2017-2018 DanceWest Highlights

Audrey Hunt, Reporter

Staff and students know to expect great things from DanceWest, and this year was no different. Irenerose Antonio stepped in as artistic director following the retirement of long-time instructor Lori Bradford. Antonio has added more guest choreographers to put on two remarkable student performances during the 2017-2018 school year.

“Inspire,” performed in December 2017, explored the question of creative inspiration and was choreographed by guests Marcus Freeman, Suparat Prasannet, Stephen Jay Grantier, and Kylee Guidry. The April show, “Work of Art,” was inspired by how art translates into the dance world. Guest choreographers were Gabe Harvey, Vincente Capala and 2017 graduate Sahvannah Thompson.

The passion and love that the students carry in this program is remarkable. More than 60 percent of the DanceWest students have been in the program for more than one year and plan on continuing throughout high school. Szcerdelski “Delski” Seuteni, a junior, joined dance in the  fall of 2017. When asked about his favorite part of the class, Seuteni replied that he enjoys, “the choreography because we get to experience a wide variety [of styles]. I mean, our teacher does ballet, but she also does hip hop and I’ve learned to expand my horizons.”

Sophomore WeiMin Chen joined dance in the spring of her sophomore year. Her favorite thing about DanceWest is the collaboration between the new students and the experienced students and choreographers. “[Antonio] is really encouraging. The seniors, and more experienced students, and instructors do not think of themselves as above the new students.”

“Inspire” was Chen’s first major school performance. She was impressed with the commitment to excellence that all the dancers, choreographers and tech crew brought to the show.

As with many special programs, there are an abundance of seniors that will be graduating and departing DanceWest. Seniors such as Lex Pasana, Beverlianne Green, Thyme Brown, Sebastian Ulz and Mario Or Macky, have been contributing choreographers for DanceWest throughout their high school years.   

Since the beginning of the year the dance program has expanded with new choreography and creative new ideas, encouraging the nearly 200 students to be confident, creative and compassionate.