Annual “Just Dance” celebrates student skills


Alison Yang

Harker Dance Company perform “Control,” their second dance of the show. The contemporary routine contrasted with “Trumpets,” their hip hop number.

by Jessica Wang and Alison Yang

As the curtains rise and the music starts to fill the theater, the stage comes alive with a fusion of colors, rhythms and movements. From the fluid movements of contemporary dance to the high-energy routines of hip hop, this event captivated audiences with stunning displays of creativity and skill. Each act tells a unique story through movement, and the night showcases the artistry and dedication of the dancers who poured countless hours of practice into their craft.

Harker students of all ages performed in the annual showing of “Just Dance” in the Patil Theatre at 7 p.m. on March 31 to celebrate the achievements of the dancers from the past year. Tickets were offered for free.

The stage lit up with blues and purples as middle school boys dance team High Voltage performed their aptly named dance “Turn All the Lights On.” Up next was Showstoppers, a combination group of both boys and girls from middle school. They glided across the stage to “No Ordinary,” a lyrical dance, with the girls costumed in long mauve dresses and the boys in a button-up shirt of the same color.

The high school boys dance team Kinetic Krew (KK) then brought their Avengers choreography to life, dressed in Marvel-themed t-shirts and black dress pants. KK member Kai Stinson (11) speaks about the significance of Just Dance.

“Working with the little kids reminded me of when I was in lower school,” he said. “I remember the upper schoolers being role models for me, so now I feel like I need to continue that cycle. [A part of that] is setting a good example and inspiring them.”

Members of Dance Fusion, the co-ed dance team of the lower school, shone on the stage with big smiles during their dance “Larger Than Life.” Harker Dance Company (HDC) was up next, in green jerseys and black leggings and dancing “Trumpets,” their hiphop routine. HDC member Claire Cheng (10) recalls performing the routine at the Spirit Rally held earlier that day.

“It’s a lot of fun to perform,” she said. “We might be more confident [doing contemporary dance], but my favorite is [Trumpets]. Especially at the [spirit rally] it was a lot of fun, seeing the energy in the audience.”

For the second act of the night, High Voltage returned to the stage, this time performing to “The Plan.” Showstoppers followed in new costumes, leaping across the stage in matching blacks and tans while dancing to “Me Against the Music.” 

Kinetic Krew continued with their superhero theme, taking the stage in Spiderman hoodies and performing to the reggaeton hit “Mi Gente” by J Balvin and Willy William. Kai discusses his experience practicing their dances in the past year.

“We learned [Mi Gente] in the spring,” Kai said. “It’s a lot more fun than the fall routine. Remembering [the Avengers routine] was hard, especially since we’ve all grown a lot since then and forgotten some of the moves.”

The next performance, Dance Fusion’s “Long Train Runnin,” was followed by Harker Dance Company’s “Control.” A lyrical dance, they graced the stage in black-and-tan dresses with jeweled waistbands. 

Each dance team then ran onstage in performance order to “I’m Good (Blue)” by Bebe Rhexa and David Guetta and danced to one of the verses before the entire cast joined together on stage for their finale. 

The night of March 31 was particularly special, as it was the senior night for the graduating class of dancers. Celebrated students included BB Ajlouny, Nicholas Delfino, Anja Ree, Aspen Shen and Trisha Variyar; younger students in the program brought them bouquets of white flowers as the audience applauded them for their contributions to Harker Dance.

“[Just Dance] makes me proud of the Harker K-12 dance program,” Dance Director Gail Palmer said. “If dance is where your passion is, there’s a nice through line [for the students]. I get to watch the students mature not only as dancers, but as people and see their kind spirit and wonderful work ethic.”