Students Perform In This Year's ‘Expressions’ Dance Concert
Kelly S., '21, and Caris L., '21, getting ready to perform in the Dance Concert
By Isabella W.
May 20, 2019
With styles ranging from jazz to contemporary, the annual dance concert took place on April 26 and 27. The “Expressions” dance concert featured dances from the beginning, intermediate, and advanced dance classes, as well as four soloists and two student-choreographed dances.
This years theme, “Expressions,” was created by Kashmir Blake, Middle & Upper School Dance teacher. “There were so many variations of dances that it was an expression of many people’s creativity,” said Blake. In addition to Ms. Blake, Service Learning Coordinator and dance teacher Becca Marcus and visiting choreographer Kya Blake contributed to this year’s concert.
The concert opened with “Where There’s a Wall,” choreographed by Becca Marcus, a modern jazz/contemporary with dancers from the advanced dance class. From there, 13 more dances went on to perform. “My favorite part of the concert is being backstage with all my dance friends,” said Kelly S., ’21, a member of advanced dance.
For Ms. Blake, the best part of dance is the dance concert. “I imagine my favorite part of the concert would be sitting in the booth and watching the dances from above and from a distance because you don’t really get to see everything until you are in the theater.”
The three to five month process included many hours of hard work and practice. “I love all the girls who dance here. They are attentive, focused, and they follow instructions, even if it’s out of their comfort zone to dance bigger and more expressive. I also know that they are very proud of the dances they are in when it comes time to perform,” said Ms. Blake.
As a long time performer myself, I have always been relatively comfortable with the stage. However, this year’s dance concert marked the first time I went onto the stage alone. Choreographing and creating a dance was a new experience, from which I learned a lot.
Making a dance is a fluid process and one that requires many changes and remembering numerous things, one being how to entertain the audience. Almost anyone can create a dance, but it takes skill and practice to create something that will actually affect and engage the audience. I had to remember to put in those moments of emotion and silence that just let the audience feel, and whatever that feeling was, it was a sign that I was able to entertain a group of people just by moving.
The actual performance part was nerve-wracking. It was my first time performing alone, and I was nervous that everyone had to look at only me the entire time. There was no hiding. I also was not planning on performing during the preview, so the thought of performing in front of the whole school terrified me. But by the time I got onto the stage, the performance became less about the audience and more about my dance. Focusing on the dance allowed me to express myself in a different way, which is how I was able to make it through. Once I got off the stage, I was actually proud of what I had made and how it required me to get out of my comfort zone.