The faculty at Blue Ridge wanted to be sure that January and February were not dreary months this year. Behind the excellent organizing skills of International Student Coordinator Ms. Alanna Pardee and Social Coordinator Ms. Krystle Roach, students enjoyed some outstanding cultural and social activities to wind up Lunar New Year and stave off winter doldrums. Senior Class President Chris Hickman kicked off the excitement last Tuesday with his announcement that Wednesday would be a Headmaster’s Day. Students were understandably filled with excitement being able to stay up late and get caught up on studies, while sleeping in Wednesday morning to catch up on sleep!
Immediately following the announcement, invited performer Denny More came on stage to perform magic tricks followed by his celebrated hypnosis routine. There was not a dry eye in the gym because everyone was laughing so hard that they were crying. This show will be one that the boys will never forget, from forgetting their names or how many fingers they had, to spontaneously becoming ballerinas, it was a stunning success. Not to mention that Mr. More took the place of study hall, which was a treat in and of itself.
After the hypnosis performance, students were invited to participate in a tradition of Chinese New Year, the lantern festival which is celebrated on the 15th day of the New Year. Students gathered at the lake and made wishes for the new year by floating tea candles out onto the water. Freshman Miles Xu brought back four Chinese sky lanterns which were lit in celebration of the event.
To close out the Lunar New Year celebration on Wednesday, students were entertained by a visiting troupe of four Chinese acrobats and its announcer who discussed the cultural significance of the routines, as well as what went into the troupe's preparations for its shows. From balancing and catching bowls on their heads while riding a tall unicycle, to juggling and rope twirling, to demonstrations of the Chinese yo-yo, the students were exposed to both a unique and exciting art form, as well as an important aspect of Chinese culture. It was a nice break from the regular winter routine, and the student body is recharged for the stretch run up to spring break.