Panthers of ISKL #209: Culcon Dance Drama & Tech Delegates

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Panthers Of ISKL - CULCON Delegates 2024

From March 6 to 10, 2024, 20 High School students attended the International School Manila (ISM) for Season 2 of IASAS Culcon Dance Drama and Theatre (DDT)!

We met with our ISKL delegates, comprising four theatrical techies, eight drama, and eight 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 2024

(Words by Rania W. (‘24))

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

After the closing ceremony, there was a rush of tears and hugs between everyone at Culcon. You could hug someone you barely met, which would be normal because missing everyone is okay. After more hugs, we all came together as a team in a different location, and the tears poured.

There is so much love in everyone’s hearts for this team, which is why this was so memorable. We knew that we would most likely never dance together again, but we would always treasure what we learned from each other.

As a team, what were you most proud of?

I was most proud of how we all stuck together for Culcon. It’s not that we isolated ourselves and didn’t speak to others, but we always supported each other, especially right before our performance. The stress and nerves of the performance can sometimes dwell on a team, and they don’t turn to each other for support, but this was not the case for us.

Before our performance, as we were getting ready, we were going over a couple of things, but most importantly, we were joking around and boosting morale. There were so many laughs, some corrections, and so much love. This made me so proud of this team and how we stuck with each other until the very end.

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

I would tell them Culcon is a brilliant experience for which I am forever grateful. There is no competition or distance between teams – only people sharing art. Culcon is a celebration of hard work, dedication, and passion. When other schools were performing, I would think about how much blood, tears, and sweat they most likely put into their art—because I did the same.

One piece of advice would be to put your all into it, and you will shine like everyone always does onstage. Don’t be afraid to dance as hard as you can because you won’t be able to do it forever.


IASAS Drama Team 2024

(Words by Norjan O. (‘24) and Carmen F. (‘24))

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

Norjan: One of our most memorable moments as a team during the IASAS tournament was right before our performance. We were all in our changing room, helping each other with final costume pieces or makeup, and we sent final thank-you videos to everyone who helped us along the way. We did our final pre-show circle and reflected on our journey and the upcoming performance. It was so special to look at everyone on the team and appreciate them for their work and contributions. Although emotional, it was a great way to prepare for what we had worked so hard for.

Carmen: Right after our performance in IASAS, we celebrated one of our Seniors’ eighteenth birthday as a team. Alice’s birthday was on the day of our show, and we knew we wanted to dedicate some time together to celebrate. Our drama coach, Ms. Casey, bought a beautiful cake and I bought a present on behalf of the team. It was such a touching moment — singing as a cast, celebrating a birthday, and marking the end of our IASAS journey. Being together for this moment was memorable and emotional, especially as a Senior on the team. Celebrating Alice’s birthday as an IASAS team was a special and tender moment amongst the joyful chaos of the Cultural Convention.

As a team, what were you most proud of?

Carmen: As a Senior on the team, I am so proud of our collective growth. From the first day of rehearsals in December to our performance in March, our bond as a team grew tighter— and we were a family by the end of it all. I was so proud to look into the eyes of my fellow castmates and see their talents shine on stage. Everyone grew into their characters seamlessly, and the play we performed gave a chance for each member to showcase their hard work.

We are proud of our final piece and the art we created from such a classic play as a team. I saw myself among the first-year students who were part of the team this year; I could see the ambition and creativity that took shape while making our show. Pride swells in my heart whenever I think about our team bond and final bows. I do not doubt that this year’s IASAS Drama was a highlight of my Senior year, and I am so proud of what we accomplished as artists.

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

Norjan: If you want to join the IASAS Drama team, you should have a lot of love and commitment to the theater. This activity will take up a lot of your time and energy, so it must be something you truly want to do. If you’re enjoying yourself, you likely won’t feel the stress that comes with it, or you’ll at least not be too bothered by it. It’s crucial for you to give your all to the team since it’s very student-led. Your contribution will be evident and valued heavily.

I also think that you should put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone because, more often than not, it will improve your overall performance.

Theatrical Tech

IASAS Tech Team 2024

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

Bringing our performances to ISM’s stage for drama and dance was a memorable experience.

For drama, even though we couldn’t see the ending together as an ISKL tech team, we were still glad (albeit a bit lonely) to see the show end. For dance, while we were nervous at the beginning because that was our last show and dance, seeing the performance end together in the booth was a great experience to conclude the ISKL performances with. One reason was that we could see the reactions of other members that we could not see for different shows. Finishing both performances without major incidents was happy, relieving, and rewarding.

Following the shows were the notes of affirmation during workshop sessions and PPA. We were very happy to share our experiences creating our show and its deeper meaning, as there were certain moments when people understood our intended meaning. To us techies, it was a great pleasure having others talk about the show and receiving feedback on how to improve. These feedback sessions and words of affirmation were vital to the experience; everyone working on different shows had a common topic to discuss as a larger group.

After a gratifying yet exhausting three days of watching performances, meeting new folks, and tech-ing, we relaxed on the swings in the ISM playground with some of our new friends. We had looked terribly out of place on our way due to the Met Gala with Ritz, who looked like a dame from the 1930s with a wooden walking cane; Zah, who wore a sarong and had five roses sticking out of her head; Steph was in a hot pink sweater wearing green cactus earrings and a green dinosaur backpack to accent. …And Muchen wore a suit. We all had googly eyes on our foreheads, a staple look in the ISM tech booth. After goofing around, we ate dinner and busted it down to the dance floor – we should’ve been the ones on the stage!

As a team, what were you most proud of?

As a team, we are most proud of our adaptability. The fact that we have two Grade 9 techies and that ISKL hosted last year’s IASAS Culcon DDT leaves us with no travel experience with tech. Due to our first-time experience, we worked efficiently during tech time to finalize our shows.

There were certain scary moments when we thought time would run out. However, the performances went exceedingly well, thanks to ISM’s help and our team’s dedication. We are proud of our Grade 9 techies’ adaptability and perseverance despite a first-time experience and our collaborative efforts with ISM. What has helped us stick together is the joyful and encouraging atmosphere we try to maintain in this team – another source of pride. Because all the team members, including the teachers, are kind, inclusive, and open-minded, we can build strong connections and stick together during the convention. This has also made it easier for us to connect with other IASAS participants (introvert solidarity!).

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

Tech is a niche IASAS that’s just starting to bloom, so feel free to try it out even if you lack the skills. You’ll learn a lot just from being on the job, and you’ll do great if you’re patient yet attentive and have time to dedicate to learning.

We wholeheartedly believe that IASAS Culcon Drama Dance Theater (DDT) is a worthwhile experience, whether you are a veteran or are new to this. Since the IASAS tech team is small and has only four members, communicating with other members without hesitation is key to achieving great performance. We encourage you to be open-minded to team members. Opening yourself up to others will create a better experience and a smoother collaborative process.

If you are a Grade 9 student or not doing the IB, this is a great opportunity to get some experience for fun. Ensure you do this only if you like it, and don’t force yourself. While there are many practice sessions from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, especially as the showcase and the traveling week approaches, you can still take breaks from sessions to work on homework or rest. Even if you are in IB, we believe that if you are passionate about the arts, you can make time for it to happen.

Don’t be afraid to join this unknown group that doesn’t come up on the stage. It would be great to see you all in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) office next year. To any new techies considering joining, we encourage you to continue improving your craft. Also, send your show files early so that it’s not impossible for the host school to get them done.


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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