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Defying the norm

Posted By Leigh Alon On April 14, 2010 @ 12:24 am In Features | Comments Disabled

South’s student body is known for being heavily involved in extracurricular activities, whether it is for a college resume or because of an inherent passion.

Students’ commitment to their interests and the time they spend pursuing them often create social groups that are completely comprised of participants in certain activities.
However, as with just about any social norm, there are those that choose to break the barriers.

The Dyin’ Dawgz, a band which has impressed many after their jaw dropping performance during the Tertulia, is comprised of four members of the math team, a group of kids who few around South would expect to express themselves through music as they have.

They combine the classical elements of junior Hyun Lee’s violin, the melodic voice freshman Elena Byun, as well as the rhythmic elements of junior Tony Wang’s rhythmic, and junior Tomer Reiter’s rapping. Their catchiness of their songs was unexpected by many, especially as their name came about because of one person’s comment they sounded like “dying dogs.
However, Dyin’ Dawgz has allowed its members to expand not only their musical talents. “I was generally a little shy to sing solo lines before, but being in a group with only four or five members means that each person really has to bring out their parts. I was extremely nervous for the Tertulia performance, too, but I think Dyin’ Dawgz have made it easier for me to sing without being so afraid of people judging me, Byun said.

Wang believes that Dyin’ Dawgz’s members’ reputation as being involved in math and science has created for an especially pleased and excited audience. “The fact that we, math team members, could also rap and perform surprised everyone. Tertulia was a great opportunity for us to reach out to the school in this sense, he said.

Junior Jeff Alkins continuously defies the status quo as he participates in both dancing and football. Alkins realized his passion for both activities at a very young age.

He started playing football when he was seven, and joined an all boys dance team at 11. While football is a game, with set rules and guidelines, dance is an art form, and a way of expression, which can be interpreted in many different ways. Alkins appreciates the multifaceted lessons he learns from doing such different activities.

“When I play football I feel validation and accomplishment; when I dance I feel satisfaction and vulnerability. I like doing contrasting activities because it makes me well rounded, gives me a form of understanding, and helps me in real life situations, he said.

Alkins does acknowledge however, that there is a price to spreading oneself too thin. “I was initially afraid about dancing while being a football player. When I would go to football practice late because of dance, instead of saying I was at rehersal I would say I was at practice so they would think I was doing another sport. After a while though, dance taught me self-esteem and confidence and I realized it was cool, and people were more accepting of my dancing than I thought they would be, he said.

At any given time, junior Lily Fein may be found in just about any of the school’s wings, from the artsy 9000′s, to the sweaty locker room of the 4000′s.

She enjoys drawing and pottery, and even has her own jewelry company called Lilypad.
She has expanded on her artistic talents by taking many art classes at South.

Fein is also notorious for her obsession with all things Harry Potter and magic related, and is appropriately an avid member of the Harry Potter club.

On top of these, Fein has played softball for many years and physical activity has become an integral and essential part of her life.

“I like having interests in different areas because it keeps me busy and I could never just choose one, she said.

South is a diverse community, filled with students with varying interests and talents.

But all too often this diversity has led to sharp divisions between the different departments.
Students like these, who reach across lines few care to cross, tie the student body together and benefit from all that the school has to offer.

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URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/04/14/defying-the-norm/

URLs in this post:

[1] Dyin’ Dawgz integrate math and music: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/dyin%e2%80%99-dawgz-integrate-math-and-music/

[2] A great Tertulia makes for the best school day of the year: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/04/14/a-great-tertulia-makes-for-the-best-school-day-of-the-year/

[3] Dance team ascends to varsity status: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/09/24/dance-team-ascends-to-varsity-status/

[4] South celebrates the arts with Tertulia: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/02/15/south-celebrates-the-arts-with-tertulia/

[5] Art Focus: Jeffrey Alkins: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/14/art-focus-jeffrey-alkins/

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