By Tanner Smith
Keeping in line with one of the themes of the 2014-15 school year, the winter pep rally was a major event that required cooperation from almost the entire school, highlighted by a dance by students and teachers to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars.
“Our choreographer from Hidden Valley, Maddie Dodd, did all the magic and we just followed her lead,” said Isaiah Harris (’15), one of the lead dancers. “We practiced about three times a week and then everything came together and it was fun.”
While all of the dancers had hats and sunglasses on, Harris found a way to make the outfit all his own with a tie.
“I wanted to go for the independent school by day,” he said, “and gangster-by-night look.”
The music choice of Uptown Funk was debated among the SCA members, but Shamani Jackson (’17) thought it was an inspired choice.
“I loved the music,” she said. “I liked that it wasn’t boring and it was somewhat relatable to us younger people.”
Joseph Cartledge (’16), who was the MC for the swimming team’s skit, enjoyed the dance.
“The music extravaganza was my favorite part,” he said. “I didn’t know that Mr. Belderes could do a cartwheel; that was pretty impressive.”
Belderes initially had even grander plans for his entrance.
“The initial plan was to do a cart-wheel and then a backflip,” he said, “but it has been about 10 years and two knee surgeries since I’ve done that so that wasn’t going to happen.”
In a positive development, he is physically fine after his gymnastic display, which he was able to do despite no formal gymnastic training.
“I’ve got a little swelling in my left knee,” he said. “I think that was primarily from getting hammered in the faculty-student basketball game, but it’s okay.”
Jackson thought Dr. Finney, who glided across the gym during the performance in fancy attire, looked the part of a Roman Empress.
“My favorite part was when everyone started dancing,” Jackson said. “I loved Dr. Finney’s strut; she looked fabulous.”
Other than the dance, the main events of the rally were the athletic competitions. One of the main competitions was the student versus faculty basketball game. While statistics were not officially kept, it can be fairly stated that Holley led the student team in fouls while Belderes led the faculty team in taunts from the bench. The game was the event that caught the attention of Dakoda Rose (’18).
“The teacher versus student game was my favorite part,” Rose said. “I liked how the ref was on the teacher’s side and the game ended up being a tie.”
Susan Wenk, head of the Parents Association, may have had a hand in the scandalous final score.
“The student-faculty basketball game was a lot of fun,” she said. “Can you believe it was a tie score?”
Bennett Holley (’15), who was an MC for the basketball competitions for the Lower School students, found a comfort level behind the mic.
“I like hyping up the crowd,” he said. “It was pretty fun doing the thing with the kids.”
In order to have a pep rally, an event that did not even last two hours, months of planning were required. The efforts were led by the SCA along with Wenk and Susan Card of the Parent’s Association. Wenk appreciates the efforts of many students that made this possible.
“The students have worked on this for months,” she said. “They put all the teams together and talked to all of the coaches, who came up with what each team was going to do for their skit. It was an amazing amount of student planning with the SCA and the upper school.”
Belderes sees the two enthusiastic ladies as the driving force behind the event.
“I give all the credit for the pep rally,” he said, “to whom I refer to as the Susans, Mrs. Wenk and Mrs. Card.”