Dance With Me Tonight

Dance With Me Tonight

The lights flash a hot pink, and two lanky boys in bright orange tank tops stride onto the stage, bursting into energetic choreography to “Lip Gloss,” by Lil Mama. “They say my lip gloss is cool/ My lip gloss be popping/ I’m standing at my locker/ And all the boys keep stopping…” The dance does the lyrics justice, and the audience roars with laughter and approval. This was just one of the 35 unique dances (and one senior ball ask) presented at the DVHS Spring Dance Show. As usual, it’s the seniors who stole the spotlight, with their superlative experience and stage presence. However, every dance had something distinctively praiseworthy, and it was clear how hard the dancers had worked to exhibit their skills. Even Dance 1, the lowest of the low (I’m in Dance 1 so I’m allowed to make fun of it, you can’t laugh unless you know what a pas de bourree is), brought Mrs. Altman’s choreography to life with “The Way I Are,” and obtained a substantial amount of cheering. Of course, you had to be there to have the real experience, but I, a Dance 1 expert connoisseur, will do my best to summarize the dance show and all of its wonders.

From the harsh drops of Skrillex to the pulsing tunes of Grouplove to the wordplay of Lil Wayne, there were many genres of music present, with a variety of dancing to match. Macklemore, Kendrick Lamar, Tyga, Zedd, Beyonce, and Missy Elliot were also popular artists that were represented. Several tracks were especially distinctive, such as the pounding ethnic drums of “Drought” and the strident dubstep growls of “Cracks.” The very first performance was a lively dance to the bouncing beat of “The Time (Dirty Bit)” from the Black Eyed Peas, while the third-to-last was set to the numbingly heavy bass of DJ Snake’s “Bird Machine.” Throughout the show, the lighting switched colors and intensity to match the mood of the performances. A few dances included black lights that caused neon clothing to glow, or complete darkness that revealed flashing lights on the fingertips of the dancers’ gloves. Whether contemporary, hip-hop, or anything in between, the choreography matched the music seamlessly and produced a product greater than the sum of its parts.

There were numerous dances with only three people or fewer, highlighting their courage as well as their individual performance presence. “Do Ya Like” was a swagger-filled hip-hop routine with a trio of Dance 2 boys, while “Sunday Morning” told the charming story of a couple on a park bench. “Breath of Life” was an intensely dark yet vivacious duet that conveyed the dramatic battle between Snow White and the Evil Queen. “Fever” and “Seven Years” were both solo routines created and performed by girls from Dance 4, and the pieces were testament to their unparalleled skill and dedication to the art. On the opposite end of the spectrum was the Dance 1 performance, where I, along with other beginners or people who didn’t try out last year, did my best to not mess up in front of the audience. My fellow Dance 1 performer Saurabh Thakur admits that “It felt intimidating at first because of the huge crowd, but once I started, I stopped thinking about the crowd.” Good to know, Saurabh. Thanks for sharing. Another dance with few performers was the aforementioned “Swimmin’ in the Lipgloss,” a duet from Dance 3 that stressed the fun-loving yet enthusiastic attitude of the dancers. Mathew Monzon, one of the two performers, reveals, “My duet with Solon was honestly a good representation of our experience in dance. It was never a stressed-out kind of thing, we just had fun.” Don’t worry, so did we.

It’s clear that the seniors were the stars of the show, with performances like “2014” that proved that they had devoted years to dance. They had big shoes to fill, yet they set the bar higher once again. Jordan Santos, DVHS alumnus and member of the crew C3J, states, “The dancers at Dougherty did an extraordinary job and improved in such a way that I can’t explain. They are talented and if they continue at this pace then they will become the best. I am a proud dancer alumnus!” At the end of the show, every senior from Dance 1-4 lined up to be individually recognized and applauded. Although the overall atmosphere was joyous and energized, there was nostalgia and sorrow present, too. The seniors would miss DVHS, its dance program, and the younger dancers. Senior Solon Yiu reminisces that “As a senior, I’m just going to keep dancing anyway but I’ll definitely miss some people here in high school.” Along with the rest of DVHS Dance, I’ll miss the seniors and the wisdom, experience, talent, and commitment that they possessed and shared with the rest of us. I was honored to share the stage with them once before they headed away towards bright futures. I hope that they find the time to visit, and we’ll all cherish the memories they made.

Everyone had a great time- the audience, the dancers, even the stage managers and technical staff (I assume). I think Olly Murs said it best, in the penultimate performance of the show- “I just want you to dance with me tonight.”