Performers astonish audience at talent show

Students practice self-expression through music, dance

Hannah Flores, Staff Reporter

Three women hold their arms above their heads during a dance performance

Marissa Lordahl
Christy-Anne Villanueva performing the dance that she choreographed, which earned Ante-Up a first place prize at the Talent Show show on Feb. 7.

The crowd roared and cheered as students took the stage Friday night in Royal Brougham Pavilion for Seattle Pacific University’s Talent Show.  

The night began with a comedic introduction from the hosts, and the audience was promised an evening filled with exciting performances and the students more than exceeded the expectations. 

The show was put on by the Student Union Board (STUB) and provided a night of entertainment that was a highlight in SPU’s Homecoming weekend. 

STUB’s co-chair for the Talent Show, Marissa Thompson, shared that the shows served as an important outlet of self-expression on campus. 

“I think it’s a good way to see individual talents shine, but also seeing the SPU community come together to celebrate each other is really special,” Thompson said. 

The performers shared that the night was special because it allowed everyone involved to shine and show off their skills. 

“I’ve always loved performing, but especially for this audience because a lot of them are my friends and peers. It felt extra special, like getting up in front of family,” junior Aseda Bekoe-Sakyi said. 

two women hold microphones and sing

Marissa Lordahl
Rachael Fasno and Alia Haro, vocalists for Tapestry, a band made up of five SPU students.

While each act was able to express their talents, the 2020 People of Promise Awards were given to recognize accomplished students both in and outside the classroom. 

The People of Promise Awards are voted by the student body and presented to students on campus who exhibit SPU’s core values. 

People of Promise recipients display a faith commitment, an attitude of service towards SPU and the community, are involved in extracurricular activities on and off campus, as well as being committed to outstanding academics. There were two recipients from each class, except for the freshman class, which didn’t receive enough nominees.  

This year’s winners included sophomores Hailey Echan and Charis Doi, juniors Aseda Bekoe-Sakyi and Serina Dawa, and seniors Peirce Salave’a and Shelby Perkins. 

a man plays a guitar

Marissa Lordahl

Tapestry, a band of five friends ― Bekoe-Sakyi, junior Alia Haro, junior Nate Canny, sophomore Rachael Fasano and sophomore Eric Peterson ― put on an enthralling performance. 

Their covers of “Chariot” by Mega and “Come Together” by The Beatles were lively with the band jumping around the stage and belting the lyrics. They also encouraged the audience to clap along to the beat. 

At the peak of their performance, during “Come Together,”  the audience roared with praise and many sang along. This praise led Tapestry’s performance to win them second place for the night. 

The group members come from all different backgrounds but have been able to connect through their shared passion of music. 

“We’re all really good friends so the message of the song was whenever we’re feeling down or going through it, we’ll be there to guide each other home,” Bekoe-Sakyi said.

Beyond singing, the event also showcased talents of students such as sophomore Jason Woolley and his electric violin, which captivated the audience and earned him third place overall. 

Woolley’s performance of “The Arena” by Lindsey Stirling was an exciting fusion of rock and classical music genres. His movements were fierce, and the combination of such differing music genres had the audience on the edge of their seats.

A group of dancers kneel on the stage during a performance

Marissa Lordahl
Ante Up snagged first place at the talent show Friday, with their engaging performance mashing up a variety of popular songs.

Woolley shared that the night was unlike anything he had ever experienced before. 

“Because I love this music so much, I wanted to be able to share it with other people. It’s not to win or anything, I just liked the feeling and had fun,” Woolley said. 

Woolley also shared that the event allows those with lesser known talents to showcase their skills.

“I think it’s really to showcase some things that aren’t so obvious to people. There might be people that didn’t know the performers were good at dancing or singing. It lets people shine and have their moment,” he said. 

Although there were many musical acts, the show also featured many dancers, one of which was Ante Up.

a man stretches his arm back as he performs a dance

Marissa Lordahl
Ante Up engaged the audience with their acrobatic and skillfully choreographed dance “Juice Box.”

The eight member dance group featured freshman Jessica Bedolla, freshman Ryson Casupang, sophomore Christy-Anne Villanueva, sophomore Quinn Laulainen, sophomore Jade Arichita, sophomore Ada Campos-Sanchez, sophomore Delina Stifanos, and Bekoe-Sakyi. 

They performed an exciting hip-hop number to a medley of songs that highlighted popular music over the last decade. 

Their piece, titled “Juice Box,” featured hits such as “Juice” by Lizzo, “Run It!” by Chris Brown and a snippet from Beyonce’s 2018 Coachella performance. 

Ante Up won first place overall for their performance. After a close vote from the audience which resulted in a 1% difference, the group also won the title of People’s Choice. 

“We just wanted to show that we were having a fun time,” Villanueva said. 

“It’s a great opportunity for SPU students to be able to show their talents,” she said. “Even if they aren’t in a music major, they’re still able to show their skills. There are so many diverse talents and it’s cool to see the different performances.”