3 January, 2023
Lights. Camera. Action! Atholton Dance Company has successfully performed their 2022 Winter Dance Concert. With amazing dances from Dance I to Senior Company, the dancers amused the audience with great music spanning multiple decades and many genres, and got everyone in the holiday spirit. While it looked very put together, Mrs. Haffey and the Atholton dancers put in tremendous effort to put on this show.
Mrs. Haffey, Atholton’s dance teacher, makes the dance concert happen twice a year. She choreographs the dances, and organizes the concert layout. Dance I-IV performed in two dances and the finale; Junior and Senior Company performed in three to four dances in addition to the finale. These dances consisted of many different genres and themes,
“There are so many layers and moving parts. It takes a lot of effort on the part of the dancers to make it happen,” said Mrs. Haffey
Atholton’s Dance department devoted a hefty amount of time since the beginning of the school year to prepare for this show. Everything that the dancers have learned and choreographed from the first day of school led up to the December show. Mrs. Haffey explained the time crunch that she and the dancers were in. The dance concert date was bumped up a month, because of scheduling issues which impacted a lot.
Nonetheless, Mrs. Haffey has had faith and trust, for many years now, in her students to do their best, and is always very proud of them in every concert.
The time crunch was really impacting all things – but the dancers made it happen! They
always do,” said Mrs. Haffey.
This year, Mrs. Haffey was able to present the audience with an amazing concert, and the dancers continued to wow the audience as the concert went on with their modern, tap, contemporary and jazz dances.
Dancers from Junior company shared their excitement and challenges they had when preparing for this year’s concert. As preparation went on, the dancers learned many dances, some easier than others. It is very challenging to learn a dance in just a few months, and be able to perform it well so the audience can enjoy it.
“Jump, Jive, An’Wail is a very high energy and fun dance. However, it was also hard because it is a complex dance. I had a little trouble learning it at first, but was still able to eventually get it down,” said Asha Derstine from Junior Co. She said her favorite and hardest dance to learn was their tap dance, Jump, Jive, An’ Wail.
For the dancers, preparing for the concert can be very stressful. Due to the concert being pushed up a month the dancers had to learn the dances even quicker than previous years. Learning 2-4 dances takes a lot of skill especially because the dancers only had class once a day or every other day for a limited time.
“As concert week approached, it was more stressful because the week of the concert was very hectic. A lot of dances were being perfected, with the finale also being learned in only one day,” said Julia Ballou from Junior Co.
However, along with stress comes relief and excitement for the concert. As concert week approached, dress rehearsals took place and the dancers were able to fully perform their finished dances a few more times before the big show. All dancers were able to watch the other classes perform, allowing for everyone to see the hard work each dancer put in. Dress rehearsals are the most exciting part of the dance concert for many.
“Dress rehearsals are my favorite because you get to hang out with your friends from other levels and watch their dances, while learning the process they went through to prepare,” said Madison Zook from Junior Co.
This year’s Winter Dance Concert was a very special event for the dancers, Mrs. Haffey, and the audience. The dancers were able to express themselves while dancing , and exhibit their skills for people to see. While socializing with their dance mates, learning new skills, and enjoying the preparation time, Atholton Dance Co. was able to prepare a concert for the audience and get them excited for the holiday season.
“Nothing more magical than to watch the dancers pour their hearts out on the stage after working so hard,” said Mrs. Haffey.