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The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

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Defne Bayman 24
Defne Bayman
Communications Coordinator, Artist, Reporter and Photographer

(they/she) Defne Bayman is a senior this year, and has been on Print for two years and joined Web this year. They are the communications manager for all of WSS, along with an artist, designer, photographer,...

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Walk it Out performs annual show

On April 27, West High’s multicultural fashion show celebrated its sixth year in Arganbright Auditorium
Omnia+Ahmed+%E2%80%9826%2C+Ira+Dirar+%E2%80%9826%2C+Waad+Dafalla+%E2%80%9926%2C+Wesal+Haroun+%E2%80%9824%2C+Ciram+Shargawi+%E2%80%9825+and+Layan+Ahmed+%E2%80%9825+dance+to+Shail+Al+Telephone+by+Manal+Al+Boudri.
Zoe Smith
Omnia Ahmed ‘26, Ira Dirar ‘26, Waad Dafalla ’26, Wesal Haroun ‘24, Ciram Shargawi ‘25 and Layan Ahmed ‘25 dance to Shail Al Telephone by Manal Al Boudri.

West High is a school with many cultures represented and one of the very few schools in Iowa with 50% minority students. The pouring rain and storm warnings rolling in on phones didn’t stop one of the biggest nights of the year for West students and families. Walk it Out is West High’s annual cultural fashion show, and every year, the turnout gets bigger.

This year, the club of over 50 students, sponsored by English teacher Amari Nasafi, decided to move the celebration to the Arganbright Auditorium for a better performance space. In years past, the event was held in the North Band Room, but the new space only attracted more spectators.

Tickets were $5 if purchased during school hours in the days leading up to Walk it Out and $7 at the door. The event started at 5:30, with a dinner being served in the West High cafeteria. Food from many cultures was represented, and the smell of falafel, mango lassi, samosas, tacos and much more filled the air at West High. The line was wrapped around the door and the event ended up running out of food because of the great turnout.

A volunteer serves up a samosa during the dinner portion of the event on April 27. (Gianna Liu)

After dinner was served, spectators headed into the auditorium to begin the show at 7 p.m. As the curtains opened, Principal Mitch Gross and Assistant Principal Maureen Head appeared on stage side by side with a few of the leaders from the different countries represented. Each student gave a welcome in the respective language of the country they represented.

After the opening speakers, it was time for Latin America to take the stage with a fashion show and many dances to follow. Models wore Quinceanera dresses and also performed a traditional dance, “The Jarabe,” which featured long patterned skirts that consumed the stage.

Fatima Alvarado ’24 turns in her traditional El Salvadorian dress during the dance portion of Latin America on April 27. (Zoe Smith)

After Latin America, it was time for Asia. Seniors Kamakshee Kuchal and Vismitha Vuppala introduced South Asia first. The fashion show portion consisted of many traditional clothing and featured performers mainly from India.

When asked what her favorite part about Walk it Out has been, Vuppala said, “I enjoy seeing all the participants come together to celebrate and embrace their cultures.”

After the fashion show, many of the male performers danced to a song called “Make some noise for the Desi Boyz” followed by the female performers. Finally, seniors Aksheetha Naveen-Kumar, Anjali Mathews, Vismitha Vuppala and Ankur Karandikar danced their senior dance along with junior Ishan Harwani.

After South Asia, East Asia took the stage. With representatives from many different countries such as China and Korea, East Asia was filled with many different traditional clothing.  After showing off Korean Hanboks and Japanese Kimonos, it was time for the dances. The West High K-pop club performed many different songs, ending with the entire East Asia group coming out on stage for the finale.

The final performance of the night focused on Africa and the Middle East. Sudan was the most prominent country represented. After the final fashion show of the night, many dances took place, such as a traditional Congolese dance, a traditional Palestinian dance and a traditional Sudanese dance.

Many seniors took the stage at Walk it Out for the last time on Saturday night, but the underclassmen are looking forward to keeping this West High tradition going for years to come.

 

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About the Contributors
Zoe Smith
Zoe Smith, Editor-in-Chief
(she/her) Zoe Smith is a senior and entering her third and final year on staff. She is so excited to be this year's Web Editor-in-Chief. Although you can usually find her in the newsroom; you may also find her on the soccer field either playing or coaching, working at Maggie's Farm Pizza, hanging out with friends and much more. If you can't find her she is probably petting a dog somewhere.
Gianna Liu
Gianna Liu, Print Sports and Photo Editor
(she/her) Gianna is a Junior and is starting her second year on staff! She is the Photo and Sports Editor this year for print, which is exactly what she loves to do: photography and volleyball! When she isn't doing those or writing, you will catch her binge-watching K-dramas, reading (fiction), biking or perfecting her skin-care routine.
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