By Jade “Rynaissance” Johnson, Staff Writer

The sisters of Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. at the University of West Florida (UWF) and Confucius Institute celebrated the harvest autumn moon and Confucius Institute Day with Chinese Student Association, Vietnamese American Student Association and Gulf Coast Chinese American Association on the night of Sept. 26.

This event celebrated the autumn harvest moon which is commonly celebrated by Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean backgrounds. It featured traditional and Korean pop dancing, skits, songs and music. The ladies of UWF DPhiL performed a Chinese modern fan dance and an urban choreography piece from 1Million Studio.

Trinkets and streamers of bright red and vivid yellow filled the UWF Conference Center lobby and ballroom. The event began with fun, gentle sounds of the Chinese Student Association and Gulf Coast Chinese American Association as they sang both Mandarin and English songs. Their final song, “Blessed with Longevity” closed their opening performances with melodic harmonies and expressive choreography.

“The Moon Festival is an important part of Chinese culture,” said Emily Miller, the chapter president of Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. at UWF. “It allows us to teach our future generations our history and appreciation of the Autumn harvest. We gain an appreciation of the moon and enjoy our time with our family and friends, while enjoying dancing and traditional foods.”

Transitioning into the main part with some words of acknowledgment from the director of Confucius Institute, Dr. Kuiyuan Li thanking the sponsors and for all the guests for coming out. Chapter president Emily Miller and another student from the Chinese Student Association took the stage to introduce the first act, which was a Chinese modern fan dance performed by sisters Paula Pham, Victoria Taylor and Jade Johnson.

The show continued on with a fun selection of popular music renditions by The Blenders, a local band in the Pensacola area. From oldies but goodies to trending music today, keyboardist John Link, guitar player Blane Butler, bassist Joe Long and drummer Don Tucker brought a new flavor to the show.

The audience’s energy was high, which made for the perfect transition into high-energy hip-hop choreography piece “Summer Night Oasis,” performed by Melani Stinson, Victoria Taylor, Paula Pham, and Jade Johnson. The piece was originally choreographed by Eunho Kim of 1Million Dance Studio.

As a presentation of their English language skills, the students in the Chinese Student Association prepared exciting dubbing performances from different movies, events, and songs of their choice. Some of the students dubbed the story of “Avatar the Last Airbender” and even did Korean pop dances.

With a great array of different performances, the show came to a close with a follow-up from The Blenders and an unexpected performance from a young dancer who happened to be one of the band member’s son.

The Chinese Moon Festival brought together many cultures and shared great experiences for West Florida and its community.

“I really enjoyed all of the performances, food and culture at this event,” said Eraina Smith, a freshman student at UWF. “It was educational and enjoyable.”


Featured Image: Jade Johnson