IB Community Hosts Live Music Dance Hall

By Keya Sampat, Campus News Editor

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Filled with cowboy hats and boots, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Community hosted a live music dance with Fingerpistol, a local band, on Sunday, April 14. The goal of this dance was not only to provide an opportunity for students to enjoy some relaxing time with their friends, but also to bring a taste of the local Austin music culture to Westwood. The afternoon started with two-step dance lessons, followed by the band performing while everyone slowly went up to the dance floor.

“This is something we can do that is a local culture event, because in order for us to understand who we are, we need to understand the space around us,” IB Coordinator Ms. Stephanie Childress said. “This is the kind of stuff that happens in the greater, larger state of Texas, so we are just introducing this part of culture to the students, just to have a sense of what it is.”

IB students have studied Austin’s local culture in freshman Pre-IB class World Area Studies (WAS) and were interested in experiencing it. This encouraged many students and teachers of the IB community to work hard and bring about this event.

“We decided in the spring to have a Texan dance, bring in live music, and offer the opportunity to dance,” social studies teacher Mr. Timothy Bray said. “Hopefully this gets our students to appreciate our local popular culture and give them the opportunity to socialize with each other and build community, I just like the opportunity to see people get out of their comfort zone, do something they normally wouldn’t do, and just enjoy themselves.”

The dance was a deviation from most students’ daily routine, providing a good chance for them to put themselves out there and try something different that they generally may not have attempted.

“My favorite part about this event is getting to hang out with all of my friends and just getting to experience the general atmosphere that IB can create,” Anaita Merchant ‘20 said. “I think it’s also really good because it forces you to get out of your comfort zone, because there is not as many people here as there are at homecoming or prom, so people actually see you dance, which I think is kind of scary, but also nobody knows what they’re doing so it’s also fun at the same time.”

The event helped students bond with their friends, and also meet and dance with new people. Additionally, this experience allowed attendees to show off their talents and build a community with their peers.

“I like the creativity that goes into this event and I like the music,” Violet Burns ‘21 said. “I like that we came together and put a bunch of various Austin cultural activities together, and I really enjoy the people. You also just generally don’t know what to expect the first time you come, but it’s really fun.”

This live music dance was an enjoyable and relaxing experience for many students, and is a tradition that the IB Community hopes to continue every year.