The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

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West’s Dance Department Dazzles at May Showcase

Ready+at+a+moment%E2%80%99s+notice%2C+West+High%E2%80%99s+Advanced+Dance+team+holds+their+stance+in+preparation+to+dance+to+SZA%2C+Kendrick+Lamar+and+Baby+Keem%E2%80%99s+%E2%80%9CFamily+Ties%2C%E2%80%9D+a+performance+dedicated+to+their+family+and+friends+who+had+supported+their+dance+journey+throughout+their+years.+
Art/Photo by Cyrilla Zhang
Ready at a moment’s notice, West High’s Advanced Dance team holds their stance in preparation to dance to SZA, Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem’s “Family Ties,” a performance dedicated to their family and friends who had supported their dance journey throughout their years.

Awash with indigo light against a heavy blue-draped curtain, the Performing Arts Center roared to life as the curtains lifted to present West High’s Dance Department from May 4 to 6. With performances from all levels of dance — as well as a segment from Choreo Club — May Showcase promised to be one of West’s most highly anticipated yet. 

   The show proved to not disappoint — by the end of a whopping 21 performances, all dance levels were able to showcase their most brilliant acts. Beginning Dance dazzled while dancing to Sabrina Carpenter’s “Fast Times,” while Intermediate Dance left the audience breathless with their performance to JVKE’s “Golden Hour.” West High’s Choreo Club also came to the stage, dancing to a medley of various hip-hop songs. The show came to a close with Advanced Dance’s flawless execution of Lady Gaga’s “Applause” — quite fitting, as each performance ended with the audience bursting into thunderous clapping.

   Dance is not only a form of visual art, but also a way of expression for the performers themselves. Advanced Dance choreographer Xianthelle Agustin (11) illustrated how she used dance to “send a positive message through a difficult experience in [her] life,” — one which she found difficult to communicate in words alone. “Conveying that message through dance would be nothing more than perfect,” she added. 

   In addition to the many performances, each senior dancer showcased a video compiling thank-you messages, funny bloopers, and nostalgic moments to commemorate their time on the team. Student Artistic Director Nene Nakagomi (12) described how the videos were a highlight of the show: “It always makes me tear up when I’m watching the videos on the side of the stage.” Such a stunning production required nothing short of hard work. Despite balancing a hectic practice schedule with academics, the Dance Department was determined to give the best performance possible. Beginning Dance choreographer Kristine Vu (9) detailed how such a busy schedule had taken a toll on her health. However, her efforts paid off when she saw the results of the team’s hard work during the show. “It was definitely mentally tiring, but once I got to see [all the dancers] on stage, I was so happy and content,” she laughed. 

   Such a stunning production required nothing short of hard work. Balancing a hectic practice schedule between academics and extracurriculars, the Dance Department was determined to give the best performance possible — especially because for some, it would be their last. Beginning Dance Choreographer Kristine Vu (9) detailed how such a busy schedule had taken a toll on her health. However, her efforts had paid off when she saw the results of the team’s hard work during the show. “It was definitely mentally tiring, but once I got to see [all the dancers] on stage, I was so happy and content,” she laughed. 

   Though Nakagomi was sad to say goodbye to her high school dancing career, she expressed feeling grateful for all opportunities dance had given her. “I’ve made so many amazing memories in this dance department, and I will always cherish them forever,” she stated wistfully. Advanced Dance choreographer Xianthelle Agustin (11) was heavy-hearted watching the seniors depart, though she also took tremendous pride in how far she and the team had come. “I love them all dearly and couldn’t have asked for better senior teammates than them,” she beamed.

   Despite May Show being the last formal performance for the seniors, Nakagomi asserted that it wouldn’t be the end of her journey as a dancer. As she plans to keep dancing in college, she looked forward to seeing what is in store in the coming years: “I want to continue to learn more. Though I’m really sad, I’m happy and excited for everyone’s future.” 

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About the Contributors
Natalie Ou, Sports Editor
Natalie Ou is a junior at West, currently serving her second year on West Signals as Sports Editor. As a first-year editor, she aims to write articles with clarity and conviction, believing that journalism is one of the greatest ways to give students a voice through writing. In her free time, Natalie enjoys all water-related activities, hand lettering, and trying out new culinary destinations (unfortunately, she usually finds herself in the financial predicament common to many broke teenagers and relies on her brother to foot the bill).
Cyrilla Zhang, Editor-in-Chief
Cyrilla Zhang is a senior at West High, spending her third and final year on West Signals as Editor-in-Chief. She aims to continue the legacy of West Signals by publishing the unknown stories of fellow students, giving them a chance to be heard. Beyond writing, she hopes to share her passion for reporting and ignite a light in others, inspiring them to pursue the tricky but extremely rewarding art of journalism. During downtime, Cyrilla enjoys sleeping and eating with friends.