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Mika’s got moves

Alyssa Lee ‘25

Feb 2, 2024

Mikahel “Mika” Martínez-Arocho ‘25, one of the most reliable and creative students on campus, is not only artistically talented but also a good example of self-expression and awareness. A member of Mercersburg’s Chorale, Octet, and Dance team, Martínez-Arocho conveys his identity using art, whether it’s through the lyrics of his music or the choreography of his dances.

Emily Jiang ‘24 said, “Mika is always thinking, looking for new ways to look at things. He expresses himself through singing, dancing, arts, and writing, constantly pushing himself to try new things while balancing different aspects of his life. Mika is one of the first people I met at Mercersburg who I felt really saw me for me. He spoke to me on levels that made me feel like he wanted to understand me and learn from me. He taught me to be myself, and through that, I will be able to attract the right people into my life.”

Like Jiang, Jay Colon ‘25 also appreciates Mika’s genuine and caring personality. After having met six years ago and forming a tight bond playing basketball together in Puerto Rico, the two are now roommates. Colon said, “Mika is always there to help you no matter the situation. He takes time away from his own needs to make sure you are in a better spot than he is most of the time. It’s always a pleasure to have someone who cares and impacts your life in such a positive manner.” 

Music teacher Jim Brinson said, “Having worked with Mika in Chorale, I am thankful for his dedication to singing. He seems to stay positive all the time.”

“He always has something new to show me whether it be his artwork, a new dance, or lyrics he’s come up with,” said Josefina Hanley ‘24, “He’s a unique person who always has a sense of creativity.”

Mika inspires students to be themselves and follow their passions. “Music helps me express, validate, and just create a space where I feel safe and motivated to just be and feel. With a somewhat surrounding culture of a restricted idea of masculinity, music provided me with comfort in knowing I was not alone in feeling the way I was, while also providing me with ways to express repressed emotions inside of my mind that would otherwise be labeled as ‘too sensitive,’” Martínez-Arocho also said. “Hip Hop helps boost my confidence, self-esteem, and body positivity. Singing acts as a stress/emotional release, especially with belting where sometimes as the emotion gets stronger so does the volume and strength of one’s voice.”

By creating music, working on vocals, and dancing, Martínez-Arocho finds inspiration in the production of his art. “Music as a whole inspires me regardless of what form it takes. I can appreciate the beautiful mixture of solid vocals and touching lyrics to make a meaningful song, but I could also appreciate how the right scene music adds to the quality of the audience’s intake of the scene. Even though it’s hard work, I am easily motivated to spend my time and energy working on both singing and dancing,” he said, “Music just overall keeps me sane.”

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