Variety Night turned out to be a fitting name for the event that UTM’s Psychology Association of Undergraduate Students at Erindale hosted last Thursday. The aim of the event was not only to gather some of our most talented faculty and students in the Blind Duck Pub to celebrate PAUSE’s 16th annual Variety Night, but also to raise awareness of and funds for a local charity, ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development. The organizers handed out prizes in a raffle (including iPod Shuffles) and sold cupcakes and other baked goods throughout the night. PAUSE will donate 100% of these proceeds to ErinoakKids, which is remarkable considering that many people would have paid just to see the show.
After offering to give all of his students As for showing up to support him, Professor Jeff Graham and his band, the Shift, opened the night with classic rock songs he said they think of as “new”, as well as some original songs. Graham announced that his band comprised his cousin David and two of his oldest friends, Steve and Erik; I found that the personal connection enriched their performance. They also closed the show.
When Alice Li took the floor with her profound contemporary dance performed to a beautiful song, it gave the audience an opportunity to settle down and unwind. Li showed off her elegance through this wonderful song and dance that made for a pleasant change of pace.
Between a few of the sets, the Legit Crew, a crew of talented breakdancers and hip-hop dancers, formed a circle before the stage and improvised to the beats and remixes the DJ threw at them. The crew occupied the audience’s attention during short breaks, but they might as well have been one of the main acts, given how well they connected with the audience.
The talent show also featured two friends, Tamara and Michelle, who began their student life at UTM as lab partners. They sat at a table on stage, each with a cup in hand, and performed a medley of two fun folk songs to the percussion of their cups against the table. It was a magnificent display of talent, and the connection between the two friends was evident in their smiles and synchronicity.
This was my first Variety Night, and I was pleasantly surprised. I highly encourage students not only to give Variety Night a chance next year, but also to check out other talent shows on campus. You never know which professor or student has a trick up their sleeve until they take the stage. If it’s anything like the talent at PAUSE’s event, it will leave you filled with energy and eager to do nothing but join in the excitement and dance along.