Immunity: Senior Dancers Take the Stage

The senior dance class puts on a virtual concert to showcase their work from the year


Allison Robbert

Dance seniors strike a pose while rehearsing for a group performance in the senior showcase.

Jenna Lee, Copy Staffer

Immunity is a theme of this year. The world awaits a day without fear of spreading the virus, a day when all are immune. However, for dance seniors during their senior showcase, the word immunity carried another meaning.

On Friday, May 14, the dance department premiered their senior showcase “Immunity” on Youtube, where viewers could watch the performance as it aired on livestream. Through their routines, the seniors showed their own kind of immunity to the circumstances of the pandemic – they showed that their art lived on.

“Our last show was in [our] junior year in the fall,” dance senior Katie Winslow said. “It was nice to finally be able to have one, and I’m really proud of all of us, that we were able to put this together. […] It was really rewarding that we were able to showcase all of our hard work.”

It is tradition that the senior dance class holds a senior showcase at the end of each year. The third period “career prep” class is dedicated to helping seniors with their college applications and preparing for the showcase. All of the dances are choreographed and performed by students, who are also in charge of organizing all the logistics of the event.

“We had to set jobs for each little moving part in the show,” dance senior Nick LaMaina said. “Basically from January to now, we’ve been working on this show.”

In other years, the senior showcase was a live event in Meyer Hall. However, with the pandemic, the show wound up being a Youtube premiere of pre-recorded dances. The senior class tried to make it feel as much like a real show as possible, running it in one take and doing costume changes in between numbers. Without the comfort of multiple takes, there was more room for obstacles to occur in real-time.

“It was actually really scary,” said dance senior Graziella DalBon. “The day that we recorded was the day we actually set the lighting. The day before the whole lighting board crashed and we couldn’t do any of the lighting we wanted to. We actually had our dress rehearsal completely in the dark. There’s nothing we could really do about that, but I think that that was the best outcome we could have asked for.”

Interspersed between the pre-recorded dances were video breaks meant to show the dancers’ personalities. These included senior superlatives and a compilation of students practicing in class, made comedic with editing clips of fails, giggles, and side conversations. Before any dances were presented, a video played comparing the seniors to themselves as freshmen.

Dance senior Ashley Nazzar twirls on stage in Meyer Hall during the “Immunity” showcase. Photo by Allison Robbert.

Students, as freshmen and as seniors, were asked what they wanted to do after school, what college they planned on going to, and what their favorite style of dance was.

“It was super cool to see everybody’s evolution over the four years we’ve been at Dreyfoos,” LaMaina said. “I hadn’t watched my freshman video until the day we filmed the show, so it was cool to see it through four years of not knowing what I had said as a freshman.”

Every senior submitted a solo piece for the showcase. There were also a variety of large and small group numbers that seniors choreographed for themselves and their friends.

“It felt more relaxed,” Winslow said. “We knew that this was just for us, to show our hard work. And so it was nice because we were able to support each other backstage.”

One of the videos shown was a concept video titled “Wash.” Directed by LaMaina, the video portrays a girl and a boy initially in separate locations, coming together through their shared love of dance.

“Originally it was going to be a live piece,” LaMaina said. “But when I found out [the show] had to be a live stream I [made] it a concept video. The concept behind is about moving on from the things in your past that held you back and growing together in the future, no matter where you are.”

Seniors have been trying to make up for the experiences they had lost. With the senior banquet providing some semblance of normalcy to the entire class, the seniors in “Immunity” were able to grasp that normalcy when it comes to their art area.

“It meant the world to every single one of us,” DalBon said. “We just had the worst year and we were so worried that we weren’t going to be able to get on the stage. […] Although it didn’t feel the same, we were able to make up for it.”