[talent0] Tipping her black hat, Jamii Nesbitt skipped down the steps and took center stage as everyone anticipated what her energy had in store. With knees to the ground and her back to the audience, she waited for the music to begin.
As hip hop rhythms sprung Nesbitt into action, her dynamic attitude and explosive dance moves rocked the McDonel Hall Kiva. It was a matter of minutes before dropped jaws and raised hands fed her adrenaline and provoked her to dance even harder.
“I’m used to performing in crowds,” Nesbitt said. “It’s a way for me to interact with people, and there’s no limit to what you can do.”
The Arabic and Muslim studies sophomore was one of 15 performers to display a variety of musical ability Wednesday night during the International Talent Show sponsored by MSU’s McGlobe Club. In an attempt to give students a break from studying, the show also provided a chance for audience members to experience the talent of cultures worldwide.
“It attracts people of all cultures, and that’s why I joined it,” Nesbitt said of the fourth show in two years. “There’s not so much pressure with small crowds. It’s more like you’re dancing for friends.”
[talent1] Finance junior and former McGlobe president Amal Dutt started the talent show two years ago after being inspired by his own experience as a drummer in his home country of India. Dutt said he enjoys the camaraderie he found in meeting other international students and that the talent show was a way of bringing even more students together.
“The unity factor is at 100 percent,” he said. “When you think about partying and having a good time with people of so many different cultures, you learn something new everyday.”
Julie Hargrove, a human biology junior and member of McGlobe, lives in McDonel Hall and said she liked living in such a diverse environment and being exposed to more than she had been growing up.
“I come from a real small town where there’s really no variety of culture at all,” Hargrove said. “Coming here, it was really eye-opening. I enjoy introducing cultures to other people because it’s something I wasn’t exposed to growing up.”
Although Hargrove didn’t perform, she joined other students who were entertained by an assortment of performances including guitar players, singers and dancers with influences from all over the world. Having played guitar for five years, the typically reserved Lymann Briggs senior Ivan Orlic said it took a lot of courage to be able to perform in front of so many people, but was glad because it gave him the opportunity to meet other musicians.
[talent2] “I’m a pretty shy person,” the Peruvian native said, “but being a part of this really opens me up and helps me interact with people. After I played, three other guitar players came up and started talking to me. That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t performed.”
Three judges determined the best performances, and awards were given at the end of the night. Finance junior Roopak Kandasamy and civil engineering freshman Abhishek Deora won an award for “Best Entertainer” after performing a Punjabi dance that was well-received by the crowd. Kandasamy, who started dancing when he was 15 and has been a part of MSU’s Bhangra dance team for four months, said he was glad they decided to perform.
Physiology senior Beau Makarewicz won the award for “Most Unique” after singing and playing a song on his guitar. “I just couldn’t resist,” Makarewicz said. “I’m a musician, I had to rush to the call.”
Nesbitt, who heard about the event while working in McDonel cafeteria, also said she couldn’t resist the chance to show her skills, and said she hopes the McGlobe club will continue to organize talent shows in the future.
[talent3] “When you actually see people performing,” Nesbitt said, “it opens your mind to what they’re all about. That’s what stuff like this makes me see.”
Ratikant (Jimmy) Behera, a mechanical engineering junior from India, also said the talent show was a great way for students to identify with one another and bond through their love for music.
“We have so many international students here from India, Pakastan, Ukraine, Egypt-all over the world,” he said. “Talent comes from all different cultures, and we just want people to have a good time and appreciate those cultures. That’s what this is all about.”

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