Dance team; from soul to sole

Dance team practices their routine after school. KENNETH LIU/THE AZTECS

Mark Keppel’s Dance Team never fails to put on a great show. Of course, this would not be possible without the leadership of senior captains, Sammi Luong, Angela Lopena, and Jenny Wang, and the hard work and dedication of each member. The team has set goals this season to place at every competition while performing to the best of their ability and have fun at the same time. Dance Team hopes to achieve their goals by coming up with more creative routines and practicing.

Each week, Dance Team practices 10 – 13 hours to come up with new choreography and prepare for any upcoming performances. Dance Company Coach Mr. Arroyo said, “[Creating a whole performance] is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, but you don’t know what the puzzle is supposed to look like.” The team has to constantly make adjustments and adaptations to improve their routines and fit the ability level of every dancer.

The first step in preparing for a performance, is coming up with a theme for the routine. Lopena said, “When deciding for a theme of our routine, everyone usually throws out ideas and we all decide on one we like.”

Next comes the creating the choreography. It can be difficult to make a routine, however, Arroyo said, “It all comes down to picking a really good song. If it’s a song I like, it’s easier to choreograph and for the dance co students to engage with the audience. That’s really important for competition.” He also looks at the skill set of his team. With more skillful dancers, he can create more difficult routines.

Even with all the hours put into practicing, Luong said, “Routines are never too ready to compete because we’ll always find room for improvement.” However, she believes that if the team is comfortable running it, the routine is close to competition ready.

Once everything is complete, the audience gets to enjoy the amazing show that Dance Team puts on.


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