By: Willow Dalehite

In stark contrast to the professionalism of the first day of the Youth and Government competition, the Friday Night Social offered many opportunities for delegates to make friends, get out of their comfort zone, and have fun. In the Grand Ballroom, a couple hundred delegates gathered to observe and participate in a karaoke in which students lip synced, sang along to songs, rapped, danced, and sang acapella.

Students of all kinds stood up in front of the crowd, in groups varying in size from a small crowd like the group Acafella, to solo acts like the acapella-singing Cassandra. Alicia belted out a rendition of “Burn”, and Keira Neal and Julie Apagya-Bonney even led the crowd in a rendition of the ABCs. “It’s an easy song and it’s very simple,” Keira said, “And you can do a beat to anything, you know?”

Despite the fact that many of the delegates met each other for the first time during this conference, Keira and other performers felt comfortable connecting and performing with new people. “It’s fun. Anything is fun. I just want to be interactive and participate,” she said.

The Social marks a continuation of the friendships forged during the competition, in which people can socialize with each other in all sorts of settings. Keira’s favorite aspect of the conference so far has been “getting to interact with new people and getting to see all the different faces from around Texas.”

Indeed, the different faces of the conference are expressed through varying tastes in music and dance. Performers in the Grand Ballroom raised their arms to the beat, danced as partners and spun each other around, called out to the audience, and encouraged all the delegates to dance, sway, or sing along. The smiling faces that could be seen in the room, though they came from different places, sang together, danced together and simply enjoyed each other’s company.