By, Dayoon C. ’19
On Friday, February 22, Winsor held its fourth annual dance concert, which featured students in the Winsor community and was performed to parents and friends beyond. For those who could not attend the dance concert on Friday night, Winsor’s dance program organized an “Upper School Meeting Teaser Show” on Thursday, February 21, which gave all Upper School and some Lower School students a quick snapshot of some of the dances for the concert.
Since the opening of the Lubin O’Donnell Center and the new dance studio four years ago, Winsor’s dance program has grown tremendously in so many different ways, including giving students a platform to showcase their independent work. An exceptionally beautiful medley of contemporary, modern, classical Indian, hip hop, and other dance styles, this year’s dance concert was truly one for the books.
Before audience members could finish filing into their seats, the stage lights dimmed, and the dark silhouettes of the dancers filled the stage. Each dancer wore headphones and began improvising different dances all at the same time. One dancer wore a traditional Indian dress and performed a classical Indian piece, while another dancer wore a simple black shirt with black leggings and rocked some contemporary dance moves. This intriguing and mysterious opening scene was a testament to how Winsor’s dance program has grown in the past few years. Katie T. ’19, who as been a member of the dance program since she was a freshman, reflected, “Over the years, more and more students have been inspired to choreograph on and collaborate with each other.” Katie also added that “the dance program has expanded in terms of the opportunities available to students,” because “it allows the Winsor community to be exposed to a greater variety of dance styles and pieces.”
True to Katie’s words, this year’s dance concert had a remarkable number of soloists, duets, and groups across a range of grades. The quartet to “This is Me” by Keala Settle and danced by Asrah R. ’20, Katie T. ’19, Grace W. ’19, and Jessica W. ’22 is just one of the many examples of a dance where dancers from different grades combined their talents together. Although this dance had a modern style, some movements were inspired by traditional African dance as well. Another dance that consisted of dancers of many grades was the contemporary and hip hop influenced dance to “Talking to Myself” by Gallant and choreographed by Asrah Rizvi ’20. Asrah, alongside Victoria C. ’19, Lola F. ’20, Jane H. ’21, Kiara P. ’20, Shantel T. ‘20, and Katie T. ‘19, also incorporated flashlights into the choreography, which gave the dance a modern, unique, and mysterious vibe.
Another feature of the show that made this year’s dance concert different from previous years was the increased involvement from the seniors. Namuna B. ’19, a relatively new face in Winsor’s dance program, noted that “this concert was extra special because the seniors who are relatively new to the dance program and the seniors who actually helped develop the dance program were all in the concert.” Julia C. ‘19 adds that “the Winsor community has been so good about welcoming all sorts of different performing arts opportunities, including the relatively new dance program.” Whether it was a student’s first ever dance concert or it was a student who has helped pave the way for developing Winsor’s dance program, the rewarding experience of performing for Winsor’s receptive community is something so special.