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Family Weekend 2018

The fun-filled Family Weekend 2018 had many entertaining activities. From farm animals to fireworks to escape rooms, the weekend was far from boring. Though those activities were extremely exciting, the hypnotist, Dan LaRosa, was personally the highlight of my weekend.

When going into the show, I did not know what to expect given the fact that I have never had any experience regarding hypnosis. I had heard about how transformative it has been for people and have been curious about what it entails. LaRosa was not only quite funny, he was inspirational as well. To start the show, he had the whole audience do some hypnosis exercises. Though the audience still seemed skeptical, when a group of about nine volunteers took the stage, many were quickly convinced of the power of the mind. With a snap of his finger, LaRosa had the volunteers fast asleep and under his control. LaRosa explained that once the volunteers went through this experience, they will feel an incredible amount of confidence to endure obstacles that have once gave them anxiety. He had them think of something that has hindered them and also to think of what they would like to improve within themselves. Multiple times, he told the volunteers as well as the audience, “Don’t let anybody steal your dream.” He encouraged the audience to not let doubt deter the goals that they are passionate about. Once doubt has taken control over you, it can be difficult to achieve your dream.

While in a trance, LaRosa had the volunteers pretend that they were in a band. Some were making the motions of playing a piano while one acted as if they were playing the electric guitar. At one point, he suggested imagining they were in a horse race. One volunteer started to pat their invisible horse while giving the audience a big grin. The race became so intense that a volunteer fell out of their chair in anticipation. Fortunately, they were not injured nor was their invisible racehorse.

When LaRosa suggested that they dance off the stage and into the audience, I was able to get a closer look at the volunteers. Their eyes were not distracted as they once were when they were fully conscious. It seemed as though they were staring off into the distance. When they walked towards the back of the room, they did not try to look toward their loved ones or friends, they were focused on the suggestion of LaRosa.

A captivating moment for me was when the volunteers were asked their names once in hypnosis. Some would say their first name and even middle name, but were stuck on their last name. One of them, confused, told LaRosa that they did not remember. They said they thought it started with a Z, but they were not sure. LaRosa, noticed their family members laughing, asked for some help. When they had reminded them of their name, the volunteer was unable to pronounce it back.

The last day of Family Weekend consisted of students performing on the quad. Clubs such as hip-hop, S.O.L.I.D and acapella were on a stage in front of an audience. The acapella club belted out songs like “Rolling in the Deep” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Family members looked on proudly before they had to head back home.