Defying Gravity club prepares for local talent show


Laurinne Eugenio

Members of Defying Gravity club work on decorating posters for their upcoming “The Give Thanks Talent Show.”

Evan Abutin and Laurinne Eugenio

On Nov. 30th, the Defying Gravity club – a volunteer-based club that combines science with the arts – will be hosting a talent show at a local senior center: “The Give Thanks Talent Show.” For the first time, senior citizens and Sweetwater Union High School District students will be able to showcase their talents together in a noncompetitive atmosphere.

“When we would volunteer at the senior center, I would talk to the residents there and found that there was a lot of talent among [them], ” President of Bonita Vista High (BVH)’s Defying Gravity club and junior, Madison Bianes, said. “I thought it would be a great idea to show the talent among the senior citizens here [in] Bonita.”

According to Vice President of Defying Gravity and sophomore, Samantha Bianes, getting involved and connecting more with the community are some of the fundamental components of the club. Members of the club engage in activities that are enjoyable to both children and elders. 

“We wanted to connect more with our elders and have them get into an activity that’s really fun and moving. So [both the kids and the seniors] can have some sort of entertainment because they are stuck inside all day long,” S. Bianes said. 

S. Bianes initially joined the club in order to help both children and elders be more connected within their community. Defying Gravity participates in a lot of activities, such as going to senior centers and volunteering at elementary schools. 

“When we go to elementary schools, we often just teach them certain projects [and] do certain activities with them, such as coming up with science projects. We also go the elderly home where we help out with the elders. And coming soon, we’re actually going to be hosting a talent show,” S. Bianes said. 

Every week, members of the club go to the senior center to volunteer. According to M. Bianes, this whole month of November, they’ve taught the senior citizens a song and have also been asking who would be willing to do acts for the upcoming talent show.

“We have a few singing, a couple dancing and right now we’re working with the residents in coming up with things we can all do together. So we’re teaching the residents a song: ‘Beyond the Sea,’ and we’re going to have a group [where] we’re all going to sing,” M. Bianes said.

On top of this, Defying Gravity is giving senior citizens creative freedom by encouraging them to sign up in order to showcase talents people may not have known that they had. 

“Right now, we have one lovely old lady who’s going to be singing ‘You are my Sunshine’ and another one who is going to be dancing to the jukebox,” S. Bianes said. 

“The Give Thanks Talent Show” will not only involve senior citizens, but also students from BVH. This is because the event will be featuring performances from a couple of different student groups, as well.

“We’re going to have a few people singing, playing instruments and dancing from the students, so we can perform for the [senior citizens], ” S. Bianes said.

In preparing for the event, M. Bianes hopes that hosting the talent show will bring joy to participants by reducing generational gaps in the local community. She feels that older demographics are often underrepresented and isolated from interaction with teens.

“I think it’s good for the community because… you’re getting to hang out and interact with community members that you often wouldn’t – especially the senior citizens who often aren’t visited and don’t really have a voice as much in the community. And I think as teens, it’s important for us to advocate for them,” M. Bianes said.

Club member and sophomore, Robert Yetter, has found personal engagement with the talent show because it reminds him of one of his own family members. In his perspective, this is a great opportunity that isn’t worth missing out on. 

“I know that when my grandpa was getting old, I remember when we would come up and visit him at his house, he would always be super hyped up,” Yetter said. “[According to] Wayne Gretzky and Michael Scott, ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.’ I think what that means is that if you don’t go out and do something; if you don’t go out and make a difference, like with Defying Gravity doing a talent show at the senior center, then guess what – you did nothing and you are just playing video games on a Saturday.”

All in all, Defying Gravity wants the “Give Thanks Talent Show” to do as the name suggests and express gratitude towards those in the community, whether they are young or old. Their ultimate goal is simple: to create a generally positive experience that is fun and entertaining for all participants.

“I hope that they [senior citizens] can just get a smile on their face, that’s just what we want,” Yetter said.