Showcase features beginner level dance classes


Performing the contemporary piece “Easy On Me” by Adele, choreographed by Mrs. Halley Crandell, Caitlynn Verhoef gets lifted by three other dancers. Photo by Julia Cuyos

After more than six months rehearsing, Dance I students had their moment in the spotlight. Since October, students in all three sections of Dance I class had been learning and rehearsing choreography to perform in front of a live audience in the theater on April 21-22. 

“The atmosphere was so much fun! There was a lot of excitement in the air. Mrs. Crandell and I were so proud of our classes and how clean all of their dances looked,” Dance teacher Mrs. Mallory Ansley said. “It’s very rewarding to see how much the Dance I students have grown since August.” 

Members of the National Honors Society for Dance Arts and Unified Dance came together to perform a dance to “So What” by Pink, which was choreographed by Brooke Weltmer. 

“I think the hardest part of the dance was because it wasn’t part of a dance class. We had to do it during PAWS time. So just finding people that were willing to be in the dance and so it wasn’t a technical commitment [and] finding available time where we were all free,” Weltmer said. 

The Dance I Showcase consisted of multiple styles with varying difficulty levels.

“I think the hardest part was the hip hop. It took us a minute to get in sync together,” TJ Lowe said.

The Dance I Showcase provided students with increased knowledge and skills that they can use if they continue to the advanced classes. 

“[I learned] basic yet effective techniques that you’ll need all throughout your dance career, including how to learn routines quickly and perform at the highest level,” Muriel Nguyen said. 

The routines were choreographed by the dance teachers Crandell and Ansley and Dance I Interns. 

“[The] Dance interns had to submit their music two weeks before teaching and a video of their choreography and pictures of formations one week before. They had five days to teach and clean. On the fifth day students are tested,” Ansley said.

Weltmer also explains the process of picking and putting together costumes. 

Weltmer said, “You meet with either Crandall or Ansley and you talk about your vision for the dances. We’re able to order some new costumes some years but it depends on money. [Then] we go to the costume shed and look at what will work out best. We have to make sure you have enough numbers and enough sizes for everyone. You have to look at your dancer and the type of vibe the dance is, what colors are you imagining and work with your other choreographer to figure out the costumes then two weeks before the show, everyone gets their costumes and we try them on to make sure it looks how we want to look. Then during all the dress rehearsals if you have any alterations that you want to make to your costumes, you can do that as well.”