Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated by Sullivans students
YOKOSUKA - Parents, teachers, students and siblings packed the Benny Decker Theater on board Yokosuka Naval Base for two standing room only performances of heartfelt, sometimes shy, but always memorable singing and dancing Latino style served up by students from the first through fifth grade Sullivans language immersion classes.
The show began with an introduction by vice Principal Michael Ochoa and moved quickly to a Salsa performance of “Aguanile” by Señora Angela Bissel’s first grade class. Señor Ben Zapater, a third grade teacher at the Sullivans, moved the program along ably as a master of ceremonies while students for Sra. Yvette Parker’s and Sra.
Edie Duncan’s 2/3 multiage class presented the flags of Spanish speaking countries and told the audience about famous Latinos from many different fields between performances. The speakers were coached in their performance by Sra. Pyrrha Rivers. Rivers and Veronica Sandoval, two Foreign Languages in the Schools (FLES) teachers directed the entire program this year. Sandoval also choreographed and rehearsed several of the dances.
“El Sombrero Azul”, the blue hat was presented by Sra. Marci Garcia’s second graders with the girls dancing in flowing white dresses and the boys in traditional jeans with red bandannas around their necks.
The next spot was shared by two teachers as students from Sra. Stacey Olson’s second grade in the first show and Sra. Lou Sibayan’s second grade in the second show danced in beautifully colored traditional dresses for the Mexican Hat Dance, “El Jarabe Tapatio”.
In this dance, Sra. Laura Batista, Another Sullivans FLES teacher, also danced with her son, Juan Batista, A fifth grader at the school. Juan Batista, who has danced “El Jarabe Tapatio” for audiences here and in Odaiba and Yokosuka City states, “I always feel honored and excited when I can dance in front of a group of people who appreciate my dancing.”
Sra. Marisa Pandiella’s second grade class danced in “Polleras”, a much admired and beautiful traditional costume of Panama. They performed “La Denesa”, a traditional dance of Panama.
Following Sra. Pandiella, Sr. Zapater’s class sang popular children’s songs in Spanish and Sra. Patricia Lopez’ fifth graders presented a stylish Tango dance. The final performance was a rousing colorful dance by Sra. Rocio Gutierrez’ class of fourth graders who presented “Flor De Piña” or pineapple flower, a traditional song from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. What a wonderful performance and a great way to celebrate our Hispanic Heritage. Many Thanks to Sullivans PTO who donated costumes for the event.