The Student Choreography Showcase, which ran from January 22nd to January 25th, featured new dancers and first time choreographers as well as experienced members of the dance program.
The Dance I course this term consists of 15 first-time dancers. Coincidentally, the fifteen are made up seven girls and eight boys. With these relatively equal numbers, the dance program was excited to take advantage of new dance possibilities.
The students learned to swing dance, as well as choreograph, for their performance to “Run Around Sue,” at the Student Choreography Showcase.
“I was really nervous at first, but when we got out on the stage, it was a lot of fun and a rewarding experience,” said Celia Hurvitt ’17, a new dancer in the showcase.
“There were times during our rehearsals when we were doing some lifts and I wasn’t sure if I could do it,” Shai Lineberry ’17 commented. “I felt so proud of myself after our performance at school meeting.”
The hardest part for many of the new dancers was memorizing the choreography.
“I struggled a lot,” Allie Gerber ’14 admitted. “Since there were quick moves, and moves that I had never done before, it was a challenge to do all the choreographs in order.” Gerber never took dance as a course or co-curricular, but was committed to rehearsals every Sunday after sit-down in preparation for the showcase. She also took on the challenge of hip-hop as her first-ever choreographed dance. “It was extremely difficult to dance to hip-hop music, because it was not my type of dancing. However, it was a lot of fun going out of my comfort zone,” she said.
Sarah Jinich ’15, who has been involved in the dance program since she started Deerfield, spent time working with the new dancers. “Working with new dancers is amazing. They are so motivated to learn the steps and practice them until they get them just right,” she said.
Elena Jones ’14 also participated in the Sunday rehearsals to prepare for the winter showcase. “It was also hard to make sure all our rhythms were in sync,” she explained. “We had to be sure that we did all our movements at the same time or else the whole picture of the dance routine wasn’t quite right.” “Another challenge was the new dance space,” Tendayi Peyton ’17 said. “Since we didn’t have the Memorial Building we had to perform in the White Church, and it was hard being so close to the audience.”
Although there were many challenges to face, the dancers enjoyed rehearsals and were happy with how the dances turned out. Jones said, “It was great to see all the hard work we put in at the dance showcase. Everyone was very satisfied with their pieces and it was just a great feeling. The costumes were my favorite part, though!”
“I really like how everyone supported each other,” Lineberry said, “Even if you messed up during the choreographs, nobody got mad at you. Instead, they helped you learn the correct moves and this really motivated me.”