Seven student choreographers lined the edge of the stage on Saturday night, sitting shoulder to shoulder. “Refreshing,” Bennett F. (’17) stated in response to an audience member’s question, allowing the adjective – which she had chosen to describe her experience as a choreographer – to roll off her tongue.
Sitting on that stage, the choreographers executed the talkback with poise. However, the choreographers revealed that before they could reach this composed state, content with the results of their work, they had to put in exhaustive efforts. Many choreographers knew as far back as last school year that they wanted to choreograph pieces for the dance show. However, what they did not know yet was that due to increased student interest in choreographing, Stefani and Erica had decided to pioneer a new dance show, Choreo 7 – for the students, by the students. Months after this idea’s inception, on the night of the performance, January 23rd, seven student choreographers showcased their work, the techies worked their magic, Cady K. (’18), Ahab C. (’17), Joy M. (’16) captured it all on camera, and, in her role as director, Tiffany L. (’18) orchestrated the entire show; Stefani and Erica’s guiding idea of student leadership had clearly been implemented.
The majority of choreographers began their rehearsals in September, resolutely setting up camp in the dance studio during lunch and break. Rallying their dancers, choreographers first laid out the groundwork of their pieces: preliminary choreography. During the process, they often offered constructive feedback. “Make sure to point your toes!” “Keep your back flat during that section.” As the dances began to take shape, choreographers would edit, firming up counts and creating formations. However, for some, the dances they had crafted didn’t align with their vision. During the talkback, Eliza B. (’17) and Bennett F. recounted that they were changing their choreography until the week before the performance. In order to actualize their artistic vision, Eliza and Bennett re-choreographed sections of their dance in the hope that these new movements would convey their original intentions more effectively. They, like many other choreographers, faced obstacles that they ultimately overcame with resilience.
Despite these challenges, or perhaps due to them, choreographers described Choreo-7 as “super fun” and as “a great learning experience.” The show itself was vastly successful. The opening night, which Stefani and Erica had initially believed would be a small informal gathering, had an audience of 200. Clearly proud, Stefani stated that the show had exceeded her “expectations by umpteenth times.” The inaugural show of Choreo-7 made a decisive impact on the CPS dance community, reshaping the future of dance shows at College Prep. If you missed it this year, a student led dance show will now be held annually!
You can watch the show here: