Saturday, September 16, 2017. It was not only a typical Saturday to take a break from another arduous week, but also a very important day for a vast number of students. From eight different international schools in Korea, including SFS, SIS, CDS, APIS, CI, GSIS, TCIS and KIS, passionate high school students gathered to participate in the annual event, Korea Business Competition, which was held at YISS this year. Ranging from 9th to 12th graders, participants strived to appeal to their judges with their business ideas that would succeed in the increasingly diversifying society in Korea.
Having spent the busiest part of the month preparing for this event, contestants focused on the prompt given: In an increasingly diverse society, create a business that is inclusive to foreigners in Korea. To briefly summarize the topic regarding the state of the unwelcoming diversity in Korea, as the size of immigrants entering Korea has been growing exponentially, the issue of foreigner exclusion greatly intensified as language barriers and disparities in tradition created displeasing boundaries. Participants thus had to originate a scheme to enhance the poor conditions of the settlers.
As for KIS, three groups were assembled to initiate a proposal according to the prompt. All three teams, fortunately, presented amazing results as two of our three teams were qualified to be a part of the five finalist teams. Ultimately, the teams were proudly placed second and third of the 2017’s 6th Annual Korea Business Competition!
Can’t get enough of our amazing KIS Students’ victory at NHD Korea? Read more about it now!
National History Day offers middle and high school students around the world with opportunities to investigate their interest in a historical context, express their research in different forms, and present it to others. NHD gives an annual theme to those students, which requires them to connect their chosen topic with not only history, but also the theme. Students are to choose the medium in which they will manifest their research: website, documentary, paper, performance, or exhibit. After researching about their topic and creating their entry in accordance with the guidelines and rules, participants gather at either the local or affiliate level and compete with those in their respective categories.
On February 27th, 2016, at KIS, NHD Korea was hosted and organized by Mr. Yanuzeski, one of KIS’s notable history teachers, and Ms. Gillette, the NHD Korea Affiliate Coordinator. They announced that for the first time in NHD Korea history, students competed in all ten of the categories. Students, not only from KIS, but also from SIS, DIS, KKFS, and many other schools, participated and took home various accolades. The top two teams from each category became eligible to go onto Nationals, which will take place at the University of Maryland in June.
This competition is an educational and entertaining one for most, as students are able to observe the amount of passion and fervor that all students possessed for their own projects. Many students took back home more knowledge than they had expected to—about creating a proper annotated bibliography and process paper, about delving deep and researching thoroughly about a topic they were interested in, and being able to present their research through a particular form of media. There were still parts of the competition that many students disliked: the opening ceremony was just too brief, there was a huge confusion about where to go and students from other schools were lost around the large campus, the waiting time was too long and wasted many students’ times, and there was a slight judging bias that was pretty clear but sly and caused an unfair advantage for some students. Despite these factors, however, overall, the competition turned out to be successful, as students earned knowledge and a deeper understanding of how to organize and present their research—which truly is the ultimate goal of this competition.
Although the competition was successful for most, there have been some suggestions on making the day even better. National History Day club has listed out several dislikes of the day and discussed possible solutions. One factor that they thought was a major issue was the extensive period students had whilst waiting for the results. Students had to remain in parts of the school from the time that their interview was completed to 2 pm wherein the results were announced. In order to avoid long periods, the club has proposed that there should be activities, trivia or games during the day. Hope Yoon, a KIS student who won the performance category, suggested that the judges could have been “ more objective or confer beforehand” so that the judging was fair. Holding the similar view as Hope, Celine Yoon, who placed 3rd in the Individual Website Category, advised that the same people should have adjudicate the same category so that bias and subjectivity can be reduced.
Regardless of the discrepancy in how the event went, it is definite that students have improved in critical-thinking, research, and problem-solving skills—which will help them in not only their school work, but also in future years. Best of luck to the 19 competitors from KIS who will be competing at Nationals on June 12-16!
— Sarah Se-Jung Oh (’19) & Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19)
Although the start of Thanksgiving Break marked college essay writing for seniors and vacation time for the underclassmen, a few hundred students from around the world took this time to gather at the Coex Convention Center. No, it certainly was not to entertain themselves, but instead, to represent countries and to debate on pressing, worldly issues. They arrived with fervor to participate in the 18th annual Seoul Model United Nations (SEOMUN) conference, proudly hosted by Korea International School.
Familiar and unfamiliar delegates from various schools immediately filled up the seats of the Grand Ballroom, patiently waiting for lights to appear on the stage. The opening ceremony began with an introductory video by SEOTV, followed by speeches from each executive secretariat members. As is tradition, SEOMUN’s keynote speaker this year was Mr. Daejong Yoo, Director General for International Organizations from the MInistry of Foreign Affairs. He and Ban Ki Moon used to closely work together — “He was Mr. Moon’s right hand at one point,” Secretary General Olivia Kim (’16) explained. In his speech, he accentuated the significance of this year’s theme of “Freedom from Fear”, connecting such topic to recent incidents such as terrorism.
Followed by speeches from adviser Mr. Farley and editor-in-chiefs of SEOTV and SEOULITE, Secretary General, Olivia Hajung Kim (’16) made her way to the podium for a few wise words:
“We’re connected on so many different levels. We’re born with the full capacity to empathize, born with the natural inclination to care for one another, born with the irresistible desire to understand and help one another, born to live on one another’s welfare, one another’s happiness, and not by one another’s misery or failure. It’s up to our will, and it’s up to our conviction. We can make a difference. As trite and commonplace as it may sound, the podium is yours, so go ahead and take it.”
At last, the sound of the gavel marked the beginning of the three day journey of SEOMUN 2015.
Centered upon an overarching theme of “Freedom from Fear,” all thirteen committees of the conference were assigned varying global issues all with unifying aims. Many issues emphasized the vital need of government transparency and the protection of civil rights. Then, it was the duty of the delegates to dissect these issues from inside out—to tackle the issue through the various perspectives of the various countries they came to represent. Keeping this responsibility in mind, all delegates passionately engaged in lobbying sessions right from the first day to cooperate in formulating original, pragmatic, and creative resolutions.
After hours of collective drafting, delegates began debating, critically discussing the plausibility of each resolution. Regardless of the years of experience, all delegates bravely took the podium, proposing ways to attain peace in the international community.
In addition to debating upon resolutions formulated by delegates prior to the conference, each committee was also confronted with unexpected crises, ranging from Ban Ki Moon being captured by ISIS in the Security Council to Kim Jong-Un declaring the invasion of the Republic of Korea in the Six Party Talks. Each crisis was performed by members of the student officer and the executive teams, and it became pretty clear that these veteran MUNers had more up their sleeves than just debating and public speaking.
For all delegates, chairs, and secretariats, regardless of the roles they played, SEOMUN XVIII was definitely an indelible experience. Young minds were able to explore prevailing issues and gain a broader view of the international community, as well as make unforgettable memories with new friends. More inspirational than it has ever been, this year’s distinguished SEOMUN conference came to a very successful end.
Anticipating the next wonderful SEOMUN conference, good bye, SEOMUN XVIII.
With the jolly spirit of the holiday season in the air, students’ laughter fills the whole conference hall. T’is a joyful day, for today is KISTIVAL! Wednesday, November 25, 2015 was KIS’s 8th annual KISTIVAL, an event in which dozens of clubs put together a day of festivities to celebrate the holiday season. KISTIVAL is open to all KIS students and staff to relax and enjoy the array of food and games prepared by the clubs.
At 3 pm, chaos ensued at the ticket booth. Student organizers were running around with gigantic posters and were preoccupied with cooking utensils as a mass of bodies gathered in the conference hall. By 3:30 pm, most club leaders had entered and were busy decorating their club booths. At 3:50pm, the hall was brimming with students trying to buy their raffle tickets and enjoying the delicacies provided by different clubs.
There were around forty different club booths with forty different activities and goodies laid out for everyone to enjoy. They ranged from beautiful bookmarks adorned with calligraphy and a game of throwing trash balls to delicious Oreo milkshakes. Students scoured the rows of booths as sellers and as customers, the hectic atmosphere adding to the Christmas spirit that had already filled the conference hall. At 5:26 pm, students were given an extra treat when the KIS’s advanced dance team took to the stage and gave a tremendous dance performance. Under the dazzling spotlight, the dance team garnered a chorus of oohs and aahs with their moves, culminating in a thunderous applause and whistles. The visual feast continued after the dance performance ended as the long-awaited highlight of the day, KISTIVAL’s Next Top Model, began.
There were five teams with two models on each team with a total of five guys and five girls. Models were given twenty-five minutes to decorate and dress themselves in the most appealing manner to the audience. There were three teacher judges: Mr. Persaud, Ms. Chang, and Mr. Selbo. Both teachers and students were amazed by the confidence and poise with which the top models walked down the runway. Students even had the chance to enjoy photo time with the models in their special Christmas outfit.
As the intense excitement of the KISTIVAL’s Next Top Model ended, KISTIVAL’s closing event, the raffle prizes, began. The prizes this year for the raffles were iPad mini and Bluetooth headphones. Unlike previous year’s random selection, however, students were provided with a special hint for the number codes this year. When the raffle numbers were announced, there were screams of joy and groans of disappointment. Two very fortunate students jumped up and down with joy as they claimed their prizes.
T’was another merry KISTIVAL and a sincerely needed diversion for students who have been under four months of academic duress. Though the fun has ended, the students’ spirits remained high as Thanksgiving break was just around the corner. Thank you students and staff for successfully continuing the KISTIVAL tradition once again!
On Friday, November 13, our third official Olympkis organized by Student Council and Spirit Council, was held. After an early dismissal from class following a half-day schedule, students scurried around the school competing in various engaging games for the last four hours of school. The main objectives of Olympkis was for students to temporarily escape from their academics, allow the collective blend of all grades, but most importantly, for everyone to have fun.
What the students often take for granted, however, is the amount of work that goes into setting up such a large event which aims to bring together all students from the entire high school department. To give us this insight into the behind-the-scenes actions of Olympkis, Blueprint had the opportunity to interview with Mr. Lunardo, one of the greatest contributors of Olympkis.
What are the purposes/goals of Olympkis?
“Olympkis itself is run by Spirit council, so its main purpose is to increase spirit, but spirit in a different way. We’re looking at mixing grade levels and forming relationships across grade levels, so it’s a larger group, so we’re KIS.
It’s important to be global citizens, to try to interact with everybody. I think there needs to be a venue where you go out of your comfort zone and interact with people that you don’t know, as that is reality in life. Later in life, you will be set in jobs or places where you have to deal with people you don’t know. I think this interaction is a required life skill.
Olympkis is just a simple opportunity, just a venue, it’s up to you, students, to use it. We can go back to a skinny day, but this is an opportunity, so why not use it and have fun?”
What are your overall opinions on Olympkis?
“As I went around taking pictures,I saw a lot of smiling faces, people participating, and people engaged. There still was a small group of people who sat down, not fully engaged, but for the most part, I saw enjoyment. I think those from Spirit Council and Student Council, the leaders involved, really did a good job leading the activities and motivating people to participate. So overall Olympkis was a success.”
What improvements do you have for next year?
“Hopefully we might be doing another Olympkis at the end of the year. It’s only a proposal, but it might become a longer event—full day. In this event, some of the activities weren’t as effective at getting cross-grades working. There were different grades, but not everyone was partaking in the activities. So our improvements have to be made in that area where we can ensure that all grades are participating together. Along with that, we didn’t have an even balance of athletic and rather strategic activities. Hopefully in the second one, we’ll get more strategic activities because the main idea is to provide students with an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities.”
Clearly, this is not an event planned overnight. As much as the students may understand this, however, Olympkis is often a topic of certain ‘controversy’ among the student body: to love, or to not-love Olympkis? One one hand are supporters of Olympkis who enjoy partaking in the sweat and zest of activities. On the other hand, however, are objectors who instead question the whole purpose of the event, believing that the event is rather unnecessary, requiring excess energy.
Let’s hear from both sides of this tense dispute.
Side 1: YES, We loveOlympkis!
“Olympkis was a wonderful experience for me as I was able to meet and compete with new students I have never met. I also enjoyed Olympkis as it gave me a break from school work.”
– Derek Min (’17)
“Olympkis was a great way to interact with not only people in other grades, but also with people in my grade. I think Olympkis was well-planned and I really appreciate the clubs who worked hard to make this event happen! Olympkis also allowed me to exercise because the activities were interactive and there were also a lot of stairs I had to walk up!”
– Hannah Kim (‘18)
“I enjoyed Olympkis! It was fun to bond with other students to win games. I had a great time with my friends. But, I hope there’s a station where people can rest after they complete a small task because we ran out energy in the second half of the event.”
– Yuna Shin (’17)
“I think Olympkis provides a day off for students who are tired of just drilling themselves with work. It was fun to feel the schoolspirit and witness amazing athleticism among KIS students! But then I was really tired at the end of the day…”
– Suahn Hur (’18)
Side 2: Oh no, not again…
“I think Olympkis was a good experience for students to take a short break from studying and get closer with other grades. Some games were fun to play, but some were a bit boring.”
– Jimmy Kim (’19)
“Olympkis was both entertaining and somewhat wearisome because I found that the objective of Olympkis was not accomplished as students expected. I heard that the purpose of it was to give an opportunity for underclassmen and upperclassmen to acquaint, but I, along with my peers who are freshmen, found that we did not get close to a lot of new upperclassmen. The awkwardness truly hindered the underclassmen’s opportunity to bond with other grade levels. I found that most of the students mingled with just their year groups, making the purpose of Olympkis weak.”
– Sarah Oh (’19)
“I felt like Olympkis had a very good purpose of trying to help the students get out of their academic stress, but the event itself actually made me feel very exhausted. Students leading the games weren’t able to control those playing the games, and moving around every once in awhile was quite exhausting.”
– Anonymous (’18)
“I thought the teams were very unbalanced, and there were no incentives to work hard and win. Before Olympkis even started, I already knew which team was going to win.”
– Anonymous (’16)
On either side of the great controversy, it is an irrefutable fact that Olympkis had fair goals but results were viewed from different perspectives, ultimately defining its success. Anyhow, we should appreciate the effort of students and teachers who spent hours arranging this event.
Maybe toodemanding or justright? Perhaps cooperation or not?
Our school just can’t get enough of our musical talents.
Patio on Fire, Unplugged, and now, KIS Music Entertainment’s Sketchbook. Music Entertainment Club held their very first concert last Friday, and it ended up being a huge turnout. Both students and parents enjoyed high quality music performed by KIS’ most renowned and talented musicians, as well as savory food prepared by the club’s marketing group. Who doesn’t appreciate relaxing music while munching on house burgers and sipping on their original mocktail? Wait, did you miss out on the event? Don’t worry, Blueprint’s got you covered. Read more to find out more about what happened at the conference hall on April 3rd.
But before that, when did KIS Music Entertainment even become a club? The club was founded this semester, by Yumi Kim (‘17) and Stacy Jo (‘17), and helped out by seniors, Yeon Ho Kang (‘15) and Peter Kim (‘15) to make the club a dream-come-true. The club was created for the purpose of organizing annual large-scaled concerts that are completely student-led. Kind of crazy, huh?
As Yeon Ho Peter Kang (‘15), the club’s President says,
“The KIS Music Entertainment club started by the thought of ‘Hey, why not create a club that raises fund for a concert and organize one?’ This happened in September last year. After months of planning, the club was created in the second semester in hopes of a concert in April”.
They managed to achieve such a feat without any help from teachers. The key is the cooperativity and teamwork between the club’s arts, technology, vocalists, session band, marketing, and backstage groups. Each club member offered help in the various areas for their first concert, Sketchbook, to become a genuine success. “Art, tech, vocalist, session, advertisement departments each selected a leader for their department and gave their best,” says Yeon Ho (‘15).
If you think about it, having a completely student-led, teacher-free event bring successful results is pretty tough. As Jungwook Han (‘16), the secondary leader of the technology section mentions,
“One of the main reasons Sketchbook was different from Patio on Fire or Unplugged is that the whole thing was student-led, meaning that the band setup, advertisement plans, budget management, lighting, and many more aspects of the show were all done by student members. In the beginning, the general goal was to create a student-led professional entertainment group that would seem as if it were actually produced by adults, so we can say that it was achieved quite successfully by the first official concert from the KIS Music Entertainment Club”.
Sure, it may seem like any other concert. But what it took for the club to get here, is a whole different story.
Following their motto, “To produce their very own concerts,” KIS Music Entertainment club worked extremely hard and devoted a significant amount of time during these past four months. Members all sacrificed their after school free times as well as their lunch times to both advertise and get ready for their concert. After all, perseverance is a must when it comes to successful endings. As Yeon Ho Kang (‘15) recalls,
“About thirty people, including in and outside club members, sacrificed their own time to actually organize the concert.”
Erica Lee (‘17) and Yumi Kim (‘17), both members of the club frantically run around to sell tickets, and Stacy Jo (‘17) passionately practicing her singing in the practice room were not rare sights. And the end product was certainly a huge payoff of their efforts. From Sooji Yang (‘18)’s angelic voice to Michelle Bae (‘17)’s so-very-talented singing, the audience was absolutely stunned by the performance quality. One of the audience members, Grace Kim (‘17) reflects upon the concert as, “It was refreshing, hearing nice quality music (especially Masa’s saxophone skills).”
No doubt, each and every club member is both extremely satisfied and proud of what Sketchbook has become after four rigorous months. Here are some of the things the club members have to say about Sketchbook, now that it’s all over.
“It was a great experience as a newcomer to this school and to the world of performance music”.
– Suahn Hur (‘18)
“It was truly amazing. I’d never thought that just a band of kids could go so far and perform so well”.
– Jared Son (‘19)
“I got scouted by Stacy since the original drummer could not stay with us. I was the only Middle School session member except the strings quartet. I thought the upperclassmen would be very strict, but they were actually really nice to me and we were able to become close quickly. Through this experience, I learnt a lot on how to work with people older than me. I hope I get into the club next year too!”
– Jaemin Yoo (‘19)
“I never could have thought our first performance would be a huge success! I guess that’s just how powerful music is. And that’s the reason I joined: to make good music for all to listen to”.
– Daniel Park (‘17)
“I believe that sketchbook was a great success, and I’m so glad that things had turned out well. however, there were some bumps in the road that took a lot of time to fix, but by next year, those will disappear and we will have plenty of time to fix them. I’m looking forward to next year, and the future of the club as a whole”.
– Stacy Jo (‘17)
“Although the concert had some technical issues during the performance, the performers and the backstage crew gave their best and we are completely satisfied with our result. This club will continue on until the end of KIS and the alumni are going to give support to the club. The goal of the club is to be the biggest and the most powerful musical organization in KIS that can fund school’s musical events and lend necessary equipments for the musical activities that students want to make happen. The performance level of the concert will improve every year and hopefully, it will be something that only KIS can manage and only KIS can organize. Hoping that it will be something that even the other international schools admire and come to watch”.
– Yeon Ho Kang (‘15)
“Sketchbook was extremely successful. The club received only positive comments about the music, the food, and atmosphere. Considering that our club is only a semester old (3 months!), I’m still awed at the quality and effort of the work that the club members put in for the concert. Special thanks to Peter Kang, Stacy Jo, Yumi Kim, who took on leading roles throughout the preparation process”.
– Peter Kim (‘15)
We all cannot wait for what KIS Music Entertainment Club has to show us next time. Their first concert was more than impressive, so who knows what their second one will be like? Peter Kim (‘15), the club President, also remarked,
“For next year, I’d love to see the club spread out more within the school community. As the name of the club, ‘KIS Music Entertainment’ suggests, I hope the club reaches a professional status so that other clubs and school organizations can consult us for music performance related events. And I hope they do better than this year’s concert!”
Sketchbook was a lovely experience for us all, and it gave us the strength to hold on until the end of this school year. Thank you, KIS Music Entertainment club, for organizing Sketchbook and providing us with a piece of peace before the AP exams and finals!
We’ve got everything from behind-the-scenes to the real thing.
On Saturday, March 7th, amateur and veteran MUNers alike gathered at our familiar PAC to await the brilliant start of the highly anticipated 2nd annual SKYMUN 2015.
SKYMUN, which stands for South Korean Youth Model United Nations, is organized every year talented students at Yongsan International School of Seoul, Seoul Foreign School, and Korea International School, while other international school students partake in the conference as participatory delegates, chairs, or mentors.
This year’s SKYMUN theme was “All Our Relations,” with topics including:
“Further improvement on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to entice its international implementation and spread to all member-states,”
“Aiming to achieve the first Millennium Development Goal: reducing child mortality,”
“Measures to protect human rights during peaceful protests, combat unfair criminalization, as well as police brutality.”
Although a generally broad theme, it was nevertheless very prevalent to even the real United Nations and foreign affairs that are being conducted present day. If anything, this broad choice helped the delegates and student officer team remember what MUN is really all about.
The opening ceremony took place early in the morning, with Olivia Kim (‘16) and Jamie Koo (YISS, ‘16) making speeches as part of the Executive Team, and our very own JaeHyun Park (‘15) as the keynote speaker. JaeHyun, as vibrant as ever, spoke passionately about the beauties of MUN, and how we, as delegates and global citizens, must work hard to protect ourselves and our peers from the ever ominous MUNritis, a symptom where:
“If an advisor asks you, ‘Why did you join MUN?’ You say, with a smile, “to become a global citizen!”
You fulfill “the three clause requirement by writing three awareness-raising clauses” (if you don’t get this one, ask a friend who might do MUN)
You are “dozing off at this very moment, dreading me [JaeHyun] to stop talking.”
With the words of wisdom of the former KMUN-Secretary General in mind, the delegates split off into their respective committees, where they worked hard during lobby sessions to combine the best possible resolution for their specific issue. Each student participated thoroughly during the debate time as well, perhaps with underlying hopes to earn the hallowed ‘Best Delegate’ title of their committee.
Behind the scenes, however, there was the executive team, the mentors, and the student officers, making rapid-fire exchanges with one another to hurriedly get committee crises in order, assuring all the resolutions were printed and snacks were delivered on time.
Just ask Olivia Kim (‘16) about the chaotic scene:
“Running, running, running, a bit of printing, and some more running.”
Sounds about right.
Crises are a special event some MUN conferences decide to incorporate into their already-fun conferences. Usually done by a selected, all-fantastic student officers/actors, a scenario is decided (for example, in the Human Rights Council, the head of INTERPOL was taken hostage by a powerful Mexican drug cartel who demanded a huge ransom for the safe return of the head), and delegates are urged to develop, under a very strict, minimal time limit, an elaborate, efficient, feasible resolution to help deal with the crises. (HRC made a one-clause resolution, which passed and succeeded.)
But before all of us knew it, the conference was over. With much excitement, the delegates began to fill up the seats one by one, as the presidents of the committees shuffled up to the stage to sit behind the executive team. The Closing Ceremony was graced with the speeches of all the presidents, Clara Yoon (‘16), Min Byung Chae (who ended his speech by saying a refreshing “Hasta luego!”) and John Park (‘15), who reflected his time as a member of the Executive Team last year, and as a Mentor of a committee this year.
But Clara Yoon (‘16), had a few more words to say to summarize her sentiments for a conference that she explains has come to hold a special place in her heart.
“SKYMUN has reminded me that MUN is not about winning awards and main submitting, but to be the pinnacle of diplomacy in a room that could often [not] care less about cooperation blinded by ones’ goals.”
What more could one want out of an MUN conference, really?
Overall, it might’ve been hectic, but even as a veteran MUNer myself, I could see and feel the genuine excitement and passion many of the attending delegates felt during the course of this one day. Valuable lessons, priceless memories, and UN worthy resolutions were passed, and it is sights like this that give one hope for the future to come.
And it’s safe to say, each and every single person who attended SKYMUN defeated MUNritis for good.
Missed Blackout? Here’s a review of everything (EVERYTHING) that happened on last Friday’s dance premiere from behind the scenes to the actual stage.
“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”
– Martha Graham
Make it to the showcase on Friday March 20th? Good. You experienced one of the best events held at KIS this year, so far. Couldn’t go because of after school sports practice or hagwon (or just from being lazy)? Fear not, because this article will get you up-to-date with everything that happened on Friday.
Chaos hasn’t ensued just yet. The dancers begin to fill up the black box as their teachers dismiss them from class, hurrying to get changed into their outfits for their first dance routine out of many. Girls are doing both their hair and makeup, while the guys awkwardly stand around watching them, horrified by the amount of makeup products they can fit inside their tiny purses. All the while, club president Kate Won Young Cho (‘15) is already busy running around – an hour before the showcase – distributing the schedule of the showcase to all performers. The schedule consists of a master script to be used by the MCs (Lizzie Jeon (‘15), Peter Kim (‘15), and Jason Kwon (‘16)), as well as the order of every single dance. She then greets each of the other schools’ teams as they arrive, explaining to them where the changing rooms are located, and scampering around to make sure everything is perfect before the actual show.
Chaos ensues. The black box is absolutely full of students who have traveled all the way from SFS, GSIS, YISS, and SIS. Clothes lie strewn everywhere, and Blackout members step around lost clothes to practice their dance moves before their performance in front of the audience. Ashley Soyu Park (‘15), (in charge of backstage) tapes the master script to the door, and reviews the schedule one by one in order for her to tell the dancers when to come out on stage. The noise level in the room reaches an insane level as officer Yuna Shin (‘17) wildly shushes the dancers and crew members. Kate Won Young Cho hands out the team sweatshirt to the Blackout members, with the Blackout logo freshly printed in white. Slowly, the dancers realize that this is it.
The PAC begins filling up with people, and with five minutes left before the show, dancers can hear conversations going on outside. Member Emily Lee (‘17) peeks through the curtains, comes back to the blackbox, excitedly exclaiming that there are so many people sitting, whilst the dancers wait for the show to begin. Top batter performers, dancing to the song 멘붕 (mental break down) by CL are both excited and frightened about being the first ones to kick off the show.
As Rena Yun (‘18), one of the dancers in the 멘붕 group recalls,
“I thought my heart was going to burst open when I entered the stage and I was so nervous and scared of making any mistakes.”
However, despite the immense pressure, leader and Vice President of the club Jamine Kang (‘16) proceeds to calmly address the small group with a pep talk, reminding all members to do their best, and to not blank out even when they make a mistake. The audience is ready, the soundbooth is ready, and most importantly, the dancers are ready.
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
The lights in the PAC go dark and the audience goes wild, as the dance team’s promotion video pops up on the screen on stage. As the video runs, dancers get ready right behind the curtains, waiting for their cue right after the video. The video finishes, the audience cheers, and Premiere begins. One by one, dancers go up on stage, perform, run backstage to change, frantically racing with time. Many performers like Kay Herr (‘18) had back to back performances with just a mere couple of minutes of MC to stall time for her to quickly change, and/or to grab her snapback. Despite the showcase being over an hour long, the energy refuses to die down.
As one of the audience, Alex Kim (‘17) says,
“I thought it was very energetic, which actually pumped me up. Overall, it was great and really enjoyable.”
Of course; who wouldn’t get pumped up? Kate Won Young Cho’s solo performance to Break of Dawn by Michael Jackson, the performance of oh-so-fangirled GSIS dancer Trey Noh, and even KIS dancers dancing to HER by Block B in their animal suits. With both great performers and audience members, dancers can proudly say, the Premiere was a success.
Blackout: The Premiere
When asked to recall the Premiere, Jasmine Jeong (‘17) told Blueprint,
“Our first showcase was definitely one of my greatest sophomore memories. I think our club worked really hard as a team for the last month. Despite the lack of time and some clashes between members, I think we did a great job preparing multiple songs for our first showcase. I think it was a huge opportunity for all members to get to know each other better.”
With practices almost every day after school, as well as on weekends, dancers got to interact more, and share their joy and passion of dancing with one another. Dancers enjoyed it, but how about the audience? If the high-pitched, admiring cheers don’t convince you, Lisa Han (‘17) is here to convince you otherwise. She especially enjoyed it because
“Premiere brought different schools together, creating a community where all students can perform and show their dedication for dance.”
She also exclaims that she loved the performance, asking for Premiere to become an annual event. Dancers also wish for this to become a reality, because it’s not an everyday thing to be able to dance in front of a large crowd. However, seeing the stage they produced with their extreme effort and perseverance, we can say it definitely paid off.
Get excited for more to come from KIS’ very own Blackout, because this is obviously not going to be their last stage. Continue supporting our lovely dance members! Until next time…