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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

APRO to perform at annual Hallyu Showcase on March 15

Members+of+APRO+practice+for+the+Hallyu+Showcase+on+Wednesday%2C+March+14.+They+spent+months+working+on+their+routines%2C+and+are+prepared+to+perform+in+the+showcase.+Math+and+resource+teacher+and+APRO+sponsor+Linda+OReilly+notes+the+teams+effort.+Im+incredibly+proud+of+this+group.+They+have+tremendous+discipline+and+talent%2C+and+above+all%2C+a+sense+of+inclusion+and+mentorship+for+everyone+within+the+group%2C+OReilly+said.
Mia Magone
Members of APRO practice for the Hallyu Showcase on Wednesday, March 14. They spent months working on their routines, and are prepared to perform in the showcase. Math and resource teacher and APRO sponsor Linda O’Reilly notes the teams effort. “I’m incredibly proud of this group. They have tremendous discipline and talent, and above all, a sense of inclusion and mentorship for everyone within the group,” O’Reilly said.

School-sponsored events are a place for schools to show their spirit, culture and community. Knowing this, those who pay the $3 admission fee to the Watkins Mill auditorium on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m. will be blown away by the event’s level of dedication as they step inside the strobe-lit, elevated theater where music and cheers fill every corner.

Watkins Mill’s K-pop cover team, Nova, hosts and invites all MCPS K-pop groups to their Annual Hallyu showcase. Among the wealth of impressive dance teams, APRO, WJ’s own K-pop cover team, will be performing a variety of routines they have perfected.

For the past three months, members of APRO have been working diligently to master the three routines they will perform Friday. They have learned the choreography of “I Can’t Stop Me” by TWICE, “FEVER” by ENHYPEN, and “Back For More” by Anitta and TOMORROW X TOGETHER. For APRO president, senior Yashu Jayakumar, the Hallyu Showcase is an opportunity to display their efforts on a county-wide level.

“Usually when we do performances in school, it tends to just be our group along with some other school clubs that do dances or other performances, but at Hallyu, it’s all K-pop groups. Last year we had 17 groups, some being college groups, so it’s not limited to one school and it’s a variety of people who are coming to showcase their talents,” Jayakumar said.

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The community aspect of the Hallyu Showcase is one of the factors that makes it so electrifying for those who participate. As APRO secretary, junior Alexis Batac describes the mutual love of the genre that brings everyone together.

“If you like K-pop, you get to meet people who like it too. It’s a very friendly community. A lot of people go to it because it’s a Montgomery County event attended by high schools, and it’s a very fun and exciting environment for people who like K-pop and dancing. We danced well last year, but I want to try to improve more this year because there’s always room for improvement,” Batac said.

WJ APRO performs at the 2023 winter pep rally (Courtesy WJ APRO)

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The members of APRO have put in a tremendous amount of effort to prepare for the showcase, with each performer doing what they can to ensure they get a chance to be on stage.

“We all worked really hard and put in a lot of effort. I know some people couldn’t be here every single week, but still really tried to be here and I honestly really thank them a lot for that because I know it’s a big commitment to come here every single day. So, I would say APRO has the best team,” Jayakumar said.

As the date of the showcase approaches, the performers prepare and reflect on their feelings about the upcoming performance.

“I’m not as nervous for Hallyu as I thought I would be. I think it’s because I did so many performances before as well, so I’m very excited for this performance. People should come see it because I think it’s a great way to see K-pop culture and how there are so many different people that actually enjoy it,” APRO member and Hip Hop club president sophomore Seohyun Yeo said.

Members of APRO encourage anyone with an interest in Asian dance and music to come watch the Hallyu showcase on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m.

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Mia Magone, Business Manager
Junior Mia Magone is celebrating her second year as the Business manager for the Pitch. along with writing, she loves to swim, wrestle, read and hang out with her friends.
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