Aptos CNY Parade Club Celebrates the Year of the oxby Leo Belshaw-Hood and Teagan Lee – Aptos 7th Graders
Representation is a big topic in the social studies classroom at Aptos Middle School. Students are taught different ways to represent their communities and school. Some ways include playing on a sports team, performing in the arts, or helping the community by picking up trash. A handful of students in that class are members of the newly reestablished Aptos Chinese New Year Parade Club (CNYPC). They have experienced what it is like to represent their school first hand. One of the biggest ways that a student can represent their school is participating in the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade.
Most of the 19 students that joined the CNYPC last year had been in the parade in previous years at their elementary school, this made their drive to represent Aptos even stronger. In the 2020 parade, Year of the Rat, Aptos’s CNYPC performed a dragon and pearl dance and a Fan dance. The students got very little rest time during the parade, the amount of participants worked to their advantage.
Before the parade the CNYPC members had 3-4 months to prepare their choreography; all the students got plenty of hands-on practice. The dragon for the parade had two substitutes. Substitutes would switch out with someone in the body of the dragon to give them a break. They also had one substitute for the head of the dragon because it is extra heavy and has different choreography. Everyone was excited to participate and got a lot of time performing!
When the members were asked what they miss most about the CNYPC there were a variety of responses. One student responded, “My friends!” Another member said, “How we get to perform and hang out with awesome people”. Adding on to the others, another member said, “I miss the adrenaline of performing”. The feeling of adrenaline from performing in front of 3+ million people was a great loss. All of the members have bonded with each other and are chatting over messages and zoom calls during COVID-19. Students miss Aptos Chinese New Year Parade Club and can’t wait to participate in next year’s parade! 新年快乐！