Behind the scenes: Dance Production


Saloni Shah

Dancers practice their routine with different props. The Dance Production will take place on Jan. 26 through Jan. 27.

by Saloni Shah, Reporter

Thunder echoed across the dance room as the group of eleven boys practiced their hip-hop routine to a remix of Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic”. Sweat dripped down their faces as they worked on the fast-moving choreography.

The preparation for Upper School dance production “Viva Las Vegas” is in full swing. The auditions were conducted on Saturday, Sept. 16. The number of student participants has been steadily increasing every year, and this year, 165 students have been placed in 24 dance routines.

For the dance production, based on interest level and commitment, some students are in one to two routines whereas the senior members of the varsity program will perform in five routines – opening dance, senior dance and three production routines.

Alexander Kumar (9), commented on his decision to join the dance show.

My dance experience has been really good, and I’m really glad I continued doing dance,” Kumar said. “My choreographer and fellow dancers are extremely supportive, and the choreography itself is super fun.”

After school dance practices are picking up pace and intensity. Currently the dance teams are bonding and the students are feeling comfortable with the movement and memorizing the steps. At this time the individual dancers are blending styles together to form a dance while working on their performance skills.

Upper School dance director and director of varsity dance troupe, Karl Kuehn, shared his plans for the preparations for the dance show.

“The goal is to finish our production routines by the holiday vacation,” Kuehn said. “Then when the students get back in January, review the routines, clean-up, make changes if needed, prepare for the dance rehearsal and then of course the dance show.”

Along with the faculty choreographers, there are eight student choreographers directing dances. After completing the required dance composition class taught by upper school dance teacher, Rachelle Haun, students can apply to be in the choreography class; student choreographers are selected based on a variety of factors, the primary consideration being commitment to create and choreograph the dances outside of choreography class.  

Kuehn expressed his satisfaction with the advancement of the students in the various dance classes at school.

“We are very pleased with what we have seen so far in terms of the progression from dance composition to choreography to stage,” Kuehn said.

Liana Wang (12), a returning student choreographer and captain of the varsity dance team, smiles with satisfaction when she sees the dancers working very hard, practicing the material and improving every week.

“There is quite a difference in the level of dances,” Liana said. “The level of dance has gone off the roof. Each year new set of dancers are amazing and adding to the team.”

The Upper School Dance show will also showcase the Junior Varsity (JV), Varsity and Kinetic Krew teams. The all-girls, nine members, JV team which has a mix of jazz, hip-hop and lyrical styles, is currently practicing routines such as “Let it Go” with JV director, Rachelle Haun. The all-girls, eleven members, varsity team, though predominantly jazz based, also has elements of hip-hop and contemporary; they are rehearsing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. Additionally, they have added tap to the dance styles this year. In contrast, the all-boys fifteen member Kinetic Krew team directed by Jazon Escultura is an exclusive hip-hop group currently working on performing “Nightmare before Christmas.”

As the music died down, the electrifying glimpse of the Upper School Dance show faded away. With great music, great lighting, and great dancing, the Upper School Dance on Jan. 26 through Jan. 27 promises to be a great fun experience.