The WHS Dance Company Continues to Contribute to the Arts and the Community

The WHS Dance Company Continues to Contribute to the Arts and the Community

Madison Dalton, Opinion Editor

For the WHS Dance Company, the year has been packed full of exciting events, with more still to come.
“We have several events throughout the year,” Ms. Simmers, WHS dance instructor, stated. “We fundraise at the Homecoming carnival and we are going to perform in the pep rally coming up.”
Simmers added that she is especially excited for the upcoming pep rally because of its emphasis on Dance Marathon.
“We usually perform at Dance Marathon, so hopefully that will work out this year. We performed at Think Pink last year as well, so we are trying to do community events.”
The WHS dance program also gives back to the community through the National Honors Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA).
“[The NHSDA is] getting ready for a dance clinic in February and that’s open up for children 4 through 14,” Simmers stated.
Additionally, NHSDA promotes dance to younger generations by visiting New Horizons Elementary and Wellington Landings Middle School.
“[We went to] New Horizons Elementary School and gave a creative movement and a jazz class there,” Simmers elaborated. “Toward the end of the year we all go to Wellington landings and we teach a jazz class over there to the jazz team in case anyone wants to continue on with their dancing.”
Dance Company students also have ample opportunities to participate in competitions, workshops, and performances.
“On March 1, there is a Florida Dance performance assessment,” Simmers said. “Students are assessed in technical proficiency. They learn ballet and modern dance before they go and they’re also assessed in movement acquisition. They have to learn ballet and modern on site and then perform that movement. And then we have the performance ensemble. Last year, we received an Excellent.” Simmers explained that, “We are one of only two public schools that ever received a score that high. Superior scores only go to performing arts schools, and not all performing arts schools have gotten superiors, so that’s a big deal: getting an excellent as a public school.”
Lydia Pohly, senior and president of the National Honors Society for Dance Arts at WHS explained, “this program has helped me because a lot of people think that if they don’t go to [Alexander Dryfoos School of the Arts] they won’t be able to make it in any art form. It gave me that extra motivation that the school doesn’t make the make the dancer: the person makes the dancer.”
Pohly explained that for her, “dance is another extension of verbal speech, but with my body. Instead of talking about how I feel, I get to show people how I feel. It gives me a freedom that I don’t think other people can experience unless they are also artists.”
The annual Dance Company concert will be held on May 1st and 2nd at 7 p.m. in the WHS theater.
Ms. Simmers explained that attendees will be able to enjoy a combination of her choreography and student choreography.
“The seniors for the first time this year are going to be performing solos, so it’s a big concert for them.”
Additionally, the WHS dance technique and repertoire classes will be performing on May 15th at 7 p.m. in the WHS theater.
It is clear that the WHS Dance Company has been hard at work giving back to its school and community while keeping up with its quality performances.