Spirits soar, sink at Spring Spirit Week assembly

The+junior+band+sing+%22Where+is+the+Love%22+while+a+banner+slowly+descends+from+the+ceiling.+Their+performance+was+one+of+six+at+the+Monday+assembly+that+kicked+off+the+2017+Spring+Spirit+Week.

Photo by Meaaloha McCabe

The junior band sing "Where is the Love" while a banner slowly descends from the ceiling. Their performance was one of six at the Monday assembly that kicked off the 2017 Spring Spirit Week.

Keōpūolani Hale was packed with rowdy high schoolers, eager to see their classmates take the stage. The Battle of the Bands and Kamehameha’s Best Dance Crew competitions took place during an energized assembly on Monday as part of the spring spirit week activities, and the theater was filled with highlights.

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This spring spirit week turned out better than last year with more participation from all classes. There were a total of six entries overall. This year, the freshmen didn’t participate in the Battle of the Bands, while the juniors didn’t participate in Kamehameha’s Best Dance Crew. Last year, only one dance crew competed in the dance competition, so there were only five entries overall out of a possible eight.

At the assembly, the freshmen showed off their dance skills during their KBDC performance wearing black and white. The sophomores stepped it up by having the biggest dance crew out of all the entries. Their routine made use of many illusions involving their interlocking arms and hands, and they incorporated many caterpillar-type moves where they moved as a connected line. They were energetic, and enthusiastic with creative choreography.

The seniors performed last, and they bowled the crowd over with their perfectly executed choreography. With experienced dance instructor, senior Shaylee Yamashita, heading up the group, the routine came off as well as any music video. Moves were fresh and sharp. The choreography itself was varied and pulled mostly from hip hop and other styles of street dancing, but also included hints of classical jazz and modern dance. The crowd went wild when the entire crew dead-dropped to floor to end their final run at the spirit week dance competition.

The senior dance crew performs for their entry in the Kamehamehaʻs Best Dance Crew competition at their last Spring Spirit Week at Kamehameha Schools Maui. Led by student choreographer Shaylee Yamashita, the team placed first in this event.
Photo by Meaaloha McCabe
The senior dance crew performs for their entry in the Kamehamehaʻs Best Dance Crew competition at their last Spring Spirit Week at Kamehameha Schools Maui. Led by student choreographer Shaylee Yamashita, the team placed first in this event.

“The senior class was original and had a lot of enthusiasm,” freshman Hannah Aiwohi said.

In the Battle of the Bands, the sophomores did a great cover of “End of Time” by Beyoncé. The juniors stole the show with their collaborations of “No One” by Alicia Keys and “Where is the Love?” by the Black-Eyed Peas. Junior Kai Paredes surprised the crowd when he came out from backstage and rapped for everyone, while a sign that said “Where is the Love?” began to descend slowly from the ceiling.

Afterwards, students were buzzing about whether or not the rap was allowed, which would disqualify the juniors from that competition. The decision and results were not known at the time of this writing. Despite the controversy, the juniors’ entry was the most put-together of the four, with well-blended vocals, and many performance elements, such as choreography, lighting and signage, and juniors in the audience who coordinated a light-waving display that lit up the entire hale.

The juniors show class spirit by waving their cellphone lights back and forth during their song.
Photo by Meaaloha McCabe
The juniors show class spirit by waving their cellphone lights back and forth during their song.

“The juniors are gonna win because they had the sign, and they had the flashlights on,” sophomore Healani Tolentino said. She was a member of the competing sophomore band.

After all other performances and a few audience participation games, time was not on the seniors’ side. As soon as they finished their first song, “Sweet Remedy” by Maoli, the assembly had to be drawn to close because school had ended, and students needed to make it to the buses.

Traditionally, the seniors sing a hana hou song, but because time had run out, they had to leave without the encore. As of this writing, they are taking steps to be able to sing their song in the hale at lunch on Thursday, to be accompanied by an encore performance by their dance crew as well. The hana hou song is a tradition that every senior class looks forward to, so many of them are planning to attend, but everyone would be invited.