CLUB CORNER: Deviation encourages student involvement in the art program


Sheila Neri

Deviation member senior Monique Alvarado (left) dances alongside senior Dorotea Barbini and sophomore Madelyn Boyd to “Family Ties” by Baby Keem on March 10 at the spring assembly.

They wore muted green sweatshirts.

The 14 girls and one boy set foot onto the gymnasium floor.

The audience watching from the bleachers cheered, shouting out the names of their friends.

This was the March 11th spring sports assembly – the first time that the Associated Student Body [ASB] invited the Deviation Hip-Hop Club to showcase its passion for dance. 

Rapper Tory Lanez’s song, “Broke In a Minute,” began loudly echoing through the building while the performers moved their bodies flowingly to the beats of the song, as they captivated the attention of the students.

“It was really overwhelming and scary in the beginning because you don’t know what people are going to think since it was our first assembly performance,” co-choreographer sophomore Sofia Arguello said. “Even though I was nervous, I was excited to be part of something fun.”

Despite bleak weather conditions before the assembly, club member senior Charlize Seh said the team continued to hold meetings outside to produce the best performance possible and create ideas to amplify it, such as coordinating forest green outfits and dark shades.

“We thought about the costumes we would wear and different styles we can put into certain movements to enhance the dance,” Seh said. 

Co-choreographer sophomore Emily Kim said the members all decided to put on matching green sweatshirts, white shoes and black pants to appear united as a team. Some even wore black puffer vests to add onto the overall outfit. 

“We also decided to pull out sunglasses midway through the dance because we have a total mood change and wanted to emphasize that.” Kim said.

“Our main goal was to just have fun and express Deviation as a club, but we still wanted to make a good impression to the school,” co-vice president senior Krisi Patel said.

Only two weeks before the spring assembly, ASB adviser David Fenstermaker reached out to the club through Arguello, a member of both organizations, and offered the chance to Deviation to showcase its skills, the club’s co-vice president senior Amanda Boupa said.

Dance teacher and Deviation adviser Leiana Volen said she was proud of the performance.

“I think that Deviation’s ability to quickly learn the choreography, have it ready and perform in front of the school speaks loudly to their commitment and passion for dance,” Volen said.

Alongside its Wednesday weekly meetings after school behind the Engineering Pathways to Innovation and Change [EPIC] building, the club held extra meetings every day after school two weeks before the assembly to perfect its routine.

“Because we didn’t have much time, we weren’t able to put as much thought as we could into the dance,” co-choreographer sophomore Madelyn Boyd said. “If we were given more time, I think we would’ve had more structured practices.”

Deviation Hip-Hop Club, often shortened to Deviation, is known to be the only dance club on campus following this rhythmic genre, offering students the opportunity to dance in school events like the spring dance concert or quad show.

Class of 2018 alumnus Rafael Pia started the club in 2017 with the goal of spreading more awareness about hip-hop. More students started to join the club over the years and currently, it consists of 29 members. 

“I joined because I was told about the amazing opportunity the club gives to showcase [its] own genre of dancing,” former club president senior Monique Alvarado said. “I really enjoyed that because I decided not to take dance after my freshman year.”

Although performing at the spring assembly was a first for the club, Deviation continued its streak of dancing at an event that Volen organizes, the annual spring dance concert held this year from April 20-22.

More students are beginning to take notice of how much this club has impacted the campus.

“I think Deviation is [one of] those groups that are really inclusive, and it’s exciting to see something new in the assembly,” junior Talitha Arthurs said.

Some students said Deviation’s dance, in addition to the normal Dance Production and cheer squad’s routines, upgraded the overall assembly. 

“It was a really enjoyable watch, and it was clear that they practiced really hard to bring something new to the assembly,” junior Dylan Pak said. 

As an after-school club, Deviation members said they developed a way to self-manage most of its activities. 

“I think they embody the spirit of hip-hop and embrace all different people with various dance abilities,” Volen said. “That is what I love to see while advising the program.”

Alvarado said Deviation aspires for more stage opportunities to inspire students who may not have the confidence to be involved in other performing organizations.

“[The club] is all about involvement to those who are too shy to be in dance classes with several others,” she said. “Importantly, Deviation focuses on making new memories and friends as the team evolves throughout the years.”

Deviation Hip-Hop Club meets every Wednesday after school in front of the EPIC building. The group also posts progress videos on its instagram @shhsdeviation. For more information, contact Alvarado at [email protected].