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Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

Dance ensemble enchants audiences with their annual Winter Wishes concert

Dance Team and Advanced Dance hold their Winter Wishes production in the Performing Arts Center (PAC).
Photo courtesy of Ryan Maine
Dance Team perform at Winter Wishes.

As the curtain opened and stage lights gleamed, it was all smiles on the faces of the Dance Team kicking off the department’s annual Winter Wishes Dance Concert on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the PAC from 7-8 p.m.

The concert showcased performances from both Dance Team and Advanced Dance to songs such as “The Polar Express” by Tom Hanks, “How Dare You” by Rachel Grace, “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston, “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Jim Carrey, “Ode to a Love Lost” by Finn Ronsdorf and “The Raiders March (1981)” by Meco. 

The production consisted of student-choreographed “Winter Wishes,” which are routines pitched initially by dancers through written proposals of the wish they want to convey through choreography, including their concept and vision of how to bring ideas to life on stage.  

“[The show] moves really fast, so you don’t really have time to reflect on how you did. If you mess up, you focus on the next one, [and that] also helps the team bond and work together because we want to put on a good show,” junior officer Callie Chen said. “We’ve been working on these routines since May of last year, so we were excited to finally show people. It’s a really rewarding [experience].”

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The Winter Wishes performance allowed the Dance Team to unveil routines for their upcoming competition season in categories lyrical, jazz, contemporary and kick choreographed by coaches Audrey Wang, Florrie Ku and special guest choreographers Zackary Falk, Kiana Gachett, Sue Gehringer, Jacob Piattoni, Erik Sosa and Quinton Peron. Dancers have been preparing these routines since late last summer.

“[Winter Wishes] makes us prepared for [competition season], potentially because everything has to be show or stage ready,” senior co-captain Zoey Tran said. “We’re really pushing on cleaning [up choreography].” 

In the works of wish routines, Advanced Dance pulled some inspiration from the music and kept the lyrics in mind while creating choreography, bringing it to life on stage. With different techniques and ideas, dancers often came across clashes in the makings of the wish routines. Dancers worked together in orchestrating the diverse talents towards the benefit of their choreography.

“When you study for a test, you can go back in your brain and remember the stuff [you learned]. With dancing you have to get the feeling stuck in your body,” senior Vivian Han said. “It can sometimes be a clash [when choreographing in groups], because we can have one person who has so many ideas and others get stuck. But it’s good having people with so many talents [and] so many different ways of dancing.”

Junior dancers that attended Junior Dance Day Intensive earlier this summer were invited to return and join the Dance Team on stage for a performance to Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night.” 

“It’s [an honor getting] to mentor junior dancers that look up to us. They motivate us to work hard [in our] dances [and] to be good examples for them, so they can be inspired [to do] their best while dancing too,” sophomore Chloe Olegario said. “It’s important to encourage them so they continue to show their passion to others through dance and it’s a good way to find and build relationships through it as well.”

Dancers partook in vigorous practices from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. During this time they continually developed routines, breaking down and reworking certain aspects such as synchronization and adjusting choreography.  

“It’s hard because you spend a lot of time dancing and it’s not just about the practices, but also the [preparation] that comes with it. You have to take time out of school or practice [and you have to] learn to manage it,” senior co-captain Tiffany Peng said.

Dance Team and Advanced Dance established the foundations of sisterhood in the makings of this show, tightening bonds throughout. Coming across obstacles such as an early competition season this year for the Dance Team or incorporating different styles dancers have into the student-led choreographed wishes for Advanced Dance, both dance groups conquered it together through the support of their fellow dancers, coaches and teachers.

“Deadlines [are an obstacle] because you’re considered an advanced dancer so you’ve got to make sure your dances are level to that. Your coaches and teachers help push you to make you stronger in that department too,” freshman Riley Russo said. “At the end, it feels really good because [we] know that [we’ve] done this entire show putting in hard work, [then we] finally finish and [we] all get to celebrate together.”

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About the Contributor
Ava Kaleah David
Ava Kaleah David, Staff writer
Hi! My name is Ava Kaleah David, and I am a ninth grade staff writer for The Hoofprint. Outside of The Hoofprint, I am on the girl's frosh volleyball team. I love quality time with family and friends, Hawaii, photography, my dog Mochi, and listening to music (especially Taylor Swift)!
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  • D

    Davis the thirdJan 10, 2024 at 3:28 pm


  • M

    Mau SalumbidesNov 29, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Way to go Ava, you made us imagine what the people who put up the show had to go through!