Oakdale’s Impressive Dance Recital!

by Layla Basile

The lights gleamed upon the stage; the music started, and the audience sat quietly as they were enthralled in the intricate dances performed on stage. On Friday, May 13, 2016, at 7 pm, many twirled their way into Oakdale’s auditorium and viewed lively dances performed and choreographed by those at our own school.

Throughout this second semester, students have worked persistently every day in their dance class first block on all of the dances that were performed in the recital. Continually, each of the five units in their dance class were dedicated to learning a different style of dance. There were two dances learned per unit, one dance for beginners – Dance 1, and one for the advanced group – Dance 2-4. They progressed through each of the units in order, starting with jazz, lyrical, hip hop, tap, and then kick. Every complex dance was meticulously choreographed by Ms. Jessica Miller (Dance/ History/ Psychology Department Teacher). Besides learning five dances per unit, everyone performed either a solo or duet thoroughly choreographed by themselves.

In result of completing the recital, there are many memorable dances that will always have a special place in the dancers’ hearts.

First, Sophomore Caroline Amadeo was pleased to watch Push It – performed by the beginner group – because she “liked the dance moves, energy, and the song.”Additionally, the dance she enjoyed performing in the most was Stuck In The Middle With You – performed by the advanced group – since the tapping “sounded good and together, [and she] liked the partner work.”

Another astonishing aspect of the dance recital was the finale number performed to the popular song of Bohemian Rhapsody. The dance classes spent three days contemplating the choreography themselves, and multiple more days were spent perfecting the dance. It is an incredibly spectacular dance, filled with challenging dance movements and various styles enwrapped together in a pleasant way to sum up the nights performance.    

However, having dance class at school may be controversial.

Amadeo believes that “[You can] take the class to fulfill the fine arts credit.”

Continually, Sophomore Austin Shapiro mentioned that dance class “[is] a lot of fun; I learned a lot and gained a lot of experience.” On the other hand, he “wishes the program was bigger.”

Overall, many would agree that dance class is a great opportunity for those looking to expand their creative talents, or to help them evolve into the dancer they dream of becoming. During the recital, all dancers were completely focused on what they were doing so they could remember all of the choreography, blocking, and timing to perform well. Also, everyone was mindful of their surroundings to know correct positioning on stage; used body language to be in sync with the others on stage, and worked together as a team. Presiding over all of these factors, everyone was present in each moment and used all of their energy they had to be able to dance to their full potential.

Furthermore, performing on stage is a unique experience that poses benefits to someone in life. For example, it is a unanimous opinion among all viewers that taking dance helps one to move better on stage with proper knowledge of spacing, proven extremely beneficial to those involved with theater – which applies to many of those involved with the dance classes.

In addition, Shapiro shared that taking dance has allowed him to “have gotten more flexible and better at dancing.”

Amadeo believes she has benefited from taking dance class by “being more aware of other dance styles and learned different types of choreography. Also, [dance class] has helped me with my technique and staying in shape.”

Above all, the abundance of support from all audience members was reassuring to all of the dancers. Adding the excitement Miller radiated among all of the dancers helped boost their confidence, allowing each individual’s personalities to shine bright on stage. Everyone cherished this opportunity to develop knowledge surrounding all styles of dance and to showcase their progress from this past semester all while becoming a close-knit team of friends. The recital was a success to the program and to each individual dancer.