Winter concert for student dancers is ready to take off

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Winter concert for student dancers is ready to take off

Dance students pose for a photo in their Wakefield jackets.

Dance students pose for a photo in their Wakefield jackets.

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Arana

Dance students pose for a photo in their Wakefield jackets.

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Arana

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Arana

Dance students pose for a photo in their Wakefield jackets.

Megan Simrell, Staff Writer

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Every year Wakefield’s dancers put on a winter concert where they showcase the dances they have been choreographing and practicing for the past few weeks. Each of the three dance classes will be putting on different dances with diverse themes and choreography. Each piece is being made with a combined effort from both the students and Shannon Proctor, the dance teacher and dance team coach at Wakefield. 

Designing dance can be difficult due to inner workings such as staging and choreography.

“It’s fun being creative and seeing the final product,” Lauren Wallace, a dancer in several pieces, said.

First period dance class will be putting on a piece with a jazzy remix of a Whitney Houston song. Right now, they are working on perfecting their technique. The second period dance class, Varsity Dance Team is focusing on their competition pieces that will also be performed for the concert. This routine consists of their “Pom” routine, a hip-hop routine and a few student-choreographed pieces. Fourth period, Dance III Honors, consists of a mix of JV Dance Team and dance students. They will perform choreography that consists of the entire class along with four other pieces with smaller numbers. One of the dances was choreographed and staged by a Wakefield dancer who wasn’t able to dance at the time, Elizabeth Macy.

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Arana
Dance students enjoy their time off before the competition.

“I had choreographed a piece last year in the spring, so when I broke three vertebrae in my spine and had to quit dance team,” Elizabeth Macy said. “My teacher told me I could choreograph. I loved that, as I then had something to do, and wasn’t just sitting every day doing nothing.” 

Macy’s dance, which twelve students will be performing in, is about mental illnesses and focuses on anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder. The goal of the dance is to show the challenges and emotions of these mental illnesses. The audio is a mashup of the songs “Madness” by Muse and “Sound of War” by Tommee Profitt. Another dance Macy will be in is a lighter, upbeat dance. 

“Practicing the concert and performing is a lot of fun, and I’m glad I can participate and be in it,” Wallace, a dancer in Macy’s choreography said.

The two other fourth period dances are widely different from each other. One piece will showcase Michael Jackson and his life. It is an upbeat dance to the song “Slave To The Rhythm” by Jackson. The other small group dance that will be showcased is a soulful lyrical number with the song “Pretty Little Mess” by The New Cities. Each of these pieces was choreographed and staged by the students with a little help from Proctor. Proctor has been helping out mostly with JV dances since they have upcoming competitions. 

“This is my first year helping out JV dance team, as Mrs. Plant [Lauren Plant] moved schools,” Lauren Writtenbury, JV dance team coach said. “They [the JV dance team] accomplished our goal of doing well score-wise, taking home all 4 trophies and 4 banners.”

Photo Courtesy Stephanie Arana
Dancers board the bus on their way to competition.

JV and the Varsity dance team had a competition Dec. 7-8th at Smoky Mountain Championship in Tennessee. It’s a Universal Dance Association (UDA) competition which means that it is a national dance competition with groups from various states. JV won first in both of their categories with a superior rating (a 77 or above) on one of their dances, and they were close to gaining it with their second. They performed their “Pom” routine, a fast-paced routine, and their “game day” dance. Their game day dance includes their fight song piece and a sideline one, that they perform at football games. Varsity scored third out of fifth in their game-day routine, and for pom, they achieved second out of two groups. They received a superior rating on all three of their routines, and plan to go out Jan. 18 to a South Carolina competition called Capital City.

“At nationals, we got an 82 and this year, 6 weeks before nationals, they had an 88 which means they’re getting much better,” Proctor said.