Aragon films first ever school-wide lip dub
By Jack Loar and Stefany Zagorov
Aragon’s students, teachers, and faculty came together to demonstrate their unique talents and interests while singing along to Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars.” Aragon’s first-ever lip dub was hosted by Leadership on Friday, Jan. 8, and featured various teams, groups, and clubs from around the Aragon community. The lip dub was Renaissance Leadership’s monthly event for January designed to promote community.
Leadership advisor Melissa Perino explains, “Everyone was in their individual groups at first, but we all came together as a school in the end. There was something magically overwhelming about the sense of belonging on a small scale but later the sense of unity on a larger scale.”
ASB President Anahita Ghajarrahimi says, “Last year’s Leadership class came up with the lip dub at Leadership camp back in June. A lot of people don’t realize that it was so heavily planned and took a lot of time and effort.”
Junior Tiana Pereira oversaw the Renaissance Leadership commission responsible for the lip dub. She says, “The weeks before winter break were especially stressful [for us] because there were a lot of last-minute details and logistics to work through. During the actual event, I was pretty surprised because I know not all the students were excited to film, but seeing all the participation was really heartwarming. It was a relief to see that everything went as planned, and [Leadership] can sleep now and not have nightmares about the lip dub.”
One of the producers of the video is senior Bryant Lin. He says, “We first started around November, had a rehearsal in December, and had another the day before school started. That whole [previous] week we were walking the route and practicing. We put up a ton of lights in the halls because it was too dark.”
In terms of the lip dub going to plan, Lin says, “On the first take, the music stopped which was a little awkward. On the second take, a fuse blew out in one of the lights right as the camera got to that point. At the end of the video, we had to change our plan once we saw how full center court was. We had to adjust accordingly [to these obstacles,] but once we work on color correction and stabilizing the footage, it should all come together.”
Freshman Renaissance Leadership member Alyce Thornhill says, “We have been working on the lip dub for months, so it was nice to have our efforts recognized. We were interviewed by the San Mateo Daily Journal and the superintendent sent out an email about it, so the lip dub is having a pretty big impact so far.”
Ghajarrahimi says, “I think the separation was so cool. Looking around me during the lip dub, to my left was GSA, world language was to my right, and every group was so excited to be doing their part, representing what they love to do. It was their chance for the whole school to see and recognize their efforts.”
While Leadership provided each group with a poster to identify themselves, groups were free to coordinate individual dances and props.
Sophomore Lizzie Heen says, “The [lip dub] was structured well. At first, my group did really bad [with our dance], but we got better with each take and the last one was the best.”
Athanacio adds, “As one of the people who tried out to be in the lip dub, we were given a lot of freedom with what we wanted to do, and it went better because we came up with our dance on our own.”
Senior Alex Athanacio was one of the main lip-syncers in the lip dub. He says, “A lot of people feel more comfortable being in a group and showing who they are and what they love to do.
The point of [the lip dub] was to engage people even if they don’t associate themselves with groups, and even people who didn’t sign up had a group to be in.”
Around 200 students did not sign up to be in a specific group, and so were placed in groups with fewer people. Senior Ivan Yen was one such student who did not sign up in time, and so was placed with choir for the lip dub. He says, “I definitely felt out of place. It was kind of like being out of my own skin. Even though I forgot to sign up, I would have liked a little more flexibility with groups.”
Senior Anthony Vo adds, “It would have been nice if people who didn’t sign up on time had been placed with their year instead of a random group they don’t know anything about.”
However, Perino says, “I just don’t think we could have done any more than we already did about publicity [for the lip dub]. We did segments in the announcements, sent emails, and dedicated class time for the students to sign up. If [a student] missed the deadline, it was too late to choose [a group] because we had done calculations about the layout of the map and there were too many moving pieces involved.”
On her overall opinion of the lip dub, freshman Isabella Berenstein says, “The lip dub made me feel spirited because everyone says Aragon isn’t spirited, but look at this. Plus, I learned about other clubs at the school. The only negative was they made us run from hallway A all the way through the office around the school, which was inconvenient.”
Freshman Maddie Simmons adds, “The running at the end was sudden and we didn’t really know where to go. Everyone just started running and yelling ‘Just go.’ Other than that, it was really cool to see everyone in center court together. Being in volleyball, we had volleyballs to play with so it wasn’t boring.”
The lip dub video will be revealed at the all-school rally on Feb. 12.
Perino says, “No one except those editing the video will be able to see it until the rally, not even me. I can’t wait to see everyone in their positions that we didn’t get to see during the filming. When it all comes together, it will be a really cool memory.”
Ghajarrahimi says, “Seeing the video will be a shared experience. I think it’ll be more powerful that way. It’s a prideful moment to realize that our school created this, and we’re the first school in district to do it, and I think people who didn’t feel connected to Aragon before will feel unity.”
Pereira adds, “Sometimes you hear, ‘Oh, high school’s terrible,’ but we want to reverse that logic. I hope when people see their whole school together in the video, they will be content with their school and get excited about more events to come.”