On the night of Oct. 27, more than 10 student organizations came together on the Alumnae Hall stage in a celebration of the diversity on Wellesley’s campus. From the invigorating rhythms of the Yanvalou Drum and Dance Ensemble, to the graceful duels of Wellesley Wushu, to the lively dances of Cielito Lindo, the show had something for everyone.
In the midst of Halloweekend, the student leaders of Slater International Center were hard at work preparing for the annual show, although the effort was a long time coming. President Alicia Padilla ’24 and Vice President Anastasija Vasilijevic ’24 explained that planning began in July.
“We were mostly guided by the previous years’ experiences and what previous boards did. We split into smaller committees focused on decorations and performances, for example, and had weekly meetings where everyone would update us on their progress,” Vasilijevic said.
The logistics of the event were primarily handled by Culture Show Chairs Emily Yang ’27, Nika Ananieva ’27, Zoey Hu ’27 and Nicky Sun ’27.
“We were in charge of coordinating with the performers, dealing with props and media departments so that the whole show could run smoothly. My main responsibility was to write the program and take care of the lighting cues during the whole show,” Yang said.
The lack of a student bursar provided challenges for the show, as there was limited funds to hire people for technical support.
“The fact that we don’t have a bursar definitely complicated things for us in a lot of ways because usually with these types of events, you request people to help you with tech support or audio support,” Padilla said. “The lack of a bursar has hindered funding and hiring processes … We had to train our own e-board members and that meant that of course, people would have to be willing to do this work on a volunteer basis.”
Despite these setbacks, Slater members remained energetically determined throughout the process.
“I was really impressed at the enthusiasm of the first-years. We have a lot of first-years here on e-board this year and honestly, they carried so much of the show. They worked so hard. They painted all the little decorations by hand and handled much of the tech board. It was amazing to see their energy,” Padilla said.
The show itself lasted two hours, featuring a diverse array of performances ranging from hip-hop dance to Peking Opera.
“My favorite part was really the dedication that each student brought to their performance despite the other responsibilities they probably have; I really appreciated the way the students expressed themselves and their cultures and I think it’s wonderful to see,” attendee Maria Li ’27 said.
A solo performance of a Ukrainian indie band ballad by Lana Honcharuk greatly moved students.
“A highlight of the show for me was definitely the Ukrainian song, it was really relevant and very well done,” Li added.
For Ashley Huesca ’27, who was in charge of the decorations and publicity, the international fashion show was the perfect ending to the night.
“It was very nice seeing everyone walking and smiling with their flags. Audience support was amazing as well; it was very wholesome,” Huesca said.
The Culture Show is an opportunity for students to feel empowered by freely engaging in cultural exchange.
“Whoever wants to perform can perform because it is a space for all of the students on campus to showcase their talents,” Vasilijevic said.
While the event connected the wider Wellesley community closer together, it also strengthened bonds within Slater International Center itself.
“I was quite satisfied with the result, because it’s really a product of the collaboration between all the e-board members. Everyone takes their own responsibilities during the show and is working hard trying to make this project succeed. I was so happy to experience a kind of camaraderie throughout this process,” Yang concluded.