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Assembly celebrates MHS campus diversity
Dancers from the Manteca Asian Club perform a hip-hop routine along with a traditional Filipino dance during Fridays Manteca High Multi-Cultural assembly. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

What makes multicultural day special?

Try the array of talent displayed from students at Manteca High.

“Every year, we get more enthusiasm (about Multicultural Assembly) among students,” said Senior Class Vice President Jason Laughlin, who, along with Kaitlyn Hoyer and Alyssa Burch, served as emcee of the two Friday morning assemblies held at Winter Gym. “We even have even had one (Zumba dancer) who graduated a few years ago come back.”

Zumba is a dance fitness program with South American roots involving dance and aerobic elements.

The MHS event also featured Ballet Folklorico, a cultural dance from Mexico featuring girls in traditional dress and guys doing percussive heel-stomping steps.

The MHS Advanced Band under the direction of Anthony Dahl performed a Brazilian-inspired number.

Perhaps one of the more entertaining dance styles came from India, where two students did a “Bollywood” performance – a fusion display of traditional and classical dance forms.

The Asian Club was back. Members did hip hop moves while adding “Tinikling” – a traditional pre-Spanish dance from the Philippines involving two people rhythmically sliding, beating and tapping bamboo poles on the ground with two dancers stepping in between the bamboos – and incorporating other elements from the Far East in their performance.

In addition, Hula girls did their dance dating back to the Polynesians, who originally settled in the Hawaiian Islands.

The cast from ‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,’ under the direction of Dawn Coyan and musically coached by Mary Monaghan, performed at both assemblies. The spring musical of the MHS Theater Department will play out this weekend.

“I think students really enjoy seeing their heritage being represented at multicultural day,” said MHS English teacher Micaela Reyes.

She and Activities Director Ron Inderbitzin, filling in for Spanish instructor Daniel Hanson, organized the annual event that dates back over two decades at MHS.