DANCING WITH A STRANGER: Junior Jessie Peng’s experience with dance performances was clear through her effortlessly executed dance moves. (Aryav Nagar)
DANCING WITH A STRANGER: Junior Jessie Peng’s experience with dance performances was clear through her effortlessly executed dance moves.

Aryav Nagar

Spectacular acts from Northwood’s Got Talent

May 8, 2023

One night, 20 students stepped onto the stage to perform under bright lights. For some, this was their first time onstage, and for others it was just another show—regardless, the night was magical because every student was able to showcase their talent.

Northwood’s Got Talent, a competition-style talent show, was planned and hosted by Freshman Class Council on April 19 to showcase students’ various strengths. Winners were rewarded with student store credit—first place won $15, second place won $10 and third place won $5.

“I was so happy to see so many people ready to show their talents to the rest of the school,” freshman vice president Rose Chhabria said. “Every single act in the show was amazing. Just getting to see all those people ready to put themselves out there helped us put together a successful event for the rest of the student body.”

Freshman George Xie playing “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd on the piano won third place, sophomore Zaira Ulmer singing “Take Me to Church” by Hozier won second place and junior Kyeongmin Choi solving Rubik’s cubes won first place.

While there were only three winners, every performer learned from this experience of sharing their talent with the school. Every talent is worth sharing, so I wanted to spotlight a few of my favorite acts from the talent show:

Sophomore Ginee Hong sang “Glue Song” by beabadoobee


Aryav Nagar

STUCK BY GLUE: The audience’s eyes were glued to the stage when sophomore Ginee Hong sang “Glue Song” in the charming first act.

This recognizable song was an excellent choice as the opening performance for the night because Hong’s sweet, angelic voice matched it perfectly. This was Hong’s second year singing at Northwood’s talent shows, and since then, she has gained a lot more confidence. Hong was engaging and took advantage of space on the stage, allowing her to connect with the audience. 

“I learned that to get over stage fright, you just need to keep exposing yourself to that environment,” Hong said. “It also helped me learn that you might not think you have a lot of support but in reality you do!”

Junior Jessie Peng danced to “Dancing with a Stranger”


Aryav Nagar

DANCING WITH A STRANGER: Junior Jessie Peng’s experience with dance performances was clear through her effortlessly executed dance moves.

Her performance was impressive, as she balanced flow with sharpness. It was satisfying to watch her dance quickly yet with the precision and detail that speaks for her experience. Peng is a member of Northwood’s Dance Theatre team, and this solo taught her skills she will bring to her future performances.

“It was definitely nerve-wracking, but I enjoy dancing in front of everyone, which is a way of expressing myself through dance moves,” Peng said. “I learned how to use the stage when I’m doing a solo and making connections with the audience.”

Senior Kerry Han sang “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra


Aryav Nagar

JAZZED TO PERFORM: This performance was senior Kerry Han’s first time onstage, yet his passion for singing created a remarkable act.

Han’s entire demeanor emulated Frank Sinatra, with his head bobbing down to his footwork and spins. It was magnetic to watch him step onto the stage with such confidence and transform into the character—you could tell he loved to perform and loved the music.

His performance seemed so effortless that it was natural. So much so that it was almost impossible to tell that this was Han’s first performance.

“I love jazz, and because of my vocal range, singing songs in the style of Frank Sinatra makes it both enjoyable and more manageable,” Han said. “At first, I hated hearing my voice as I just didn’t like the way I sounded. But after hearing so many encouraging words from both audience members and other performers, it certainly encouraged me to improve at singing and to be more encouraging of others.”

Junior Sam Jalalpour performed his original poem “Peace be Upon”


Aryav Nagar

POWERFUL POETRY: “Peace be Upon” allowed junior Sam Jalapour to express his emotions about the Iran Revolution and demonstrate his talent for performing in front of a live audience.

Jalalpour explained that poetry was a way to relieve stress by putting his emotions into words. He originally wrote “Peace be Upon” in Farsi, but he translated it into English and performed it that night. 

It is clear that Jalapour is passionate and has a way with words, but through the performance, his ability to capture an audience’s attention also became clear. He masterfully played with timing and volume that transformed into a powerful, profound representation of his emotions about the Iran Revolution.

“I chose this particular poem not just because it’s one of my best written pieces of work, but I think the purpose of the poem is very important to be faced to an audience,” Jalapour said. “With the revolution that is happening in Iran right now, I thought the best way I can represent my brave people was through this piece. An audience was able to listen to my words and get a summary about the past, present and future of Iran.”

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