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Crunch Time! July 1 Rehearsal
By Erica Lee & Anouch Wise / Sunday, July 1st, 2006 / O'Henry High School

As July 16th draws nearer, all the groups are racing to perfect their performances. The rehearsal on Saturday, July 1st started out with gongyo led by John Kasahara. Gongyo was followed by a few encouraging words from co-director Michiko Nakamura and a study presentation by co-director Atul Sheffey. Atul's presentation explained the significance of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and why we chant. He also made announcements requesting the youth to respect the school in which we are rehearsing and to remain on premises at all times for their safety. After an announcement by stage director Shenica Odom, the day's work began.

As we roamed the building, we saw that each group was hard at work. There were hardly any breaks and the leaders were working each member to their fullest extent. We sensed a change in the air and apparently, we weren't the only one. BSG member Raymond Chen said, "[Everyone is] more serious, more focused. I see the momentum picking up."

We observed the Asian Performance group while they were dancing, and took the opportunity to chat with the lead dancer when they took a break. Yuen Ping Low said that everyone was "very cooperative" and that the dance was going "very smoothly". But with great causes come great obstacles. She said, "I just realized certain things. We're going to perform off-stage and that's a slight disadvantage. As of now, it's getting very hard to handle. The pressure's on!"

Yuen Ping's statement was accurate. The pressure was indeed on. All the dancers in all the dance groups (African, Latin, Hip Hop, Asian, YWD) were running through routines every minute they could, the Youth Band was playing every second, and the Chorus was singing at every opportunity. Even while lining up outside the gym, waiting for their turns to perform for the run-through, each group did not waste a single second.

Every leader was there, preparing by taking time out to review and answer questions with as many individual members as they could. Each said the same thing when asked how they felt their groups were progressing: it was hard work, but it was all worth it.


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Journal 1 (April 23)
Journal 2 (May 14)
Journal 3 (May 21)
Journal 4 (June 11)
Journal 5 (June 18)
Journal 6 (June 25)
Journal 7 (July 1st)
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July 15th
July 16th

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