Westwood Horizon

Performing Arts Students Present Escapade

Katie Harris and Sarah Wang

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Claire Burton '19 smiles and dances during the piece 'The Chain'. Photo courtesy of XiaoWei Wang.

All dance and cheer students participated in the annual spring show, Escapade, on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7 to showcase their dance abilities. The event took place in the Performing Arts Center and featured the theme Moments, centering the entire show around “unforgettable moments in life and throughout history that truly leave a mark”. The songs that were performed to during the show, displayed important instances throughout life that leave a lasting impression.

The performance’s entrance was beautifully decorated with pictures of the SunDancers’ memorable moments throughout the school year, such as football games, their trip to Hawaii over spring break, as well as just moments during their practices and other important moments throughout their lives, such as birthdays and graduations.

“I really enjoyed this theme because I could really connect with dances,” Ashley Zhang ‘20, “and have my own story behind each piece. It caused our movements to look more beautiful and meaningful.”

Different classes performed dances in various styles such as hip-hop, modern, jazz, ballet, and contemporary. 

“The performance was spectacular,” Claire Burton ‘19 said. “It really didn’t even feel like a show somehow — I really just got lost in the opportunity to dance with people I love, for people I love.”

The dance and cheer classes rehearsed for the show for countless hours, polishing and perfecting each dance. Most students participated in two different routines, while the SunDancers had to remember up to seven dances.

“The rehearsal process was pretty grueling,” Michelle Davis ‘20 said. “It’s hard and so tiring doing the same dance over and over again, but the end result is one of the most rewarding things to ever experience.”

The rehearsal process is said to be hard, but balancing school and practice is even more difficult as many of the students juggle AP or IB classes, as well as dance and other extracurricular activities.

“It’s all about keeping my priorities straight and dedication strong,” Burton said. “Without priorities, I just wouldn’t have enough energy or even hours in the day to do everything asked of me, and without dedication, I would’ve burnt out after the first month of school.”

SunDancers in the senior class celebrated their final Escapade performance by watching their parents perform a dance, and were recognized by their directors, Ms. Kelly Shelby and Ms. Jessica Steedly.

“With every great Escapade comes the great realization that the seniors will be gone in an instant,” Burton said. “The team just got so close this year, and each of the seniors played a role so huge and so positive in my life that I just could not keep the tears at bay. The emotions were just very extreme all throughout the night — true joy in the experience of performing, and deep heartache over my soon-to-be-gone sisters.”

Every Escapade must come to an end, but the students who danced in this show will always remember the memories they have made year after year.

“To be honest, it didn’t set in till the next morning,” Jewels Uherek ‘18 said. “It feels like time went by super quick, but the time I had performing and preparing will be something I’ll never forget.” 

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