Winter Dance Show celebrates diversity


(Photo Courtesy of Manan Dhir) Jailen Gardener and Jasmine Ofodu lift Bailiie Robinson to the song “Freedom” by Beyonce.

On Dec. 1 and 2, the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center hosted the Winter Dance Show put on by DV’s dance program, the show offered a great opening to the holiday season sharing messages of acceptance and diversity.

The Winter Dance Show consisted of 27 dances and one finale. Students from Dance 2, 3, and 4 all perform in at least one dance throughout the show. These performances range from traditional ballet to R&B. A wide display of skillsets was showcased at the Winter Dance Show. The regular dance director Mrs. Altman was out on leave so guest teacher Carol Macphil filled in to help compose the performance.

The dance program puts in a lot of effort to put on the show, with some dances practiced since the start of the school year.

Connie Deng, a Dance 4 student, shares how difficult it was to put the show together.

“It was very stressful. We had to make and teach our own dances to ourselves. The Costumes were back ordered also, causing us to become rushed. Overall though, it is an amazing experience.”

This effort does not go unnoticed, with the show often getting sold out each year. People from all around come out to watch Dougherty’s talented dance program show off their moves gracefully.

The  show offered a multitude of culture and talent. Incorporating cultural aspects of dance, such as the Kajra Re, Kimbara, and It’s Raining Men dances.  

Kajra Re, choreographed by Sham Ananth, Leah Mathew, and Sahiba Singh, was a beautiful performance influenced largely by Bollywood and traditional Indian dances. The dancers wore long colorful skirts and bright shirts commonly associated with Indian culture.

The Kimbara dance, choreographed by Camila Aristimuno Ots and Ana Ung Ariza, were influenced by famous Latin artists,  such as, Marc Anthony and Celia Cruz. Dancers wore green sequin dresses, and shimmied their way across the stage. All of Dance IV was included in this performance, providing a full stage of dancers. Traditional Latin dance moves were incorporated in the dance to give a truly authentic, cultural performance.

The various dances highlighted and celebrated the cultural diversity found at our school.

A crowd favorite, It’s Raining Men, choreographed and danced by Lexie Asatani, Alyssa Chen, JP Dy, Sarita Maharajh, Jesse Ocampo and Celine Wang, brought the disco to Dougherty. Dancers wore paisley printed bell-bottom jeans and crop tops along with Afro wigs and round sunglasses to embody traditional disco style. Dancers performed to the song Weather Girls, using umbrella props to add a fun flair. It’s Raining Men used disco moves and style to create a uplifting and groovy vibe felt by everyone. The dancers as well as the audience really enjoyed this performance.

In fact, Alyssa Chen, one of the dancers in It’s Raining Men stated,“It is my favorite performance of [the] Winter Dance Show. It’s very fun, and I loved dancing in it..”

Along with a mix of cultural influences the dance show also featured a number of upbeat pop numbers.

The show opened with “Slave For You”, choreographed by Jesse Ocampo, combining a number of dance styles, such as jazz and hip hop. Dancers performed to the crooning of Britney Spears, setting the scene for an exciting night.

Later on, performers came on wearing green cargo pants and black crop for “Call Me”, Beep Me, choreographed by Aditi Ajwani, Aarushi Arora, Emily Chew, Knoah De Guia, Kjersti Huajardo, Angela Huang, Christiana Kaniaru Divine Nmezi, Vik Papareddy, and Joshua Santos, taking the audience back to their childhood in a fun Kim Possible-themed number.

Another number that lit up the show, quite literally, was “Technicolor Beat”, choreographed by Lexie Asatani and Lindsey Azevedo. It remixed a number of songs to create an attention-catching performance. Dancers used black gloves with fluorescent LED lights to dazzle the audience.

The most striking number of the evening was “Body Love” showcasing the dancer in all black with words written on their bodies showing the impact that words have.

Choreographer Jesse Ocampo described the message: “[Body Love] talks about being a women and the things that we sacrifice and the things that we do to be accepted into society, and how that affects us and how the words and the things that we see and how were treated by either other women or by men and really really affects us. It takes a toll on our emotions and our bodies.”

The dancers portrayed this message with their strong, evocative dancing set to a poem by Mary Lambert. This unique and powerful dance added a whole new dimension to the performance making the show not only a fun experience but also leaving you with a new perspective.

The DV winter dance show offered more than your typical performance combining culture, entertainment and a body positive message.


“The show portrays the diversity and expression of everyone. We celebrate our differences by performing to different cultures and styles,” Dancer Connie Deng shared her take on the theme of the show.

The 2016 Winter Dance show did not disappoint, showing off the multitude of talent and diversity that Dougherty has to offer.