Tucheze: charity dance extravaganza

Walking into the cafeteria at 8:12 p.m.. on Sat., March 27, it seemed as though Tucheze, the SHEPH- and 100th Green Butterfly-led charity dance extravaganza, would join the ranks of so many other failed student-led events at Ames High, like every Battle of the Bands in the past 3 years (let’s be honest). The dance lights were flashin’. The music was blastin’. There were about 25 people on the dance floor, 21 of which were uncomfortably standing around making small talk, while 4 others were dancing in a circle, breaking it down with some less than satisfying dance moves. Needless to say, it was a rather depressing sight that was only partially redeemed through knowing that all but 10% of the $5 I had paid to get in was going towards saving the environment or building a new school in Chennai, India. However, within an hour and a half of its start time, Tucheze had miraculously transformed from an awkward tween social gathering to a bumpin’ party. The dance lights were flashin’. The music was blastin’. And over 230 people filled the cafeteria, just about all of whom were shake, shake, shakin’. “We had some haters that didn’t think [Tucheze] could succeed,” said senior Akshay Sanghi, co-leader of Students Helping to Eliminate Poverty and Hunger (SHEPH). “But I think it’s safe to say we proved them wrong.” Among those said “haters” was the Ames High administration. “They almost weren’t going to let it happen,” said senior Lauren Sillman, a SHEPH co-leader. “The biggest obstacle to putting the whole thing on was convincing the administration it could work. But after doing so (undoubtedly through the utilization of their APLAC rhetorical skills), the leaders of SHEPH and 100th Green Butterfly made quick work of planning the event, which boasted senior Max Peterson as DJ, senior Kuper Bergman as master of ceremonies and delicious sophomore dance/synth band Super Robot Baby as added entertainment. “I think part of the reason it was so successful was the underlying idea behind it,” Sanghi said. “It was laid back, there were no formalities and it was relatively cheap. Super Robot Baby helped pull in a lot of people too. A ton of people came out that are not part of the usual SHEPH crowd. After such an overwhelming success, plans for next year’s Tucheze are already brewing. “We want to make it an annual event and get even more people involved,” Sillman said. “This year, we only had a week to advertise since it was right after spring break, but next year, we’re thinking of holding it first semester. Whatever the plans may be for next year, one thing is for sure: nothing unites a bunch of gen y’s around a good cause better than a funky-get-down-rumpin’ dance party, and that’s exactly what Tucheze was.