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Dance Company and Step Team Collaborate on Weekend Performance

Dance Company and Step Team Collaborate on Weekend Performance

Dance Company and Step Team Collaborate on Weekend Performance


From left to right: Daphne Khayatt ’24, Daniela Vasquez ’24, Irene Zeng ’26, and Ophelia Cham ’25 perform a ballet piece

Contributing Writer

March 2, 2023

Thea Dunckel '26

On February 24 and 26, the Dance Company presented its annual mainstage production in Walker Auditorium. The Step Team joined them for a special appearance.

The Company opened with a ballet piece, Mishima, danced by Ophelia Cham ’25, Daphne Khayatt ’25, Daniela Vasquez ’24, and Irene Zeng ’26. Mishima was choreographed by Ms. Allesandra Rinaldo, dance program director. The piece featured dancers on pointe for the fi rst time in a mainstage production. Many years of ballet training are required before dancers can progress to pointe technique, which requires them to balance on the tips of their toes in specially-designed shoes.

The next piece, Dancin’ Dan, was set to a jazz song from the musical Fosse. This piece was created by guest choreographer and former Rockette, Ms. Amber Cameron. Mr. Cameron has choreographed for previous school productions, including for Into the Woods.

Cham, Khayatt, Vasquez, and Zeng appeared again in a classical ballet piece set to Vivaldi’s Spring 3, followed by Khayatt, Vasquez, and Zeng in a contemporary piece to Let It All Go by Birdy and Rhodes. The finale, performed by the whole Company to Jain’s Makeba, was a contemporary jazz piece.

The Step Team presented a series of pieces choreographed by Christian Maxwell-Wimberly ’26. Step dance is led by a person who calls out each step, first demonstrating it at a slower pace before the rest of the team joins in and the tempo increases. Maxwell-Wimberly said, “The Step Team loves when the audience can feed off of our energy.”

Performer Isaiah Stephans ’25 said, “The goal of the Step Team is to be cohesive. There is a saying that you shouldn’t go into business with your family, but the opposite is true of dance; the more cohesive you are in your relationships with people, the better you can perform together.”

The Dance Team shares similar values. Ms. Rinaldo said, “Everyone is at a different level or experience, and to see the final product of everyone coming together is really amazing.”

The job of the lighting designers and directors is to accentuate the dancers’ movements. Lightning directors Derek Brashears, technical director, Aster Lee Lufkin ’23, and Sierra Atkins ’24, chose the themes for each performance that matched the mood of the pieces. For example, the bright lighting of Makeba mirrored the upbeat choreography, while the lighting for Dancin’ Dan was darker and more mysterious, like the piece itself.

Cham said, “We’ve been preparing for this showcase since the beginning of the winter season, and I’m glad that it was a success. I want to give appreciation to the teachers who have been extremely supportive through this entire journey. Dance is not very prominent at the school, so this was a great opportunity to display our talented dancers. I’m looking forward to our next event, the Dance Club show, a student-led showcase happening in May.”

Thea Dunckel is a contributing writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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