Dancers Ready to “Unleash” in Final Show


Credit: Williston Flickr.

As the Spring trimester comes to an end, we get closer to the biggest showcase of the year from the dance department: the Annual Spring concert. This year it’s called “Unleashed.”

Under the instruction of Debra Vega, Director of Dance, 27 students from 8th graders to seniors are participating in the concert that runs at 8:00 p.m. Friday, May 18 and Saturday May 19.

The students have about three months to prepare for the Spring Concert. There are 12 pieces with diverse styles, including tap, jazz, ballet/lyrical, contemporary/modern, musical theater and hip-hop. One of those is choreographed by our returning guest artist, Noel St. Jean-Chevalier, nine are choreographed by students, and two are choreographed by Vega herself.

Vega has been dancing since she was four years old. In her impressive career she participated as a dancer on Broadway.  She has been the Dance Director at Williston for the past three years. In that time she’s seen the program improve, and impress her.

“It has been incredible to watch the dance program grow so much during my past three years as Dance Director,” Vega said. “These students are so dedicated and passionate about their craft, I’m continually inspired by them every single day.”

Vega has two pieces in this year’s show. Both of them are focused around Vega’s specialty, musical theater. However, each of them in distinct in its own way. The first piece is named “Waving Through The Window” and falls under the category of contemporary. This full-company piece explores the feeling of not fitting in, and desperately wanting to.

“I think this is a theme that every single person can relate to, as most of us have felt this way at one time or another,” said Vega. “My hope is that the piece resolves with the feeling that no matter how isolated you feel, you should know that you are never alone.”

Another piece Vega choreographed specially for the concert is called “A Musical,” a tap/jazz number with a full-company piece and a huge production number that includes many dance styles and theater acting.

“It also pays tribute to about 10 different popular Broadway shows, so I hope it’s a real crowd-pleaser!” Vega said.

This Spring, the guest artist is fourth time choreographer Noel St. Jean-Chevalier. The title of her piece is “Pressure,” a full-company jazz piece with a theme that explores the pressures of work and school.

Apart from the pieces choreographed by Vega and the guest artists, nine of the pieces in the show are choreographed by Williston students. The name of the pieces and the choreographers are:

Ainsley Holman and Reagan Joyce: “Waiting Game,” Contemporary; Anna Moran: “Classic” Jazz; A’kayla Williams and Triniti Slaughter: “Squeeze!!!” Hip-hop; Alexa Kerr: “People Help The People,” Lyrical; Jamie O’Malley: “Sally’s Dance,” Jazz; Trang Phan, “Friday” Hip-hop; Jillian Dietz: “All That Jazz,” Jazz; Lila Schaefer: “Love On The Brain, Contemporary.

The senior piece, a mixed-style number called “The Last Dance,” is by Elise Dunn, Ainsley Holman, Triniti Slaughter, A’kayla Williams, Harrison Winrow, and Emily Wu.The senior piece has always been an important part of the Spring Concert. It is a tradition for all seniors to choreograph a piece that can make their mark in the dance program before leaving Williston for college.

“This is my favorite piece in the show.” said Triniti. “Despite all the personal feelings, it reminds me of the reason why I love dance. Dancing on the stage with all these talented people and seeing all of us coming together from different type of dances is what the dance program all about.”

Senior co-captain A’kayla Williams only had great things to say about the dancers.

“This is not just a show for seniors, it’s a company show,” said A’kayla. “We are like a family, and being the captain makes me like a big sister. It encourages me to have more purpose to dance and to be there for the dancers.”