Panthers of ISKL #144: Culcon Dance Drama & Tech Delegates

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From March 1 – 5, 2023, ISKL hosted the Dance, Drama & Tech Cultural Convention (CulCon), welcoming 90 delegates from the other five IASAS schools.

We met with our ISKL delegates, comprising six theatrical techies, 11 drama, and ten dance delegates. We hear about their best moments, what they are most proud of, and advice to future delegates!

Here is their story:



IASAS Dance Team Photo

(Words by Ariel G. (‘23) )

Describe your most memorable moments as a team during the IASAS tournament.

After the first performance in front of a live audience, we embraced in a group hug on stage. There was a mixture of feelings that spoke to both the gratifying feeling and pride we had as a team to finally present our months’ work to our community, as well as the first tangible rush of excitement of performing, knowing we get to do it twice more,

Early in the IASAS season, we had a bonding night and played a card game designed to break the ice with questions about self-reflection, perception, and connection. By the end of it, we’d all felt like we had a group therapy session, all of us shed tears and opened up about anecdotes and emotions very personal to us, and it felt comfortable.

Moments before going on stage, we gathered at the side-stage areas, had little huddles built up by the pre-show jitters, and got the nervousness out of our system. We often joked around, jumped around, and gave each other tender hugs, which helped to prime each other with a ‘we’re all in this together’ mindset.

Sometimes random acts of kindness during rehearsals make a big difference – I remember a teammate giving flowers they found in a garden to the IASAS Dance captains, which made my day. Another teammate always brought snacks to munch on during breaks, and at CulCon, one of our teammates made custom keychains of a photo of our team in a big group hug for each of us.

As a team, what were you most proud of?

Simply the piece of art that we created together – the level of detail and unique ownership we put into translating abstract motifs and ideas into the movement was phenomenal, considering the bumps we had on the road, the times we had choreographer’s block, and the times that felt like things were not moving.

This was possible because of the diverse talents and personalities across the dance team, which cultivated an interesting dynamic to create something so harmonious that it felt like our own art and made us feel like one unit.

What advice would you give to other students who wish to participate in the IASAS Culcon Dance next academic year?

Don’t participate in IASAS CulCon Dance just to dance or be put into the spotlight. Come into the dance room yearning to learn about artistic movement, intelligent choreography, and, most importantly, being a proactive member of a dance collective. This means putting your own goals in being a performer aside and placing efforts into thinking about the different strengths of different dancers on your team can be pulled and pieced together to execute an idea best.

Inspire each other – actively feed each other inspiration, even sending each other interesting dance videos, formations, and concepts on social media, workshopping choreography outside of the team, and making an effort to motivate each other to create something beautiful by the time CulCon rolls around.

Constructive criticism is also key – help each other notice when a group choreography is not synchronized and details have not been fixed yet so that the piece comes together bit by bit through small steps.


IASAS Drama Team Photo

(Words by Zhe Zen N. (‘23))

Describe your most memorable moments as a team during the IASAS tournament?

Of all the moments we shared as a team during IASAS Culcon, one stands out as the most memorable was the final scene of our last performance, where everyone in the ensemble held hands and embraced each other. Though no words were spoken, our hearts were a mix of emotions – pride for all we had accomplished, relief that we had given it our all, gratitude for each other’s unwavering support, and a touch of sadness that our time together had come to a close.

In that moment, we knew that we had created something truly special, something that would linger in our memories long after the show has ended.

As a team, what were you most proud of?

As the underlying theme of our performance was centered around the notion of persevering in the pursuit of our passions, even in the face of disapproval, mindless criticism, and self-doubt, witnessing the audience’s applause at the end of every performance and the resonance that our play elicited among individuals of different backgrounds and ages was, without a doubt, the most gratifying accomplishment. Being an ensemble of diverse artists, including actors, dancers, singers, and more, we all poured a piece of ourselves into the creation of this devised piece, making this show meaningful and true to us. What began as a mere seed of an idea has blossomed into a completed, 40-minute staged play. To see that our work has succeeded in touching the hearts of those who are faced with similar challenges of pursuing their artistic dreams is an incredibly fulfilling achievement.

What advice would you give to other students who wish to participate in the IASAS Culcon Drama next academic year?

My advice to those aspiring to join IASAS Culcon next year is to relish every moment of the journey – from the long, demanding rehearsals in the afternoon to the exhilarating final performance. Embrace it all, for there will never be another time when you work with this same group of people on this same production. As a senior, I can attest that IASAS Culcon was one of the defining moments of my life, a cherished memory that will forever be close to my heart. The love and support we received from Culcon was like no other; what began as a group of strangers who shared the same passion transformed into a close-knit family by the end.

Theatrical Tech

IASAS Tech Team

(Words by Ane Elise D. (‘24), Muchen X. (‘24), Sophia F. (‘26), Kento Y. (‘24), Ruth K. (‘23) and Zahira ZS. (‘24)  )

Describe your most memorable moments as a team during CulCon?

Our team is often spread out around the theater: in the booth, in front of the house, and backstage. So, any moment we could get together as a team was a short but undoubtedly sweet and memorable moment.

As a team, what were you most proud of?

By 7:30 am, our team will be in school to bump in and help run the show for the schools performing on the day. The schedule was jam-packed with back-to-back rehearsals and straight onto the performances.

Running 12 shows in 3 days is no easy task, but we accomplished this feat as a team. We are proud of the time and effort we put in to help the schools perform their best and provide the audience with an enjoyable time watching the shows at IASAS CulCon.

What have you learned from this experience?

Adaptability would be the key takeaway from IASAS CulCon. As we helped run the other schools’ shows, we got hands-on experience with the other dance and drama directors and their different work styles. It was our first time meeting them on the day, and with the limited time we had to rehearse, we had to learn on the spot to get the job done quickly.

Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.

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