Student Performers Show School Spirit for the Holiday Season

Photo Courtesy of Cecilia Mou
Senior Sonia Goyal and junior Amy Chen perform their socially-distanced number called Bola Rebola. All of Dance Company performed the same dance for the video pep rally, but in small groups of five to seven people.

ASB will present the virtual winter pep rally on Nov. 30 during advisement with a festive dress code of holiday pajamas and sweaters. ASB chose the theme “‘Twas the Night Before the Rally” to match the holiday spirit. 

The rally will include performances from Dance Company and cheer, videos from Portola News Network and interactive Kahoots and trivia, according to senior and ASB student activities coordinator Brandon Chung.

“We really want to keep the Portola spirit alive and show the freshmen how we should be acting so that they can carry it on for future years,” Chung said.

For the pep rally ASB collaborated with PNN in creating videos and activities that showcase the lives of students and staff. 

“They want to include some activities after you watch the video so it’s more engaging, like if it were in person,” Chung said. They’re trying to make it as close as possible to what we would get if we were in person.”

Dance Company has traditionally performed at in-person pep rallies, but this year their performance will be virtual. According to junior and assistant ASB producer Cecilia Mou, COVID-19 guidelines required Dance Company split up into dance groups. These groups were scheduled into time slots of 20 minutes in order to keep socially distant, and wore masks while performing.

“The aspect of not being able to do certain formations or visual effects and fatigue in general [was difficult],” Mou said. “Dance is a really cardio-based sport, and having to move around with something obstructing your breathing passage is kind of hard.”

The cheer teams have created a holiday-themed video for the virtual pep rally, according to senior and varsity cheerleader Ashley Presnell. Since virtual pep rallies are rather new this year, the cheerleaders had a few setbacks during production.

“It’s actually funny; we recorded twice,” Presnell said. “The first time was supposed to be on the football field on Monday last week, but by the time we started filming, it was too dark to see anyone. We ended up having to re-film on the baseball field…On top of that, we don’t get to stunt because of COVID.”

Despite the challenges and restrictions on tricks, the nearly 40 cheerleaders were able to come through with a video to get students set for winter break and the holiday season.

“I hope it makes people look forward to winter break and all that stuff coming up,” Presnell said. “Even though things are different than other years, it is kind of a sense of normalcy that we still have pep rallies. It might be a little different, but it still should be fun for everyone.”