DanceWest: The New Generation?

Colleen DeLeon, Reporter

Have you ever wondered what it feels to express yourself through movement and dance? Dance Instructor, Irene Rose Antonio, leads the Dance Program at West Anchorage High School. She expresses that her goals for the future are to spread more inspiration and passion to everyone through dance with the help of choreographers and students to pour out all the stress and hard work of dance and turn it into something good. So, how is Dance a work of art?

“Dance is a work of art because you’re working towards something that means something to you or to an audience,” Antonio said. It is about being able to connect to the people that you’re expressing yourself to and having them watch your dance and be able to connect your feelings to theirs. Taking over this job has been a dream come true for Antonio and she was very thankful to be able to take this position, but it can also be very overwhelming.

She juggles being a student in online schooling, a mother, and a teacher. How does she do it? “I manage my time by journaling everything that I do,” Antonio explained. She claims that she is very grateful because her mom, grandma, and husband help her out with watching the babies and that she is a person of faith.

Lex Pasana, a senior and dancer at West, explains his experience being in DanceWest to be very uplifting because sometimes he can’t control how he feels but walking into the dance studio lifts up his positive energy. “We are art. In dance, you visually show it, and sometimes when you put it into a deeper sense, people can internally feel what you’re feeling and that’s art to them because you’re telling your story. You’re showing who you are as a person,” Pasana said.

As a choreographer, he describes the importance of connection and the experience and how connecting with students or other people, helps him know them better rather than just ordering them around with no knowledge of who they are. Pasana finds inspiration for choreography through watching videos of different styles of hip hop, crews, soloists, and people that are dancing in front of him. He uses them as inspiration to see the different textures that they present and how there are millions of ways that you can play around with music and beats.

“Sometimes dances are made out of emotions, experiences, and losses and it really makes a big story and art is kind of telling a story,” Shella Elgarico, a sophomore and dancer at West said. Elgarico explains how her best advice to younger dancers is to stay positive and to keep an open mind to things that you might not be familiar to and to build confidence that you might not have.

Dance is something that many people do not understand but can be an amazing way to experience life through love, feeling, and inspiration.