On May 3rd & 4th, 2019, family and friends of dancers here at Curtis gathered in the auditorium for the annual Dance Show. Though this is not the dancer’s only performance opportunity during the school year, this showcase is certainly the largest and is the culmination of a year of hard work. We spoke with Ms. Nicole Napolitano, the dance teacher and mastermind behind this year’s dance show success, to find out what goes into creating the final product.
Making up the group of 94 performers were members of the IB Dance program, the after school Dance Company, and those who take dance during their regular school day. There were 22 pieces choreographed by juniors and seniors, though not every dance was performed both nights. Each student was given 10 one hour rehearsals for the pieces that they put into the show, so a lot of the work was done on the students’ own time. In order for their dances to be show ready, the choreographers had to be personally prepared because there were so many pieces and very little time to rehearse in school. When asked about standout performers or choreographers, Ms. Napolitano said that it was difficult to say because there was so much talent. While many people only get to see the final product, she sees the months of work and dedication of her students ahead of all that. One piece that stood out to the crowd in particular though, was Krystal Sanchez’s piece about homelessness. While not particularly technical, the dance resonated with students and parents alike for its emotion and awareness. Sanchez is a junior and the choreographer of the dance.
Ms. Napolitano said that for many of the students in the show, being at Curtis was their first experience with dance. For this reason, many of the pieces performed could be categorized as modern, a less technically strict genre as opposed to something like ballet or tap. Learning modern dance at an older age is entirely possible and gives room for more freedom of interpretation. Choreography was the first step in making the show possible and after the dances were visualized, they were set to music. Senior students had the option to pick their dancers while junior rehearsals were open to all. There were many IB Dance students involved and their pieces, besides being in the Dance Show, were also taped for the IB exam. In that instance, juniors were allowed to pick dancers. About a month before the show, costumes were picked and tech rehearsal began. Though of course the show went well, it was right after Spring Break, so there was less time for new dancers to become accustomed to the stage and performing in front of an audience. Besides this bit of stress associated with timing, Ms. Napolitano told us that the show went very well. We congratulate all of the choreographers and performers from this year’s Dance Show and look forward to seeing more of your creativity and talent in the coming years.