The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

The Review

The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

The Review

The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

The Review

Spring Dance Concert takes audience on cross-country ride

Titled “Road Trip USA,” each dance correlated to a place in America and attempted to transport the audience through the country.

As the lights dimmed and jazz music began playing, Terpsichore dancers clad in purple suits ran onto the stage, kicking off the annual Upper School Spring Showcase by representing the busy city of Chicago. This exuberant display of Chicago’s workplace was the first of many stops on the dance-led road trip around the USA. 

The Spring Dance Concert took place on Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27 and consisted of 12 dances performed by all levels – from the lowest, Caprice I, to the highest, Terpsichore. Titled “Road Trip USA,” each dance correlated to a place in America and attempted to transport the audience through the country. 

Dancers began marking their routines as early as October in order to perfect each movement. Every level had a range of one to five dances to learn, practice and perfect with five guest choreographers assisting with designing the show.  

“I was impressed by the choreography of each dance. I thought that all the movements and songs chosen strongly mirrored each separate theme,” freshman Andy Trejo-Escalona said.

To kick off the show, four Terpsichore dancers took the stage to kick off a dance choreographed by Dorrell Martin. Many were impressed by how all 13 dancers embodied a heated business discussion.

“We like to start with a piece that grabs the audience’s attention and makes them excited for the rest of the show,” dance teacher Heidi Arouty said.

Next, Caprice III performed an upbeat dance meant to represent a New York subway, shocking the audience through their continuity on stage. Their use of metal chairs and lifts “embodied the essence of New York City,” Upper School dance teacher Victoria Arizpe said. Their performance was in unison and reflected the time and effort put into learning the dance from guest choreographer Mike Esperanza.

After a quick change, the Terpsichore dancers took the stage once again to perform a lyrical and elegant dance. Their contemporary performance, “Big Easy Blues,” emanated the popular blues genre in New Orleans.

Next, the energy transitioned to upbeat as dancers in vibrant orange, pink and blue costumes performed a Latin-style dance based in Miami, Florida. They followed a slow song with an upbeat one in order to keep the audience’s attention. The Caprice I class consisted of 29 dancers from every grade level, rendering it the biggest dance. Many enjoyed the partnering section as well as the unexpected all-boys section.

“It was overall a fun experience to be able to perform for the first time as I started off the year with little dancing experience,” freshman Sophia Espino said. “After performing, I enjoyed watching the other dances from the wings and cheering everyone on.”

After the upbeat Miami number, Caprice II dancers took the stage with a slow country-jazz combination. Entitled “Get Yourself Free,” the dance attempted to embody getting out on the open roads of Texas. Both Caprice II blocks took part in this dance. 

“I am grateful that guest choreographer Dawn Dippel recognized everyone’s talent and choreographed an amazing dance for us,” freshman Gayatri Konduri, Caprice II dancer, said. 

To end the first half of the concert, Caprice III and Terpsichore performed the hip hop dance “Down South.” As the dance was performed earlier in an Upper School assembly, many in the crowd recognized it and cheered the dancers on. Each grade level had their own choreographed section.

“The audience enjoyed this piece because the choreography provided a visible expression of joy and happiness,” Arouty said.

During the following 10 minute intermission, dancers retouched their makeup, changed costumes and refueled, also making sure to take a moment to enjoy the experience of performing. 

Choreographed by Martin, “To Serve and Protect” kicked off the second half of the show. Dancers wore white tops and black bottoms with black ties to emulate a spy mission. Though she was the only freshman in her class, Claire Chih felt she was welcomed by everyone and that the class dynamics were strong. She described “To Serve and Protect” as her “favorite dance because it showed how close everyone in her class was.” 

Sophomore Patrick Tsang described “To Serve and Protect” as his favorite dance because he got to learn how to do a toe touch — and, of course, because of the fun partnering section with junior Ryan Shen.

Following, Terpsichore performed a number in flowy white costumes with the same name as Frank Ocean’s song, White Ferrari. Guest choreographer Jesus Acosta taught Terpsichore the slow jazz piece. Senior Addy McKenney got the opportunity to display an exceptional solo as the crowd motivated her with their cheers.

Next, jazz music began to play as Caprice II – C began their class’ dance, Ride, dressed in sparkly red jackets. Freshman Samantha Boyd was lifted into the air during this piece, leaving the crowd stunned. 

After the energetic piece, Caprice II-E, dressed in white jackets with fringe, embodied a Texan theme. Their dance, called Boot Scootin,’ displayed their talent and effort through their synchronized movements and claps. The audience cheered on freshman Maya Reyes as she spun across the stage. 

The following jazz dance, performed by Caprice III, embodied the Vegas lifestyle. Dancers wore black dresses with sparkly sequins as they danced in unison. The upbeat performance to “Viva Las Vegas” prepared the audience for the big finale. 

To complete the show, Terpsichore dancers entered the stage for what would be the seniors’ last time. In beachy outfits, they topped off the concert with their piece “What a Day that Was.” McKenney finished her career as a St. John’s dancer with a calm solo section. The music transitioned from an energetic to a leisurely beat.

Right as Terpsichore exited the stage, Caprice I came on for their portion of the finale dance. Each dance level performed a short piece for the finale, all dressed in the last costume they wore. The show ended with every level of dance joining together for a single heartfelt goodbye. Seniors were appreciated with flowers and bowed for the last time: some ready to begin their dancing careers in college, but others marking the end of their dance journey.

“I believe that this program is special because of the dancers’ excitement to learn and perform the pieces they worked so hard on,” Arouty said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Isabella Adachi
Isabella Adachi, Staff Writer
Isabella Adachi ('27) joined The Review in 2023. She has watched Gilmore Girls all the way through three times.
Annie Li
Annie Li, Staff Writer
Annie Li ('27) loves chewing ice and playing competitive field hockey. She joined Review in 2023.

Comments (0)

All The Review Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *