The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Global game

Students share their experiences with traveling internationally for sports
Photo courtesy of Lotus Wu | Used with permission
Junior Lotus Wu gets ready before an online C-Dream show

When she was younger, junior Lotus Wu would sit in front of the TV and admire the Chinese dancers performing on shows and at festivals, which began her passion for dance. Through her mother, Wu met well-known Chinese dancer Feng Ye, who eventually became a vital part of her training for Chinese dance. Being under Ye’s guidance for many years exposed Wu to opportunities to further connect with Chinese culture by traveling to China for The C Dream dance program. Although the programs had a period of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year was its first year restarting, and Wu’s studio was eager to return. 

“Since the program’s goal is to teach American Chinese kids more about Chinese culture and the dance style, being in China itself was like a full-circle moment,” Wu said. “The teachers and the vibes were filled with more Chinese culture, and everyone’s attitude changed because it was a more professional feeling rather than being in a studio.” 

The exposure to Chinese culture is what ultimately left a lasting impression on Wu, as she was able to connect with her roots and deepen her dance journey. She emphasizes how the authenticity of learning Chinese dance in China became a highlight of her time.

“We used to just learn in our own studios and then perform in Houston and other places,” Wu said. “Being in a real studio with master classes with people who I grew up watching on TV and known for their Chinese dance come to teach us was really inspiring.”

Similar to Wu’s experiences with more professional teaching in China, several agencies scouted sophomore Chandril Banerjee to play in soccer tournaments in Barcelona. He recalls playing against the Barcelona Academy team, which added to his training and his hopes of becoming a professional soccer player in Europe.

“I learned a lot about the game technically and tactically,” Banerjee said. “The coaches require different things from their players during practice and knowing these things makes it easier for me to become more well-rounded.” 

Banerjee also mentions the challenges that come up when being in a new environment with foreign players. He explains how the environment exposed him to unique playing styles that he had to adapt to, opening his eyes to more about the sport. 

“The adjustment period took some time and was difficult,” Banerjee said. “I just trained to learn from the players I was playing with and mimic what they were doing.”

Since his grandparents lived in Canada, sophomore and hockey player Christopher Lamfalusi found it convenient to play there, similarly mentioning that the experience immersed him into a fresh environment. Through his time there, it helped him connect with many new players, more than only gaining expertise about the sport. 

“I found all of the Canadian players to be really good, as one might expect, but they were also all really welcoming and kind to me,” Lamfalusi said. “They struck me as people who really loved just playing the sport.”

 On a bigger note, Lamfalusi reflects on the valuable connections he made with multiple players, highlighting how an international travel sport expanded his perspective by connecting him with peers from different backgrounds. 

“It broadened my horizons and helped show me what is out there,” Lamfalusi said. “One of the greatest parts of playing a travel sport is that you get to see kids from all kinds of different places.”

About the Contributors
Ananda Singh
Ananda Singh, Staff Writer
Ananda Singh is currently a sophomore and a staff writer for El Estoque. She enjoys traveling, listening to music, and eating Chick-Fil-A.
Varun Singh
Varun Singh, Staff Writer
Varun is a sophomore and staff writer at El Estoque. In his free time he enjoys consuming various forms of caffeine, as well as reading and sleeping.
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