Striving for Greatness: The Choreography of January Dance Show


Art/Photo by Roger Ayad

On January 13th and 14th, students from the West High Dance Department, including Choreo Club worked to put together an amazing performance. The January Dance showcase (Jan Show) was an outstanding success with 20+ extravagant performances varying in music genre and dance styles. In regards to her final Jan Show, senior and advanced dance student Rebecca Yan (12) expressed, “I am proud of all we were able to accomplish these past few months.”

Elise Fauni, Staff Writer

   Underneath the stage lights in dazzling costumes, the West High Dance Department put on yet another outstanding show. The talented dancers showcased two hours worth of breathtaking choreography, all falling under this year’s January Dance Show theme: Strive for Greatness.

   Throughout the night, dancers gave it their all, performing dances with songs of ranging genres. From hip-hop to contemporary, each performance was one you wouldn’t want to miss. After lots of hard work and practice from groups in the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced teams, January Show proved to be a success, despite being postponed a week due to heightening COVID-19 cases.

   Beginning Dance performed the dances “Let Me Love You,” “Teeth,” and “I Feel Good,” showing off amazing skill in their first show with West High Dance. The Intermediate and Advanced teams also put their heart and soul into their dances, with this being their first live show after their pre-recorded performances last year. 

   Intermediate dancer Xianthelle Agustin (10) choreographed the piece “Arcade.” The dance was “calm and graceful” as Agustin described, and dancers kept the audience in awe in flowing green dresses, matching the energy of the choreography perfectly. Agustin worked to incorporate the show’s theme by “striving for greatness” herself: “I really worked hard and tried my best to make this routine look good for everyone to express themselves.”

   Agustin began the process of making choreography by choosing a song and figuring out movements. Agustin explained, “Although you get to lead how you envision your choreography, the formations and creativity can sometimes be challenging for a choreographer. However, in the end all of the struggles in the process of choreographing are totally worth it because you really get to see how well your dancers did.” For Agustin, watching her choreography go from its beginning steps to a group performance is one of the most rewarding elements. “It makes me so proud of each of my dancers,” she beamed. 

   For January Dance Show soloist Annie Kim (12), the choreo-making process looked a little different. Choreographing a solo rather than group dance, Kim described her process: “When making choreography for a group there are way more things to focus on… it’s really important to get everyone to dance as a team in unity. But in a solo, you need to focus more on stage presence because it’s one person on the stage.” If having good stage presence is the key to a quality solo performance, Kim’s choreography definitely achieved that. 

   Kim’s performance was a hip-hop solo to the song “Icy.” Filled with clean moves hitting every beat, Kim’s choreography kept the crowd cheering. While choreographing, Kim was going for a “very upbeat and fun” atmosphere, with the hopes of allowing the audience to “get excited and feel the energy of the dance.” 

   Closing the show, dancers reentered the stage showing off the iconic moves from  choreography performed throughout the night one final time. The members of the department continued to dance across the stage until the curtain came to a close, wrapping up this year’s January Dance Show: Strive for Greatness.