jabberwock_web.jpgMIAMI — Who would have thought that on a Saturday afternoon, kids would be anxious to line up at school to get inside? Nearly 100 students entered Miami Jackson Senior High School auditorium jittery, ready to watch the Miami Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. in partnership with the Delta Education, Health and Cultural Initiative showcase their program, “Jabberwock 2014 – Iconic Moments in the Arts.”

The word Jabberwock, copyrighted by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,  has changed in its meaning over the past 80 years. It was a variety show just for young females.
Now it is a performing arts program, open to both male and female students. Jabberwock raises money for scholarships that are given to  promising young men and women.

Miami Alumnae Chapter President Brenda Bryant said Jabberwork is a three-year program for students from 10 -12th grade that has been very successful since its adoption in Miami in 1960. Bryant set the tone for the show on March 8, by encouraging the performers.

“I can’t wait to see our young people display their different talents today and I’m looking forward to how they demonstrate it in the future,” said Bryant.

As the lights dimmed low, the auditorium filled up with more than 200 people.

The green curtains at Miami Jackson Senior High School separated as 10 members of the Delta chapter appeared on stage lip-syncing Stop In The Name Of Love by The Supremes, showing off hand gestures and snapping their fingers as if they were in the original group.

“Now that’s how you start a show,” said Elder Kay Dawson, first vice president of the Miami Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, expressing her appreciation for her fellow members’ performance.

The Jubilation Dance Ensemble from Miami Dade College, all dressed in white, performed Swing Out. Each dancer did the Lindy Hop, also known as the Jitterbug, an Afro-Euro-American Swing dance, from the 1920s.

Next, Joseph B. Thomas, 10, from Barbara Hawkins Elementary School, who is the 2014 City of Miami Gardens Oratorical Winner, gave his interpretation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech.

“If Martin Luther King could withstand attack dogs, fire hoses and nightsticks then we as a people can overcome drive bys, gun violence and hate,” said Joseph in his speech which he named A Recipe for Change.

As Joseph walked off the stage to loud applause, Dawson encourage the audience to “Give it up, Give it up for Joseph.” The Elite Barbie Steppers, students from Arcola Lakes Elementary School, came out in their blue Sigma boots and showcased their talents of stepping and dancing.

Known around the community for participating in numerous events such as nursing home visits and church anniversaries, they have confidence in their talents.

“Did you see us? We killed it,” said Reniyah Miller, 9, speaking on the performance of her team. Other group performers included Edwin Holland Dance Ensemble, Miami Northwestern PAVAC, Top Phlyte, Arthur & Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts High School   and Charles R. Drew K-8 Center.

The individual performers included Alecsys Turner of New World of the Arts and Kayla Harrell of Coral Reef Senior High Magnet School.

As the show closed, each member of the alumnae chapter and every performer gathered onstage and performed Marcia Griffiths’ Electric Boogie. Once the music stopped, they held hands and took a bow as the audience applauded loudly.

Chairperson Vivian Smith was in awe of the performances from the young people who performed beyond expectation. “It was beautiful; Jabberwock never disappoints; if you missed it tonight, you need to mark your calendars now for Jabberwock 2015,” said Smith.