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Spanish Students Compete at 43rd Annual UNL Language Fair

 After budget cuts and a pandemic, PHS students found themselves back at it and competing at the 43rd annual Language Fair hosted by UNL on city campus.  This group of students has never had the opportunity to show off their skills in a competitive manner like that due to UNL budget cuts in 2019 and cancelations in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID.  For all attending, this was a completely new experience at demonstrating language skills in song, dance, poetry, acting and more. While most years have seen an attendance of 1,000-2000 high school participants, this year the number was capped at 500 attendees.   Attendees had a day of activities in competing and attending competitions held in Spanish, German, French, Chinese and Japanese.  Others in attendance participated in language classes (offering some of the less spoken languages), dance lessons from a variety of cultures and even tea tasting held in a Japanese tearoom, just off the Union.


PHS Spanish III and IV students competed at Level 2 in Poetry and Music (designating that they have had 3-4 years of language experience).  Nima Faunce competed in Poetry, memorizing and performing a six-stanza poem “Odo al Aire” written by Pablo Neruda and Drew Moyer tackled the song “Guantanamera”, a well-known Cuban song that highlights the culture and beauty of the country.  Each performer completed a memorized introduction as well in front of three judges as a room of spectators.


Nine other Spanish III and IV students executed a traditional dance. “La Danza de los Viejitos” is a traditional and humorous dance from Michoacán. The dancers wear clothing in colors of the elements, representing senior citizens (in masks that they made) that are dressed as campesinos” (those from the country).  This dance is from the pre-Hispanic times of the Purépecha indigenous group, meant to honor the “Old God”.  This group was scored on their bilingual, memorized introduction of their performance, along with their outfits and overall ability to perform a synchronized dance.  In the end, this group placed second overall, earning “Honorable Mention”.  Congratulations to these dancers:  Lydia Lang, Kyla Davis, Andrew Waltke, Alissa Schejbal, Serenity Wheeler, Elli Jung, Oscar Thomas, Cloe Hopkins, and Chandler Berry.