Image used with permission from Leiana Volen and Jennifer Maletto.
A video performance from Sunny Hills High School’s Dance Production [DP] was named one of the winning entries in the April 23 “Got Talent” district fundraiser, organizers said.
DP’s video recording, “Forever Changed,” was given the Judges Choice award, which subsequently gives Sunny Hills’ Associated Student Body [ASB] $500.
“I’m excited that we won the talent show, and I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect because this is the first time we’ve done this,” DP co-captain junior Jessica Choi said.
The highest cash prize — $750 — will go to the ASBs from La Habra and Fullerton Union high schools.
La Habra’s Aurora Cisneros won the People’s Choice Award, while Fullerton Union’s senior Brittany Fisheli won the Judges Choice for professional recording.
The 7-8:30 p.m. YouTube live program was organized by Fullerton Joint Union High School District officials and the Rotary Club of Fullerton in hopes of raising money for cash-strapped ASBs districtwide.
Rotary Club district governor nominee Dan Ouweleen said those who wanted to watch the pre-recorded event had to pay $10. They made payment with a credit card through the Rotary Club’s website.
Each $10 entry came with the viewer’s ability to cast up to five votes to any of the performers.
No information was available as to how many tuned in to watch.
Meanwhile, ASB co-adviser Mike Paris said all of the prize money will go to DP.
“We believed they had a good chance of winning because we’ve all seen how good they are,” Paris said. “I’m sure we will participate in whatever [the Rotary Club of Fullerton] decides to do in the future.”
Dance director Leiana Volen said she will use the funds toward an educational experience — guest/master teacher and field trip — or equipment such as lighting, curtains and camera for the dance studio to continue adding to the program’s repertoire for filming and editing dance films.
Volen said she felt good to be recognized for the hard work and dedication she and her dancers put in for their video.
“From the choreography and musical accompaniment expressing the changes and adaptations we have been forced to make to the filming outside of a parking lot, the dance is an embodiment of resiliency, and showcasing that dance and art can be done any place, any time, through any challenge,” she said. “I think the dance is a snapshot of everything we’ve experienced and all the ways in which we’ve grown this year.”
This story originally appeared in the April 30 “Stop Asian Hate” PDF issue, which can be read here.