November 2018, Vol. XXIV, No. 3

Article Index


2) Contest Winners

PAX's Got Talent!

The first contest of the year is in the books! The theme for the contest was simple. We asked PAX students to show us their talents—whatever they may be. Their submissions were judged based on overall talent, presentation, and the quality of the submitted files themselves (videos, photos, etc.).

Overall Winner

When all the votes were counted, Fudhol, a YES Indonesian hosted by the Oestreich family in Wisconsin, was our overall winner with his hilariously professional and well-executed “YMCA” dance video. “The reason I picked this song is because it is an iconic comedic song,” Fudhol explains. “I first heard about it after one of the cross country meets I had in Janesville. My friend Tristan was dancing as the song blasted over the meet’s sound system.”

In the video, “I danced in the proper place as well, specifically in the Neenah-Menasha, Wisconsin YMCA” the Indonesian notes. “I arranged the concept and choreography with my host mom, and then asked for permission to record at the YMCA…My host mom did a great job recording me! I danced like they did in the 80's, using some old school moves and variety of new ones too to match the youngin’s caliber.”

Most-Talented Cluster

There was also an award for the most talented group of PAX exchange students who have the same coordinator. With four very talented cultural dancers, the prize of $300 (to be applied toward a group enhancement activity) will be presented to community coordinator Ann Schneider. Located in the Oregon-Washington borderland near Portland, her group submitted a delightful medley of cultural dances, captured in a single take.

Jamal “Jimmy” (YES, Lebanon hosted by the Sanders family) unpackages the Tunisian, Indonesian, Kenyan, and Lebanese dances for us:

The Fazzani dance is an important part of Tunisian culture and can often be seen at weddings, circumcision parties, concerts, and festivals. It's usually danced to a mizwad which is a Tunisian instrument and music type. The Pendet dance is originally from Bali, an island in Indonesia. This dance is usually performed at the opening of a religious, formal, or almost any kind of ceremony. The Mugithi, a Kenyan dance, is a famous dance performed by the Agikuyu tribe, which is the largest tribe of the 46 in Kenya. It is usually performed during weddings and traditional events. The Lebanese Dabkeh is a traditional line dance often linked to wedding ceremonies or parties. It vibrates with joy and cheerfulness and differs from region to region in Lebanon.

Summing up the overall process of practicing these dances and creating the video, Jimmy adds, “We are four motivated young leaders that loved interacting with each other while creating this video. It was so much fun putting this little dance together, and we really hope you enjoy it and learn more about our cultures!” Aside from Jimmy, the other participating YES students include Hiba (Tunisia, Burt family), Tasya (Indonesia, McGee family), and Joan (Kenya, Minnis family).

In addition to finding the winning videos below, as you scroll through this issue you can find videos of a number of other talented PAXers who created pieces specifically for the “PAX’s Got Talent!” contest.