolio, and AP Drawing Portfolio. She and the other teachers give lessons about a considerable amount of art that appeal to all students, and though most these classes focus mainly on one kind of art, there are a few universal skills that are taught to all of the students. “We learn many different skills in each class,” Michlik says. “Some of the skills that are covered constantly in all classes are: craftsmanship, composition, value, color, and working from observation. It is important these different styles and skills so that students may apply them to their projects and include them in their creative process. My goal is that

Having great artistry is extremely useful in school and in the art class itself, but it also helps the students in ways that some people do not even notice. Although it can be used as a de-stress or a past time, some people prefer for art to be something only used in school. “I don’t take that much time outside of class like I used to in order to do artwork,” Edgar says. “I used to paint on my own- some pictures that I would find on the internet, and I didn’t learn very much. Once I had the basics, all down I didn’t really learn anything else. Being in the class has helped me grow from one medium to another and be better at specific mediums.” Many people like to teach themselves how to draw and paint, but some say that it is much better to learn in a class because it is very helpful to have an experienced person giving you tips and ideas on how to make the artwork better. “I definitely prefer learning in the class because the teacher is really good, and she’s tried a lot of different mediums; de stijilen



she can help you with anything you have to ask,” Edgar says. “It’s nice to have advice on what you should do for composition and the mechanics of your projects. Ms. Michlik once helped me with a painting of a flower, I wanted to paint a purple tulip but I put it directly in the center of my piece. She showed me the fundamental technique of creating stronger composition by moving objects to the grid of thirds.” Studying in class also allows one to experience and learn things that would be hard or impossible to discover unassisted. “Learning alone wouldn’t allow me to expand my horizons, and learning in a class allows me to discover and learn things I couldn’t on my own,” Tucker says. About every three weeks in art class, we go to a different medium, and there are different mediums per section, such as pastel or water colors in painting. Because of this, I’ve gotten to feel around and test out every section, which has lead to my rediscovery of the magic that is water colors. Also, we recently did a new kind of print making in the class, where we place a piece of Plexiglas over an image and carve out the image. This was actually one of my favorite things we’ve done all year, because it was basically drawing on plastic. So, overall I do prefer learning in class.” In addition to learning, getting ideas in class and studying the work of other artists, the students are able to find inspiration for their work in the things

they see and experience in their everyday lives. “I admire a lot of artists, but I try not to do art that is similar to theirs because it’s not spontaneous and it’s not my completely my creation,” Edgar says. “I find my inspiration from things around me like if I see a flower outside then that’s something that will inspire me. I find inspiration from the little things around me. My mother is a certified habitat steward, so I see a lot of different flowers pass through our hands while she raises them. One day I saw a pink and yellow flower that had the body shape of a shrimp, so I decided to draw it. I used an old sketchbook of my dad’s and regular school pencils to draw the shadows and textures of it in black and white.”

According to Bertram, the breath section of the portfolio is where you showcase general art skills, and the concentration section is where one selects a specific area of art to focus on. When the concentration is presented, it has to be very cohesive as if it were to be displayed in an art show.

Being able to get inspiration from the little things in life is a really great way to let creativity flow in the classroom, but art is not only beneficial for class and art projects. It can also be incorporated into many occupations such as graphic design, advertising, architecture, industrial design, fashion design, product and label design, furniture design, photography, game design, illustration, painting, print making, textile design, medical illustration, and sculpting. However, before pursuing a career in art, one must complete a portfolio just like Jasmine Bertram, a senior at LASA, is doing right now. “Whenever you’re going to take AP you have to create a portfolio that you’ll submit to the AP people,” Bertram says.

Sculpture by: Jasmine Bertram This piece was created was made with toothpicks that were glued together with hot glue in triangles.

“It’s basically just photographs of all your work because you can’t send in all of the artwork to get it graded, so you take photographs. For 3D art there’s a breath section and a concentration section.”


“For my concentration I’m doing a form and functionality which is like points between seemingly functional forms and seemingly non-functional forms and reversing those roles,” Bertram says. “I’m in 3D so functional items would be like things you could actually use, like bowls and cups. Also, the one I’m working on now is geometric forms becoming less geometric when they’re done, so it’s like a contrast between types of forms and shapes. I looked online for inspiration for my piece, because I wanted to do something more geometric than I had. I saw this guy who had made geometric sculptures out of pencil lead, but I chose to use toothpicks because it’s a little bit easier. I made a small model out of toothpicks, but I eventually got annoyed with gluing them all together, so I decided that it would be cool to have a smaller version and a larger version out of pieces of false wood. I chose to do this particular shape mostly out of triangles with hard edges, but the overall form of the piece is pretty organic and swoops upwards, so it has that contrast of geometric shapes that have an organic form.” Even though there are many uses for art in the real world, some people would prefer to keep creating artwork a hobby.


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“I do not consider art as something for a career,” Tucker says. “In fact, I don’t really want art to have much to do with it. It’s not something I will consider making a living off of. It’s just something I do for fun. I do think it is something that I will do more in my later life. I never planned to make my drawings into something on exhibit,

Still Life was painted with acrylics on canvas. Two plaster hands and cloths are portrayed in this painting.

Painting by: Sarah Edgar

because they are more like hobbies. I do plan to make some online comics in the future, but that will be the distant future and it will be open to the public.” Another way to learn to appreciate the visual arts is to join an art club. However, LASA does not have an art club this year due to some problems that arose. “We actually don’t have an art club this year,” Michlik says. “We have had an art club for the last three years but this year it seemed as if no one wanted to be president. The club meeting times conflicted with other clubs as well as a majority of the members graduating last year. We hope to have one again next year!” Maybe there will be another art club next year so that many people can come and experience art in way that they never knew possible. The students in the art class really love to be there, and the teachers including Michlik have so many

Pink Rose was painted on acrylics on paper.

Painting by: Sarah Edgar

techniques and skills that they teach in order to bring appreciation to the arts and make the students’ futures brighter and more creative.

“Visual art really does change the way we look at the world, and I see that in my students all the time.”

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A lot happened in camera history to get to where we are today with the considerable technology we have at our fingertips. Take a look back at how much the camera has grown in the transition between naturally occurring projectors and extensive photo sharing on Facebook.

by Sierra Obermoeller-Gilmer Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell creates the first color picture by photographing the tartan ribbon three times through different colored filters and putting them all together into one color composite.

photo by J. Paul Getty Museum

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce took the first permanent photograph of his upstairs window using a camera obscura and a light-sensitive solution. It required a exposure to light for at least eight hours and had an extensive process before and after the picture was captured.



photo by James Clerk Maxwell










The Daguerreotype, invented by Louis Daguerre, was the first actual camera. It used copper plates to capture the light but needed an exposure to the light for 10 to 20 minutes.

The first American patent for photography was awarded to Alexander Wolcott and his camera.

Sources: The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, National Geographic, Kodak, Robert Leggat, David Balihar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mary Bellis, Roy D’Silva, Jennifer Van Grove and Digtal Trends.


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A camera obscura, Latin for “dark chamber,” formed the basis for all the cameras we know today despite being more a projector than a camera itself. It is a simple box with a pinhole in one side that creates an inverted image on the opposite side of the box. The same propagation of light via a small hole can be found in nature everyday.

The first advertisement to feature a photograph was released in Philadelphia.





Frederick Scoff Archer created the wet plate. He coated glass with silver salts that would create a more stable image and would only required two or three seconds of light exposure.

photo by Bruce Schultz

photo by Edward Muybridge


photo by Tim Williams



George Eastman introduced gelatin dry plates to be used instead of the messy wet plates that were previously customary in photography. Dry plates proved much more convenient than the laborious wet plates which needed to be coated, used immediately and then developed while still wet.

The first transparent roll film was introduced for commercial use. This was deemed the birth of snapshot photography because it allowed even amateurs to easily take multiple photos as well as made portable photography possible.

Instant color photography was made possible for all photographers with “Polacolor� film for use in Polaroid instant cameras. It produced small color prints on paper.




photo by Tim Williams

W NO There are approximately 140 billion photos, 10,000 times the number of photos there is in the Library of Congress, that have been uploaded onto Facebook.

photo by Rabab Khan

Konica put forward the first autofocus, pointand-shoot camera for the masses.


2000 A cell phone was manufactured by Samsung and released in South Korea was the first with a built-in camera. You had to hook the phone up to your computer to get the photos and they were very low resolution.

Minolta introduces the Weathermatic, the first underwater camera available in the market.

photo by Simon Hill De stijlen

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The new

Nikon COOLPIX S6500 comes equipped with

a 12x optical zoom,

a 16-megapixel backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor, a large variety of user-friendly features, including five new Glamour Retouch effects and

facial recognition!

through another lens story by Sierra Obermoeller-Gilmer

Despite the yearbook being a collection of memories and experiences your mother made you buy, not many people know how the book is created. Some vaguely remember seeing the yearbook students with cameras at football games and dances but never realized how much more there is behind the yearbook than just taking pictures.

photo by Paula Paysan


he pulls the door behind her as she strolls into the classroom and is greeted with the rhythmic click of keyboards. She takes a seat with her group and waits for a task from one of the editors. After listening to the editor give advice and state the goals for the day she pulls her chair to a computer and logs on herself. She pulls up the drive of photos taken by herself and other students and opens the spread she’s working on while trying to find a comfortable position in her uncomfortable chair.

for any individual in yearbook, and that some students even come in at any time they can to work on the book. Lasater is new to high school yearbook although she was an editor for the Kealing Magazine before she got to LBJ/LASA.

Phoebe Lasater is one of the yearbook students for the Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA). According to Lasater, each of the committed yearbook student has their own specific job and responsibilities to cover for the book. She says the dedication involved is huge

Despite the increased responsibility of being in high school yearbook, Lasater said she still enjoys being a part of creating the yearbook and also appreciates the sentiments of looking back at the yearbook in later years. “I think the yearbook is really

“In high school there’s a lot more people you have to cover and there’s a lot more pages so you have work a lot more efficiently,” Lasater said. “Also just as a freshman they changed from being in charge of the entire yearbook to being in charge of only a couple spreads.”

Some yearbook students enjoy taking their camera with them everywhere. Practicing the art of photography beyond the confines of the school campus, Jared Jung took his camera with him to a mountain resort.


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important to catalogue everything that’s accomplished, everything that’s done in a year, and it makes students able to look back on their years in high school and reminisce about that,” Lasater said. As part of the yearbook staff, Lasater spends her time in the yearbook class taking pictures, putting together a spread and interviewing students as well as just doing anything one of the editors assigned for her to do. “The biggest challenge would probably be getting over the fear of talking to people and getting real quotes from them, not just the fake ‘oh I thought it was fun’ and actually talking to people,” Lasater said. “Also actually getting the real pictures not just the normal friends standing together pictures and just meeting the deadlines is difficult.”

Student editors are important for the yearbook, not only because of their own work but also because of how they keep the others focused and on topic. “The week of the deadline, everybody freaks out a little bit because there is a lot of stuff due and a lot of times, not all the time, were not quite ready for it,” Lasater said. “So everyone is kind of scrambling to get quotes and we really have to work together to get everything done and that’s when the editors are really important because they can really help you pull together your spread for the deadline.” After the yearbook staffers take pictures, they are then in the hands of LASA’s photo editor, Andrea CanizaresFernandez. Canizares-Fernandez is in charge of all aspects of pictures in

the yearbook, from taking them to organizing the labels on the photos. “I’m responsible for organizing all the pictures in our photo drive and making sure we have labels on all of them so we know who takes what pictures. I also have to take most of the team photos and game pictures for sports so I have to go to all the football games to take pictures,” Canizares-Fernandez said. “So I’m basically organizing my schedule and making sure that everyone has all the pictures that they need and if I can’t go take the pictures then I make sure that someone else has the availability to take the pictures. ” Canizares-Fernandez says that being the photo editor for LBJ/LASA comes with many responsibilities and challenges. Canizares-Fernandez says not everyone

goes to all the events and LBJ doesn’t always cooperate when asked about clubs they have so it can be difficult to cover all the students. Despite this, Canizares-Fernandez strives to cover everyone in the yearbook. “I think it’s important to try to include as many people as you can, not just this certain group that always end up in pictures and this year we’re trying to focus on that,” Canizares-Fernandez said. The teacher of the yearbook class plays an important part in yearbook just like the student yearbook staffers and editors do. While the teachers don’t actively make spreads themselves, they watch over students to make sure they stay organized and meet deadlines. Brian Martinez is a yearbook teacher at LBJ/

Yearbook slang Spread

Side-by-side facing pages in the yearbook.

Saddle stitched

The binding method used to hold pages in the yearbook together.


An action shot, as opposed to a photo that is posed.


The area in a design program that is outside of the spread.

Die cut

A shape cut through paper revealing a design underneath.


A tag used to describe the page specifications outside of the printed area.


A “loose” or “tight” alignment of the process colors on press.

photo by Yama Sultani De stijlen

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LASA. “Personally I think the yearbook is awesome because Martinez tells us pretty much every day that this is going to be one of the last things that kids have published of themselves so it kind of reminds you that in the future, this is what people are going to look back on and remember what they were like because people change so much,” Canizares-Fernandez said. The student staff and teachers aren’t the only ones forming the yearbook, sales representatives play a large part in devising the yearbook as well. Brad Golub is a representative from Jostens, a publishing company that provides the yearbook and class rings for many schools. Currently, Golub is the sales representative for all of Central Texas yearbooks for Jostens. “I work with over 100 schools so I basically work out of my car,” Golub said. “I drive and I meet with about six to eight schools a day and help them with their books.” Golub has an extensive journalism and teaching background himself. He was a three year photo editor for Northeastern University’s newspaper before working on the Boston Herald and Boston Globe. “My roots are in journalism and

Photographers know their camera and how to set it for different lighting conditions. Yearbook students also have to be aware of their surroundings to get the whole story.

photography is really my main love,” Golub said. “Once I got out of college I did photography professionally for 12 years before becoming a yearbook adviser and journalism teacher at a high school in the Dallas area.” Golub gives counsel to the yearbook classes he visits and oversees their yearbook’s creation from beginning to end. He covers the business aspects of the yearbooks and also has to make sure the students hit all their deadlines. “I come into the schools and basically give them advice,” Golub said. “We deal with business, sales, ad sales and different ways to sell the book and make money to meet the bill at the end.”

photo by Bill Trueit

With Golub’s considerable background he is able to give the students advice on more than just business and covers design too. “I also meet with the student editors and talk design and give them advice on why or why not they should do certain things to the page,” Golub said. Interacting with the students of yearbook is one of Golub’s favorite aspects of his job, however Golub greatly appreciates all sides of his occupation. “I can still tap into my journalism roots and still help teach but at the same time I have the freedom to make my own schedule which is kind of cool,” Golub said. “I enjoy business so I have a business aspect of it also so this job has become sort of a perfect storm for me.” Golub claims that despite the hard work and dedication involved in the creation of the book throughout the year, yearbook makes for a great experience for anyone involved. Golub has a fair share of amusing experiences from his many years yearbook, one of his schools in Round Rock even nicknamed him “Fluffy” last year.

photo by USAF Yearbooks are used in countries around the world as a way to document the year, even in Slovakia. There is always meaning behind the name of a yearbook. The La Ventana of Texas Tech University means “the window” and was chosen in keeping with the Spanish-themed architecture. The military uses a yearbook as well. Even warships of the United States Navy produce a yearbook style publication called a “cruise book.”


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“At the end of last year as a thank you they bought me this fluffy stuffed animal, which my kids love to play with, that is remaining in my garage and because of them my six year old now calls me Fluffy too,” Golub said.

Sony QX10 & QX100 for iPhone/Android

Canon Camera Lens Mug

Snack Cap Lens Cap

Fun gifts and gadgets for all of your photography needs.

Decide and Dance


by Eunice Kim

s people and societies evolved, ways of expressing values changed, thus creating different styles and different movements of dance. According to, dance is the movement of expression one can pour all of one’s feelings, problems and personality into. So, personality and mood can definitely affect a person’s “mood” of dance. Ballet, hip hop, jazz, modern and contemporary dance are some of the most popular dance styles practiced and performed today. Ballet is not just about tutus and turns - it actually requires a tremendous amount of discipline and conciseness in order to be performed correctly. As stated in, ballet is widely known as the building block of all the other types of dance because it teaches posture impeccably. One of the newer styles of dance, hip hop, is a way to demonstrate creativity and self expression. Hip hop can be described from loud to beautiful and contains an abundance of daring movements. . Jazz, as Wikipedia expressed, is more correlated to pop music, which makes it fun and interesting to perform and watch. Jazz dance relies more on originality and improvisation, unlike ballet. And lastly, modern and contemporary are the most similar. Modern dance was created to rebel against classical ballet and focuses instead on expressing inner feelings while contemporary is the combination of classical, modern, jazz and ballet, and can have unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed and direction. So what are you feeling today? What are you usually like? Find out what kind of dancer you are by answering personality questions! This might be the chance to find your hidden talent.


Quiet but different once you get to know me


Do you usually wear your hair up?

Do you usually wear sneakers?



Jazz 20

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Are you a messy person?


Do you like dressing up?



What describes you the best?


Does fast paced music make you want to dance?

Outgoing, weird and fun



Are you sensitive?


Do you listen to rap music?


Are you flexible?




Do you like light colors?



Do you like wearing accessories?




Hip Hop

Hip Hop No



Do you like reading?

Yes Laptop

Are you athletic?

Laptop or desktop?








A little bit Are you yourself around people?



Is technique the most important aspect of dance?



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Picture by Jaime Herrera Black Diamonds practicinag their Team Modern in their dressing room. As anxiety fills the room, the girls dance it off.

Behind Twists & Turns Leap into the girls’ dance shoes and learn all about dance


tepping out onto the gym floor, the First Ladies swallowed hard and took a deep breath. It was time. The walls of the gym seemed to close in on them. Breaking the tension, the officers started counting as the girls marched to the beat and adjusted to the practiced formation. The dancers looked out into the crowd and gave the team’s director, Tina Hughes, a nervous smile. Noticing the panic and anxiety on their faces, Hughes responded with a small thumbs up. Then, the music was on. With sweat beading down their faces and their bodies naturally reacting to the music, the worries were instantaneously forgotten. Hughes looked back to the crowd and noticed the smiles on their faces. Relieved, she turned a little bit more to get a quick glimpse of the judges’ faces. They were smiling also, quickly marking down some notes and speaking to the recorder, evaluating her team. Hughes turned back to the team 24

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competitions. by. Eunice Kim

with pride gleaming in her eyes. The music finally stopped along with the dancers in their final position, breathing hard. They marched out of the gym as practiced and as the doors closed, the crowd erupted with a roar. “After I finish a dance in competition, I usually feel relieved,” Hannah Read, a member of the First Ladies, LASA High School’s dance team, said. “Competing is stressful, and it is so relaxing to know you are done and you gave everything you could out on the floor.” A dance competition is the most important occasion in all of a high school dance team’s events because it gives the dancers a reason to improve individually and as a whole. Not only does competitions improve the technique of a dance team, they also establish a sense of responsibility and duty. Individually, the dancers develop goals for the competition in

their heads and, within the time period they have until a competition, they try to accomplish it. With this goal, the individuals grow to be better dancers and contribute greatly to the success of the team. Dance competitions are not just for entertainment and titles, for they discipline the dancers and teach them responsibility, teamwork and passion. “Just being able to show off what we have done... We are not very competitive as a team, not that we don’t go and do our best, but I feel like competition is not the main reason why we go and do things,” Hughes said. “We go do things to show off our hard-work. And if we win something that’s awesome, but if not that’s okay too. We went and did our best.” As the more advanced dance techniques were seen and used in competitions, dance directors from different schools started having auditions to pick out the

more developed dancers from their teams. The audition process is different for each school and director. Generally in an audition, the dancers will present a dance (same combo for everyone) in groups in front of a set of judges, including the director. The dancer’s technical ability, however, is not the only factor that decides whether or not that person is accepted into the contest company. The dancer’s daily behavior in the team and the formal appearance in the audition are also counted in the audition rubric. Even though this system is intimidating to most of the dancers, it is a resourceful way to wisely start onto the road to success. “The expectations for skill level, even on the middle school level, have gotten to be demanding,” Jaime Herrera, the director of Black Diamonds, Henry Middle School’s Dance Team, said. “You have to be able to narrow down to the more intermediate - advanced level dancers to keep up with the competition and be successful.” Even before the audition, the directors have to have an idea of what styles of dances they want their team to perform at a competition. Music choices usually depend on the style of dance chosen from jazz, hip-hop, novelty, modern, military, lyrical, pom, prop, kick, open, contemporary and show production. Music choice is very important. The team has to be careful not to choose well known songs, for other teams may have the same song - and that may bore the judges and affect the score of the dance.

Picture by Tina Hughes The First Ladies smile with satisfaction from winning a sweepstakes in Officer Jazz, Best in Class in Team Hip Hop, 3rd in Lyrical, and 2nd in Novelty.

according to Miah Lapeyrolerie, a member of Vista Ridge High School’s Dance Team, a unique and never-seen costume will stick in the judges’ minds and benefit the score of the dance.

“Honestly, I go to the Outlet Mall to

see what is available. You know, I have an idea. This year for hip hop we had a costume that was fairly easy that people had in their closets,” Hughes said. “So I try to make it as easy as possible. I don’t like to go and spend a ton of money on something they’ll maybe wear once then never wear it again. So I’m pretty good at hunting down bargains and looking for things like that. But we always get good kudos on our costumes.”

“Sometimes it’s just me going ‘Okay, I like that song’. We try to stay away from music that is going to drive us nuts after listening to something for six months,” Hughes said. “But inevitably, it all drives us nuts after a while. Once we finish doing it the last time, we never want to hear that song again.”

After the dancers, the styles of dances, the music choices and the costumes are determined, the directors right away plan for choreography and practice. It is significant that the choreographers maintain the technical level of the team while including entertainment in the dances for the judges as well.

Similarly, determining a costume for a dance is equally as important as selecting the music. The costume also needs to correlate with the style of dance. The correlating costume will help the judges to really understand the message the team is expressing in the dance. Also,

“We hire choreographers and our officer line does a lot of choreography as well,” Herrera said. “I do some, sometimes, but I love hiring people because I like to have different styles of routines, in terms of choreography, and I like for them to be able to learn from someone other than just me - it’s a good experience for them

as dancers.” Thus considering all the different aspects that are needed to prepare for a competition, a large amount of money has to be spent. “Physically, there are registration fees, costumes, [choreographers] and accessories to purchase,” Herrera said. “Mentally, [the girls] have to invest their entire being into the commitment of teamwork and excellence.” Therefore according to Laypeyrolerie and Herrera, practicing is done almost every day after choreography until the day of competition. First, the team learns the dances along with the choreographer by heart. Remembering the dance from the first practice will provide muscle memory, which may help overcome the nervousness that would come on the real stage. Next, the team adjust the choreography and revise some techniques that seem too hard or too easy and add or remove substituting dance moves. It is important for the team to consider what will happen on the competition day. For example, if a dancer is only capable of doing a double pirouette but includes a triple pirouette, the team may risk an enormous technical error that could induce a major deduction in the team’s points. Finally the team then “cleans” the dance and works on De Stijilen



judges at a competition assess the girls. Correcting not only obvious but also unnoticible sloppy errors in a dance relieves the minds of the girls too. It is always better for the directors to detect them than for the judges to at the real stage. “The director starts getting really hard on the team around competition. They obviously want the best for the team, so they put them to a high standard,” Lapeyrolerie said. “It’s typically a really stressful time for everyone and they push the team to be their best.” Despite being a part of a different dance team, Read agrees.

Picture by Jaime Herrera Herrera’s team, the Black Diamonds with awards from 1st overall Officer Dances and many others in team.

clarity and unity. One of the main purposes of a dance team is to look clean and entirely in sync. Being together in the assigned formations and putting arms and legs in the same exact places will influence the dance score increasingly. The judges will recognize the sense of completion from the cleaned dances and will make the dance a lot more enjoyable to watch.

I have a really good group of kids,” Hughes said. “I love them all. More than anything I feel like I am a mom no matter what first, and I feel like I have that relationship with them that I can be an authority and not necessarily a friend, but I can be somebody they can talk to.”

“To prepare for competition outside of school I practice the dances on my own and try to work on the facials and energy that goes into performing. We have extra long practices, and decide what costumes and makeup to wear,” Read said. “The whole team needs to clean the dance and repeat it over and over again.”

“I have a very close bond with my officers because I spend [a great amount of] time with them, one-on-one,” Herrera said. “In general, I am like a second mom to most of the girls on our team- I am prepared to give them tough love when it’s needed, but I’m also there to wipe tears, listen to opinions and issues at hand, give advice when it’s asked for, and try to teach them life lessons along with how to be a dancer. We have a close relationship, my girls and I.”

The director can be very cantankerous during practices under the pressure and stress of upcoming competition, according to Lapeyrolerie. It is their job to yell at the girls and call out mistakes. But in truth, they are the ones the girls can freely spill their heart out to to receive honest advices when a problem occurs. “I would imagine, as any other team, 26

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As another dance team’s director, Herrera agrees.

The girls say they feel the same way. Director’s critiques actually help the girls understand how to mend and adjust their messy dances the right way. The team understands that the director is actually doing them a favor. Receiving criticism is actually practicing for when the real

“Competition is the most nerve-wracking time of the season by far. We have to crack down and focus to actually be able to compete successfully,” Read said. “People get worried and everyone freaks out in the weeks leading up to the competition day.” Usually, stress and anxiety are almost palpable among the girls on the competition day. “The biggest challenge is getting over your nerves. In your first competition or first dance of the day, nerves are really high,” Lapeyrolerie said. “Calming yourself down and getting ready to dance your best is harder than it sounds.” The directors are just as nervous as the girls are - even if they are off stage. “I am usually just praying the girls go out there and give me all they’ve got for that two minutes and twenty seconds or however long the routine is, and feel great about what they did afterwards,” Herrera said. “I’m also trying to calm myself down and not stress so much since those days are so hectic.” On the day, each of the competing teams is assigned a dressing room, where the girls will prepare for their dances, change costumes, run dances, put makeup on, fix their hair and get in the zone. The first dance usually starts at about seven in the morning. and the last dance is not until eight or nine at night. After everyone complete their performances, all dancers come together for the award ceremony.

The awards do not end until around eleven after the last dance of the night, and they give out solo awards first, then duet awards, and finally the team awards. The dancers grow exhausted throughout the entire day, but are always excited for the award ceremony. Relaxing after knowing that they did their very best is the most rewarding feeling and pleasure to both the dancers and the directors. “I think competitions can be a great experience if you don’t get caught up in winning. Yes, it’s awesome to win, but you should go into it like an experience, and you will get so much more out of it,” Lapeyrolerie said. “As a dancer, you always have room to grow, so it is good to put yourself out there and watch and compete with other dancers.” Having been a director for many years, Herrera concurs. “At the end of the day, it’s not about the trophy, or the place you got, or whether or not you won the category,” Herrera said. “I want them to learn the importance of loving dance as an art form, and as competitive a person as I am, I want my kids to feel good about what they did that day; I want them to be able to look back to the day as a fun memory. I want them to know how to behave like a good sport.”

Picture by Tina Hughes First Ladies performing their award winning hip hop routine in front of judges, confident in their ability.

Picture by Tina Hughes First Ladies posing before the competition. It is important to them to remember the competition as a pleasant memory. De Stijilen

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singing posture Photos by Andrea Garza Pictures Nicky Manavi

by: Andrea Garza


ave you ever sung before? Do you know the right singing posture? In order for singers to have the right singing posture, they’d need to closely look at the feet, hips, knees, shoulders, chest, head, arms, and hands. If they have these all positioned right, the sound that they make while singing will be better produced. The steps below will show the right way singers should sing.




Shoulders should be completely relaxed. The shoulders should be relaxed because the singer wouldn’t want his/her shoulders to be all weird while singing. If the singer doesn’t have the shoulders relaxed, the singer’s sound would be so good as if it would be if the singer has the shoulders relaxed.

Make sure the chin is parallel to the ground. The singer would want his/her chin parallel to the ground because they wouldn’t want their head moving around all the time. If a singer does that, the judges just may take off points.

Abdomen should be firm. The abdomen should be firm because in order for the singer to have breath support, the singer wouldn’t want the stomach to be floppy and loose because they could eventually lose breath.

Steps 1 and 2




Step 3




Knees should be relaxed, never have them locked. The singer wants to have their knees to be relaxed because if having them locked for a long time, the singer could possibly faint while in performance.

Hands should be relaxed and at side. The hands should be at side because while in a performance, the singer never wants to fidget with their hands. If the singer does, the judges will most likely take points off.

Feet should be a tad bit apart, make sure one foot is slightly in front of the other. This is for the balance of the body.

Steps 4 and 5 Step 6

STEP 7: The weight of the body is a tab bit forward. This is also going to be for the balance of the body.

CONCLUSION: Steps 1-7 are such easy steps, you can do them in your sleep! By practicing these steps, you will be able to have the correct singing form when you sing. Now that you’ve learned the correct steps for the right singing posture, you will hopefully take the chance to take these steps and use them on your own.


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This picture is showing the LBJ/LASA choir putting on a show, the Madrical Dinner, for the family and friends of the choir.

photo by Cory Denena

voices, friends & FAMILY Inside the LBJ/LASA High Scshool 2013-2014 Choir Group. 32


by. Andrea Garza

This picture is showing Amber, T’ondre and Megan making a toast with wassail (a fruit punch drink) during the Madrical Dinner. photo by Cory Denena


nside Cory Denena’s choir room is where people get to express themselves freely by doing something they love to do, and that is singing. Cory Denena, the director of LBJ/LASA’s choir, has been teaching and directing choir groups for at least 23 years now and loves every single moment of it. “Choir is a special art form that should be learned and shared. Working with others to make something beautiful and that brings joy to the audience as well as the performers is a wonderful thing. Also, in choir you learn to sing, to read music, to make music, to work with others, to listen, to concentrate, just so many things that make it worthwhile.” Denena said. The LBJ/LASA Choir group has approximately 28 students in it, which is technically a good handful of kids. The High School choir is also a place where people who love to sing, can go. If somebody were to just walk through the door, they will automatically feel welcomed. They feel as if choir is the place to be because in the room, all you feel is the positive vibes coming off of the people in there and fall in love with everything that choir is. When somebody falls in with something, especially choir, all somebody can do is picture themselves having a career in music and enjoying every single moment of it.

Choir is basically a group of people singing songs with one another. But to be more specific, choir is a place where you meet new friends who will slowly start to become family. These people who sing you with actually get to feel the way somebody feels by the way that they sing. Most of the people in choir get the opportunity to sing with one another, harmonize with the notes, and enjoy all of it while doing these things. Not many can say that choir is a fun place, but those who do experience choir absolutely love it. “Choral music has had an enormous impact on my life. Some of my closest friendships have formed around choral music. I have a masters degree in music, and am lucky enough to make my living sharing it with others. Denena said. “Learning the music is one thing. That can be done in 4 to 6 weeks. Making it beautiful art takes another month to 6 weeks. It is very difficult to do well, and it takes a lot of effort and concentration.” Denena said. Being apart of a choir and especially being the person to direct people, seems like a very fascinating thing to do. Choir can be for anybody who knows music. They don’t necessarily need a great voice to be in choir but you need to know the basics. The basics

are basically knowing what choir is. In choir, you learn many different things including learning how to sing, how to make music, how to read music, how to harmonize with other people, and so much more.

“Choir is a special art form that should be learned and shared. Working with others to make something beautiful and that brings joy to the audience as well as the performers is a wonderful thing. Also, in choir you learn to sing, to read music, to make music, to work with others, to listen, to concentrate, just so many things that make it worthwhile.” Denena said. It may seem as if choir looks really easy to direct, but it’s not. As the director, they have to plan out what the kids are going to teach, which is mostly music of course. Most of the time they listen to the piece first, then they sing it, but after that first time they sing it, they realize that it’s much more than just figuring out how the piece sounds. They have to take the time to look at the notes and harmonize with them. Not only do you harmonize with the notes, but you also have to harmonize with people. Another thing you must to do is annunciate the words in the song. When you annunciate the words and harmonize with the group members, the music becomes easier to de stijilen

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easier to understand and much easier to read. With that being said, choir is a tough thing to be in and it definitely pays off. “When the hard works pays off, and the students enjoy doing it, and people enjoy listening to it.” Denena said. A junior choir student, Alecia Henderson has been in choir at LBJ/LASA for about two years now and enjoys every single moment in choir. Currently as a junior in high school, Alecia plans to have a future with music. Because of being in choir, she has realized that singing is something she loves to do and she enjoys every single moment of it. “Choir has made an impact on my life because it’s helped me improve on my singing skills and plus I want a future in music.” Henderson said. Henderson never knew that something so tough and challenging can be so fun and entertaining. What she didn’t know was that it’s quite amazing how somebody can become great friends with another person by singing and harmonizing with them. Even though making beauti-

ful music is a hard thing to do, can be so amazingly interesting and enjoyable. “The thing that I enjoy most about being in choir is the chance to sing with others. The experience is amazing and it’s really helpful in many ways.” Henderson said. “Choir has made a huge impact on me and if it’s made an impact on me, then of course it’s made an impact on others” Henderson said. Brittany Gonzales, a sophomore that is also a current LBJ/LASA choir participant, has been in choir for two years and is wishing to continue to be in choir for the rest of her high school years. Brittany enjoy “Yes I enjoy being in choir because it allows me to express myself in ways that others can’t, and that is through singing.” Gonzales said. Even though one’s passion might not be singing or having a career in music, taking choir is a terrific experience, and it’s also an amazing opportunity.

“Choir is something that everybody should have the chance doing. It’s all about the different opportunities every person gets. It’s also an amazing experience you’re singing with some people you don’t know and people you do know and it’s just wonderful.” says Brittany Gonzales. Brittany Gonzales is interested things, but not as nearly interested in singing. She has an incredible voice and loves to share it with others. She also loves to harmonize with others and make beautiful music with her voice and with the voices of her fellow classmates. “I do think that choir has made an impact on me because honestly without it, I don’t know where I’d be. Choir is just one of those things that allows you to be you and yes I do think that choir has made an impact on others because choir is the best. Choir is something different and I’m sure others enjoy it as much as I do.” Gonzales said. Throughout the interviews, each person gave a little advice to those who want a career in music, “do it.”

This picture is most of the LBJ/LASA 2013-2014 choir, getting ready for their first concert.




photo by Cory Denena

Gonzales is interested things, but not as nearly interested in singing. She has an incredible voice and loves to share it with others. She also loves to harmonize with others and make beautiful notes, but not as nearly interested in singing. She has an incredible voice and loves to share it with others. She also loves to harmonize with others and make beautiful music with her voice and with the voices of her fellow classmates. “I do think that choir has made an impact on me because honestly without it, I don’t know where I’d be. Choir is just one of those things that allows you to be you and yes I do think that choir has made an impact on others because choir is the best. Choir is something different and I’m sure others enjoy it as much as I do.” Gonzales said. Many people do not get the chance to experience what Gonzales, Henderson, and Denena get to do, but being in choir can open so many doors for them, and a lot of people. Lots of people get to realize who they truly are by just being in choir and that is an amazing experience for so many people. It’s not just a typical school club, but it’s a club where people are free to express themselves in ways others can’t. Throughout the interviews, each person gave an insight to those students who want to be in choir, but Gonzales gave an one of a kind advice to students or anybody who loves

This is also a picture showing some of the LBJ/LASA 2013-2014 Choir.

photo by Cory Denena

choir, “choir is the place to be, we are all family and it’s going to stay that way” Gonzales said.

This is a picture of the choir singing at the Madrical Dinner.

photo by Cory Denena

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"The Styles" 2014