Dancing Apart, Together

Megan Roma, reporter

Being a school without sports, West’s Dance Company (Dance Co.) is known to be one of the

most reputable groups here, bringing the spirit and the swag; but because this school year is

online, they’ve had to find an alternative to still connect the student body together, apart.

Every year, Dance Co. performs during West’s occasional assemblies and monthly for their

Cafe Cabarets during lunch. Due to distance learning, however, the team simply can’t meet up to

practice. So, they’ve resorted to First Fridays.

With First Fridays, the team divides into smaller groups in breakout rooms, with designated

captains, and in these groups, they learn set choreography based on a given theme. Each

member records their part and sends it to the captains, in which they can combine and edit it into one video. Then, these videos get posted on West’s website and Instagram (@wctastuco) for the student body and their families to view.

They still meet during their fifth period, where the director Ms. Rossiter briefs them on

everything the team needs to go over. Astrud Curameng, a Dance Company co-captain, said,

“We do have to follow a set theme… and the captains start teaching the choreography. After

they’ve finished it, we ask that they send in their final videos to us so that we can edit our

group’s portion of the video”.

Because the team has moved to a video platform, it’s been easier to perform online than with

live performances, as they can record as many takes as possible and use pre-filmed videos as a

reference to learn from on their own time. But dancing virtually also has its downsides. One of

Dance Co.’s members, Joshua Castillion explained, “There are always technical problems (like

lagging and mirrored images) and learning the dance can be harder since we’re not altogether to

help each other”.

The overall goal of Dance Co. is to keep the student body entertained and engaged. Junior Gabrielle Valdez said, “Dance Co is always about their energy and originality; that’s why their

dances are so fun to watch because of the authenticity and hard work they put in. They never fail

to keep up with dance trends so I know for sure there’s no problem with that.” The pressure was

definitely on to reach the bar.

Although it hasn’t been the smoothest of transitions, it has overall been remarkably successful for everyone considering the circumstances. The team has already posted their first First Friday for September, featuring different choreography to correlate to the theme road trip, and the student body can’t wait to see more. “If we can keep you guys entertained, even through

quarantine,” Curameng said, “if we can make it through this whole operation digitally, we all make it through online learning.”

WCTA’s Dance Company prepares for their virtual performance on google meet.

Photo Credit: Megan Roma

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