Dance Troupe is hosting its final performance of the year tonight. The annual Spring show celebrates the end of the season and says goodbye to the eight graduating seniors.
To show the dancers’ improvement throughout the year, most of the dances are entirely student-choreographed. According to coach Jamie Sanders, getting to see each stage of her students’ creative processes and their performances is really rewarding.
“I watch the entire process,” Sanders said. “I see where they start, nervous, auditioning a piece for their show, then the hard work that goes into practicing, and then all the obstacles they face. So now getting to put it on stage and seeing it come together as this really beautiful piece definitely fills me with pride.”
For Olivia Dawson (12), being on the dance team since freshman year and an officer for the past two years has given her the opportunity to grow as a dancer because she is always experiencing new things.
“I know myself better as a dancer,” Dawson said. “My freshman year, I had a foundation of dance but I didn’t have technique and style. I also didn’t know how to choreograph a dance, but as an officer, you have to choreograph dances for shows and also for football games. Dance team pushed me to become better at those things.”
To make each year’s spring show unique, the dancers pick a theme to tie into each routine. After performing a dance four years ago that was called Golden Age, the seniors decided to go with a Golden Age theme for the spring show to pay homage to their history on the dance team and to express the idea of overcoming adversity.
“They wanted to do that [theme] because they felt like the phrase ‘Golden Age’ embodies the idea that the team coming together in the way that they did this year is an ultimate win in the end,” Sanders said. “It’s the idea that they could come together no matter what and reach this feat of being in a successful and talented team after a year of difficulty.”
As a way to celebrate this year’s eight graduating seniors, each senior has a solo and dances in the senior dance.
“We have eight seniors on the team and I already told them that I don’t want to watch their senior dance,” Sanders said. “I will but I don’t want to because I will just cry. We’re just not ready for them to go, as proud of them as we are. They are a really solid team of leaders. I know it’s going to be bittersweet.”
In addition to the senior dance, another tradition of the spring show is for the coach to show a slideshow of each of the seniors before their solo. At the end of the slideshow, Sanders chooses a word that describes each senior writing, ‘Leaving the legacy of…’ For Dawson, Sanders chose the word devotion to describe her commitment to the team.
“When I talked to [Sanders] about it, the reason she chose that word is because I put a lot of outside time in the team that maybe goes unnoticed sometimes,” Dawson said. “It feels good that the coach, someone I look up to, recognizes what I’ve done.”
After dancing for the majority of her life, Dawson said this feels like the end of an era.
When she hits the last pose in the final dance, she knows that a wave of emotions will overcome her.
“These 15 years of dance are over in one night when you’ve been working hard for so long,” Dawson said. “We devote so much time to dance that we all are thinking, ‘Wow, this chapter of my life is over.’ But I’m excited to look into the future.”