Hula, Hula, Hula!!!
One of my first friends at Vanderbilt was Annalise Miyashiro (who was Panhellenic Council president 2010-2011). Annalise is Hawaiian, and I am Chinese, but neither of us are in the Asian American Student Association. Every year, the Asian American Student Association puts on Asian New Year Festival (ANYF). Although Annalise was not part of the organization, she was asked to choreograph a hula dance. Since freshman year, I have participated in the hula dance, and Annalise has served as the choreographer. (Note: to participate in ANYF dances, you do not need to part of the Asian American Student Association!)
I am not a coordinated person by any means – Annalise is the cheerleader/dancer/hip-hopper; however, participating in hula has really given me confidence in learning new things. Hula is a calming, friendly dance, and the costumes each year are just fabulous! :-)
This year, I even made a New Years Resolution to get in shape for the Asian New Year Festival. I ran 2-3 times a week and lifted weights. That is why getting involved can be such a great thing – it motivates you to do other things in your life that you normally would not do.
I am so blessed to have such an artistic friend Annalise; she’s been on the Vanderbilt Cheerleading Squad and Vanderbilt’s premiere hip-hop group Vibe. Being at Vanderbilt really does allow you meet people from all over the world and provides opportunities for learning new things (for free).
My partner this year was my four-year friend Yizhen! He’s been a great friend through our college years, and I know he is someone that I will be keeping in touch with even after graduation.
Also, one of the best things about Vanderbilt is diversity. This vague term “diversity” has really been kicked around in many ways, but when I talk about diversity, I think of hula. This is a picture of the five people, who have participated in the hula dance for four years now. As you can see, we are all from different backgrounds: Hispanic, Jewish, White, Hawaiian, Chinese; however, we all come together to do this fun event. I am definitely honored to call Vanderbilt my home and these lovely people my friends! (Note: Tessa has been a co-choreographer with Annalise for the past two years!)