Behind the Scenes at Heritage Night


(Staff Photo)

Stacy Kriazheva, Staff Writer

Heritage Night is an annual show at Falls Church High School, where students that come from different places around the world represent their countries and share a part of their unique culture. Preparations and rehearsals play a very important role in making it happen. The process of choosing a song, music or outfit which best represents your culture is what makes this event spectacular and fascinating for anyone.

Julia Rodriguez (12), who helped organize the show, has been taking leadership class since her freshman year and has always been interested in participating in school events. “My whole family has always been involved in community life. I come from Mexico, and the students of FCHS come from 85 different countries all over the world. That’s why I decided to participate in preparations for the Heritage Night: we want to encourage students to embrace their cultures,” she says.

The planning usually starts in December, and the auditions start in January. It takes a lot of time to choose the acts and write the scripts for the emcees. “The technical side is also very important,” says Julia. “We have to work on sound and lights. It is important to keep everything organized and not to miss anything.”

This year, it was especially hard to organize the show because of the weather conditions. It was initially planned to take place on February 19, but was postponed twice and eventually took place on February 27. Julia says, “Because of rescheduling the show, the food part didn’t happen. It makes me a little bit upset, because cooking and presenting traditional meals is another way for students to share their cultures.”

But even though there were some difficulties in organizing the show this year, Julia and other involved students are fully satisfied with the result. “It was our 25th annual show, which came out to be a wonderful event showing the diversity of our school,” says Julia. “I really liked the way we presented the 45 languages spoken at FCHS. As for the performers, all of them did an amazing job representing their cultures. Of course, their patience and responsibility at the rehearsals helped us make it happen.”

One of the performers, Destiny Sanchez (12), decided to take part in the show because she thought is was a great opportunity to show her talent. “The preparations were hard,” she says, “and it took a really long time to rehearse the dance. However, I really enjoyed the rehearsals. We had a lot of fun working on putting everything together and making it all happen. Everybody was very friendly to each other, and we encouraged each other to show our talents with pride.”

As well as Julia, Destiny is very happy with the results. “We all had a great time preparing for the show and performing. It was such a wonderful experience!”