Whitney and Rocklin’s dance team and Dance IV class combine to perform 4WRD

 Dance IV performs “Warfare” at the Dec. 1 4WRD Dance Show. Photo by KENYA PALLA

With a blend of unique and soft contemporary pieces, hardcore rock/jazz dances and street hip hop numbers, the third annual 4WRD show was a major success. From its start time at 7 p.m. in the Whitney High School Theater to its end time at approximately 8:45 p.m., the audience was alive and applauding for both Whitney and Rocklin’s Dance 4 classes and dance teams on Dec.1, Dec. 2 and Dec.3 at a matinee and nightime show. For just five dollars each and four shows total, the 4WRD show was a short-lived deal of a lifetime. Rocklin’s Mrs. Abby Huber, Rocklin’s regular dance teacher, was represented by Ms. Abby Torrington, who was helping out with the dance team, and Ms. Halley Cutts, who is the long term substitute for Huber and originally a WHS dance team alumni. Although the show had its highs and lows, Huber, Cutts, Torrington and Mrs. Amber O’Brien, Whitney’s dance team coach and Dance IV teacher, did an amazing job of balancing the two schools, the talent levels and the dances to create a brilliant show well worth it’s money. The Rocklin dance team in their first number “Blame It on the Pop”, was by far the best Rocklin performance simply because of its precision, fast paced choreography, unique visual formations and use of silhouette. True, this dance was spectacular, but the quality of Rocklin’s dances were short-lived after this number. Proceeding after this show-starting dance, Whitney absolutely stole the show. “Fembots,” choreographed by Whitney dance teachers O’Brien and Erin Salvetti, featuring Niki Detrich, Caitlyn Parker, Katie Sobeck, Breanna Stewart and Kayyla Wenger, was a fast-paced techno number with a Barbie twist. Based on the story of two scientists becoming a part of their own team of female robots, this dance was extremely fun to watch and the techniques used by the dancers were unmistakable. Dressed in a what-would-be Lady Gaga costume of bright, sparkly pink leotards with shoulder pads, the girls from Dance IV stunned the audience with high-difficulty moves such as a sequence of challenging turns which lasted for longer than thought humanly possible. Composed of Camo garb, bandanas, warpaint and make-shift jails, “Warfare” excited, intrigued and caught the audience by surprise. Coming up after a light-hearted tap dance by Rocklin, Warfare came in with a bang and finished with a gunshot, leaving everyone in the theater speechless with awe at the raw power of the dance. “Mrs. O’Brien choreographed this dance in response to the recent deaths of those in car accidents caused by texting and driving. Don’t text and drive,” an ominous voice from the speakers announced. And thus began “Crash.” A simple, delicate, yet overwhelmingly powerful dance illustrating the horrors of a car crash and the emotions involved in mourning the loss of a loved one. A contemporary piece filled with dramatic movements and difficult dancing techniques, the passion showed through the dancers’ work and touched the hearts of the audience. Although solemn and foreboding, “Crash” was easily one of the most well performed, touching and memorable dances of the night. Finishing up the night with a unique character number based on the Batman movies, Whitney captured the audience’s attention with “Batman” and brought the night to a memorable close. A theatrical interpretation of the movies, Parker played the Joker, Liz Allen played Catwoman, Detrich played Two-Face, Aly Herkins played the Riddler, Stewart played Poison Ivy and, saving the day, Sobeck played Batman. This final Whitney-only performance was intriguing, nostalgic, taking the audience back to simpler comic book times and extremely dramatic, simply showing the entertainment parts of watching a dance show. Throughout the show, this school’s Roman Spinale and Rocklin High School’s Jason Hughes kept the show flowing exceptionally well as co-MCs with magic tricks, puns, and witty jokes that easily stalled for the dancers to change and added another dimension to the show. The 2011 4WRD Dance show completely outdid the 2010 4WRD dance show; the improvement of the dancers the talent did not go unnoticed. Compared to the previous year, the dancers were more synchronized, the dances themselves seemed more complicated, and the whole show was more riveting. Overall, the 4WRD dance show blew its own expectations out of the water with an astounding round-house approval.

by EMMA RICHIE