With strands of fairy lights and vines of ivy lining the floors and walls, the UCF Cape Florida ballroom was transformed into an enchanted forest Monday night, as Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. hosted its 11th annual Assorted Flavas talent show.
The show, themed "Once Upon a Time," aimed to present cultural diversity across UCF's registered student organizations. In addition, the Beta Theta chapter awarded its annual scholarship to an incoming Knight who possessed academic excellence and an involvement with extracurricular activities, as well as raised money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, its national philanthropy.
Multiple clubs and individual students graced the dance floor, singing, dancing and acting out a vast array of cultural performances. People in hip-hop attire packed one corner, while women in colorful saris and rhinestone-clad belly dancing garb filled the other.
"My favorite part is seeing the different multicultural clubs come together in one place and showcase their talents," said Jessica Doherty, a junior English major.
The Filipino Student Association took third place in the competition with its tinikling dance, which consists of four dancers, two of whom are beating two large bamboo sticks on the ground and against each other, while the other two are dancing and trying to avoid their feet getting caught. The stakes were raised in the first half of the double Dutch-esque dance, as the dancers performed blindfolded.
The UCF Glee Club had the honor of coming in second with its rendition of "Shut Up and Dance," by Walk the Moon. The women danced and twirled around in brightly colored dresses, while the men looked like Disney princes in their white dress shirts and black pants. The club even added its own fairy tale background story to the performance, complete with battling wicked witch and good witch sisters, one who put a spell on the partygoers and the other, who saved the dancers at the ball.
RUKUS claimed the first-place trophy of the night, with about 50 of its members hip-hop dancing in white, black and red.
However, the biggest winner of the night wasn't one of the performers at all.
Yvette Marva, the recipient of the Aspiring Latinas Ahora y Siempre, or A.L.A.S. scholarship, got a fairy tale ending when she left the event with a $600 check for all of her scholarly accomplishments.
"It means a lot to me because unfortunately I don't have the funds to fully cover my expenses. … So I have to pay out of pocket and that’s really difficult between me and my mom to try and pay for books and the rest of my classes. Being financially covered is why I applied for it," the junior interdisciplinary studies major said.
Marva, a transfer student who graduated from Seminole State College in May, said she was thrilled when she found out.
"I was so excited because this is my first scholarship. I applied for so many other scholarships and I didn't get them, and I finally got the opportunity to not only get money for school, but actually be awarded something," she said.
Overall, the night was deemed a success by Chrystal Vazquez, the events chair for the sorority. This was her first time attending the event as a sister and she had no idea what to expect from the night. Audience members donated a total of about $50 toward the sorority's yearlong contribution to St. Jude.
"I think it went really well, from not knowing how its normally gone," she said. "It's been a crazy last few weeks, so it was definitely good that it went well, the place looked great and I was excited, everybody was excited, the performers were great. It was really good."
Noelle Campbell is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @noellecampz or email her at NoelleC@CentralFloridaFuture.com.