On Friday, Nov. 10, Lobos got the chance to show off their unique skills onstage and compete for over $1,000 in prize money at the tenth annual Lobo’s Got Talent show in the Student Union Building ballrooms.
The talent competition premiered a wide variety of acts including singers, dancers and artists from a variety of diverse backgrounds.
Ryan Lindquist, interim director of Student Activities at the University of New Mexico, said Lobo’s Got Talent prides itself on not just being a singing show, encouraging people to bring in all types of talents.
“In the past we’ve had martial arts. We’ve had comedians. We’ve had one person show up and do a Rubik’s Cube while hula hooping and reciting the first 100 digits of pi,” Lindquist said.
Lobo’s Got Talent allows students to show off skills and talents they may not have shared in public before, he said.
“Many of these students haven’t even had an opportunity to perform in front of a crowd yet,” Lindquist said. “So we’re providing many of them these first opportunities to showcase in front of their family, their friends and fellow students and what they can do and what they’re very good at. Sometimes it leads to other careers, pursuing other passions that they have for the arts.”
This year, dance group Cherry Bomb took home both the first-place prize of $500 and the Audience Choice award prize of $100. The group beat out 14 other acts.
Cherry Bomb’s members hail from all over Asia. Despite speaking different languages, the group has found a common language in dance.
“Sometimes it was difficult to communicate with each other, because we had different languages,” said Yoojin Kwak, a member of the dance group. “However, we tried to talk to each other, and we made a great result.”
For Cherry Bomb member Saga Chiyuki, dancing is her primary way of communicating who she is at UNM.
“English is not my first language, so it’s hard to express myself in English. So dancing is the best way to express myself here,” Chiyuki said.
Other acts included performing music, dance and song. One performer paid tribute to Robin Williams in an Aladdin mash-up.
“I really admire Robin Williams, and so I created my Aladdin mash-up to commemorate him,” said PhD student and performer Julianna Michelle Montoya. “It was really interesting to see such a diverse culture here, at the University of New Mexico, coming together and displaying their awesome talents.”
There were many vocal performances, but there was something unique in each one. Tay Tay Wells performed her own original rap and Partyciando sang in Spanish. Indian dance group In The Jungle displayed intricate hand and arm motions, while Charles Simon performed a hip-hop original.
Audience member Maya Holt said Lobo’s Got Talent showed that UNM is much more diverse than what it appears on the surface.
“When you really start to dig deep into what this University is about, you start to realize that there’s so many different types of people from different cultures, and it’s amazing,” Holt said.
Students Special Events Executive Director Chance Hoover said he felt the show went great. It was the first year SSE got to team up with the Student Activities Center and run the event from the ground up.
The event was for the students and by the students, giving them an opportunity to share their talents and really express themselves, Hoover said.
“It really says that anyone is welcome here. We are UNM. What describes us is our diversity,” he said.
Amy Byres is a culture reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @amybyres12.