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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

An insight into the historical WSC Webb Idol tradition: Where is VWS?

Berklee Antecol
WSC dorms Macleod and Reynolds get ready to break through their banner for their extravagant performance to begin at Webb Idol 2022. Their choreographers, Berklee Antecol (‘25), Christina Young (‘25), Yuki Layman (‘25) sit on the sidelines excited to see their hard work come to action. After the poster is ripped through, WSC students fully showcase their talents as they come in dancing with high energy and showing their spirit with scrunchies in their hair.


Every year, all six of the WSC dorms come together to partake in countless hours of VWS-led practices, where they tirelessly recite coordinated dance moves in preparation for the notorious dance competition, Webb Idol. On the day of the performance, crowds of both faculty and students gather in impressive numbers around crossroads, applauding the WSC students for their hard work. The question that emerges from this event is: why cannot VWS participate and get the same experience as WSC students? 

“I think it positively shows that even our WSC community can dance — that we all can get up and groove and have fun or be silly dancing around,” said Michael Szanyi, the lead advisor of Webb’s dance program. 

Once dance season ends in the winter, VWS students often volunteer to choreograph for the different WSC dorms’ dances, setting aside time for several practices to prepare them for the day of the performance. Despite these students’ choreographing work behind the scenes, Webb Idol has remained a performance competition for solely WSC students. Many VWS students have questioned the reason for their inability to participate, and the impact of this WSC event.  

“It [Webb Idol] was also to get people to be a little bit uncomfortable and you know, step out of their comfort zones and have fun,” said Ken Rosenfeld, Dean of Campus Life. “As far as why VWS has not been welcomed to perform, it is partly [because] it has always just been a WSC boarding activity.” 

VWS students work hard to figure out how they can include the many talents of the WSC members in these dorms. They will add singing, rapping, beatboxing, and even flips if people are able to do so. The VWS students work these talents into a theme they have created throughout the 5-minute dance, adding unique costumes to create a more extravagant look to the theme. Following the dances, VWS students often get a gift card and a bouquet of flowers for their efforts in putting the performances together.  

The history of Webb Idol has consisted of similar lighthearted performances with an assortment of costumes and props. A yearbook discovered in the Webb archives displays WSC dorms dancing using choreography made by VWS.  

Back on October 2nd, 2016, WSC students dance outside of the formerly named Hooper Community Center, participating in the Webb Idol tradition. As shown in this photo from the 2016 issue of El Espejo, Webb Idol has always consisted of only the WSC dorms performing, dressing up, and showing off their moves. These photos capture the lively aspects of this tradition that continue to this day. (Berklee Antecol)

Although certain aspects of Webb Idol have changed over the years, the core of the tradition remains the same. However, as Webb begins to shift to a one-school model, the long-living tradition of Webb Idol as just the WSC dorms dancing may likely continue. It is especially integral to acknowledge the possibility of VWS wanting to participate in Webb idol or an event similar, although it has never happened in the past.  

“There was a concern that if VWS got included the groups would be too big and the WSC students would go hide in the shadows again,” Mr. Rosenfeld said.  

When exploring the past of this wholesome tradition, it may be valuable to start conversation on how Webb events should change to establish more equality between the VWS and WSC boarding community. If VWS would like to perform in a dance competition, they should have the right to do so, and for faculty to say that involving the VWS would take away the spotlight from WSC is faulty.  

“I have also heard that the VWS dorms want to do their own version [of Webb Idol] and that seems like a plausible idea,” said William Allan, Humanities Department faculty. 

The idea of another version of Webb Idol that is solely for VWS dorms to perform sounds appealing to many VWS boarders. 

“I still think I would do it again because it was very fun and most of the time [WSC students] were respectful,” said Christina Young (‘25), a past choreographer for Webb Idol. “I just wish VWS could still perform in something similar since we don’t have a performance tradition of our own.” 

As rehearsals for Webb Idol have begun for the performance on Monday, March 13th, we should, as a community, all prepare to support and cheer on our fellow WSC boarding students in continuing this tradition. However, at an institution like Webb that is constantly changing and adapting towards creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, we must remain mindful in recognizing the differences in the VWS and WSC experience. Creating similar activities for VWS would be a perfect way to bridge the gap, considering VWS dorms may not feel as valued as we transition into a one-school model since they have no tradition of the same caliber and excitement as Webb Idol. 

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About the Contributors
Yuki Layman
Yuki Layman, Co-Editor of News
Having lived all around the globe from Shanghai, China, to Boston, Massachusetts, and most recently Washington D.C., Yuki Layman ('25) knows that home is where she makes it.! Yuki is an engaged student in all her classes, but it is her strong knowledge in Humanities that impresses her teachers. Especially, during her Advanced Studies Culture and Politics at the Border class, taught by one of her favorite teachers at Webb, Mr. Huerta. Yuki spends her free time in a variety of ways, either going to the village with friends or simply watching Top Boy, her personal favorite TV show that her brother highly recommended. Although she enjoys going out, she stays connected with her life back home by making sure to call her family every night. As well as staying up-to-date with current events, jumping into hot-topic debates with her lawyer dad and brother who is studying International Relations. Coming back to the Webb Canyon Chronicle this year as Editor of News, Yuki is ready to keep the Webb community informed accurately as a Jameson resident again, making Webb her home for the rest of year.   Favorite Song: "1539 N. Calvert" by JPEGMAFIA
Leia Albornoz
Leia Albornoz, Co-Editor of Features
Now a junior, Leia Albornoz (‘25) is ready to leave an impact on her community. Very passionate about identity and representation of culture, she wants to influence those who share the same ethnicity as her to be proud and embrace their culture. During her free time, Leia enjoys hanging out with friends and making spontaneous plans. While not with friends, Leia spends a lot of her time painting and reading in nature. This year, she wants to paint the admissions fountain, as it reminds her of her current favorite collection of paintings called Water Lilies by Claude Monet. As a peer advisor, Asian Affinity Group leader, and an Editor of Features, Leia has stepped up and is prepared to show leadership around campus and in the newsroom. She loves to listen to music, and she finds herself dancing every time she hears a catchy beat. Leia best demonstrates her journalist skills in articles based around culture and identity topics that she cares a lot about. Her goal for this year's publication is to keep up pace in her work and push more articles that her peers would want to read.  Favorite Song: "Street by Street" by Laufey
Berklee Antecol
Berklee Antecol, Co-Editor of Opinion
As a fashionista, Berklee Antecol (‘25) not only loves the design side of fashion but also the statistics. Although she wants to study economics or business in the future, Berklee also has a fascination with the fashion industry. Her personality is like a vibrant pink fabric in a mix of pastel colors. This gradient is carried through her experiences in the Webb community; wherever you are, she will stand out as a bright glow of energy and positivity. Like a seamstress selecting the right thread for the fabric, she works as an admission ambassador, introducing prospective students into the fabric of the Webb community. Yet Berklee's life is not just bold pink; she can settle into paler, calmer hues of pink as well. She loves to snuggle on the couch and click play on her favorite Netflix show, Gilmore Girls, or listen to calm music like Still Woozy to improve her homework efficiency. This year, as the Editor of Opinion, Berklee wants to jump into a fast-working mindset and to write and publish as many articles as she can. Like sewing haute couture, Berklee is always ready to go with fast quality work.   Song: I Feel Fantastic - Riovaz

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