Dance Corps concert displays routines from breakdancing to ballet


On Thursday, March 29, Kellett Theatre was home to ballet, modern, and jazz as the Dance Corps performed their annual concert. Every piece performed was entirely student choreographed and student performed, ranging from delicate ballet pieces to the breakdancing moves of student group Cloud 9.

“[This year’s concert was] energetic,” said Dance Corps senior Laura Kelekci. “Everyone was really fired up about the show.”

Those who attended the show may have recognized dances from this year’s second talent show. The concert began with a dance to “Single Ladies,” performed by Kelekci, seniors Margot Taylor, Ellie Fahs, Amanda Harris, and junior Maggie Norsworthy, and ended with Cloud 9’s “The Avengers.”

The concert was diverse, with students from every grade in the junior high and high school performing. Dance numbers ranged from solo performers to five-member performances. While some dances were distinctly ballet, modern, hip-hop, or jazz, there were a few that did not quite fit into one category, showcasing the diversity of the performers’ talents. A tango to the Backstreet Boys’ song “The Call,” performed by Fahs and junior Jonathan Leung, even worked its way into the lineup, putting an exciting twist into the show.

Senior Marguerite Spiotta emceed the event, making friendly jokes about some of the performances. “I’m beginning to think we should’ve invited Beyoncé because that was our second Beyoncé song,” said Spiotta at one point. Later, she shared an inside joke about renaming one dance. “The official name of the next dance is ‘The Call,’” said Spiotta. “But the unofficial name is ‘YOLO Tango.’”

Spiotta helped emphasize the fun, laid-back vibe of the concert with her jokes and stage presence. This atmosphere was also created through the small pranks pulled by the students backstage, including when senior Jason Friedman ran across the stage with Fahs on his back, followed one dance later, when Fahs crossed the stage with Friedman on her back.

The behind-the-scenes work done for this concert was a little different than in the past.

“The first year they did the dance concert, it was really good,” said Kelekci, “but the past few years it’s been a little bit weaker, just because people don’t pull things together and choreography didn’t have a set deadline. This year we set a deadline so everyone had their stuff in on time. I definitely think this year was more organized.”

Despite the dancers’ seemingly effortless performances, a lot of complications occurred while perfecting each number.

“It was really hard because everyone had different schedules,” said freshman Rachel Alexander, who performed in the dance “Diva. “We didn’t even practice together until the dress rehearsal. With how much fun and silliness we had, it’s a miracle that we ever pulled it off.”

The members of Cloud 9, seniors K.K. Huang and Damari Weaver, juniors Leung and Nigel Walker, and freshman Remi Matthews have become Westminster celebrities since wowing the school with their “Avengers” themed dance in the talent show.

“K.K. saw The Avengers trailer and thought it would be a cool theme,” said Matthews “so we started [choreographing] to some songs, and we just made a custom mix.”

The track featured artists Jay-Z, Mike Relm, Skrillex, Nicki Minaj, Far East Movement, and Hans Zimmer.

“We made some formation changes and changed one or two moves [since our first performance],” said Matthews. “I liked the dance concert a lot because we had cool lighting effects in the background.”

Those who arrived early to see the middle school portion of the concert were treated to a special bonus performance by the Brookhaven Boys and Girls Club to Taio Cruz’s song “Dynamite.” Amanda Harris teaches a dance class there every Friday and pulled some strings so they could perform in the dance concert. “They loved being backstage and everything,” said Kelekci.

While the performers are united in their love of dance, each described a different reason for their passion for dancing. “My favorite thing about dancing is doing something no one else can do and wowing a crowd,” said Matthews. “I love how it’s different every time,” said Alexander. “Even if it’s the same choreography, every performance is a completely new experience for the dancer and the audience.”

The dance concert is an important part of the arts department, with many advocating to keep it up and running. “I think the dance concert is a great thing that everybody does,” said Kelekci. “The school isn’t very good about dance, or dance classes, or really a dance program at all, so our concert is really the only thing that we have. I hope they keep doing it. I hope people stay passionate about the dance concert.”

The concert was a place where dancers were able to unite to show the school what they could do. “I liked how everyone had an opportunity to do what they love: dance,” said Alexander. “Whether you’re a ballet dancer or hip-hop, there was a place for you.”