The debut: 2013 Spring ‘Inspiration’ dance show

Jessica Adair, Staff Writer/Columnist

Behind every great production, there are hours upon hours of preparation.

This is no exception for the Carlmont Dance Program, as they have been hard at work on their spring show since January.

The show’s performers consist of the advanced dance group as well as the intermediate dance group. Their performances  are known for their spectacular costumes, well-choreographed dances, and interesting themes.

But behind the scenes is something very different than what the audience sees. They appreciate the beauty of the production, but do not realize how much preparation it takes to pull off the show.

In order for the dance show go off without a hitch, hours of hard work need to be contributed. Kaitlyn Kelly, a sophomore on the advanced dance team, said, “We rehearse every class period and sometimes at lunch. We also have additional practice from 3:45 to 6:00 on Monday through Thursday when it starts getting close to a performance.”

Although this is a lot of practice time, the dance team utilizes every second of it.

Dance instructor Amy Secrist said, “January through March we focus mainly on the movement and teaching the movement. Then shortly after, we edit the movement and make sure it looks right. Three weeks before the show we do most of the blocking, and make sure everything looks right on the stage.”

Another prominent part of the Carlmont dance program is the interesting themes for their shows. Last year, the spring dance show’s theme was seasons and the winter show was based off of the comedy, Elf.

Secrist said, “At the end of each year, we all brainstorm and collect ideas about themes that we all like and can agree on.”

With the theme in place, Secrist explained the process of how everything comes together, “The students have to perform a solo as part of their grade, and based on their cohesiveness with the theme of the show and the quality of the dance, I will choose which dances get put into the show.”

After the theme and dance are in order, the costumes and staging are purchased and built to center around them. “Our costumes are delivered from various costume companies and sometimes even places like Forever 21. As for props and scenery, we usually make them ourselves,” said Kelly.

Although long hours of preparation are more than half the battle, there needs to be some type of extra edge present in order to put on a spectacular performance.

“Without organization a show cannot be successful. Everything needs to be pre-planned and a lot of preparation needs to be behind it. Also, when an idea comes up you really need to follow through with it and explore it and see if it works. Then it all comes down to execution,” said Secrist.

Even during all the hard work, the dancers still find a way to have fun and appreciate their hard work.

Kelly said, “We all have fun dancing together, while still working hard. I love seeing the dances that we’ve worked on, evolve into the dances that we perform on stage.”

Secrist can also contribute to that satisfaction. “I feel really happy and proud at the end of every show because I know the kids worked really hard to deliver a quality show.”

The feeling of accomplishment after a dance show is bittersweet for some members of the team, who will be doing their last show for Carlmont.

Kayla Wright, a senior and advanced dance team member, said, “I’m going to miss putting on shows in general and all the friends that I’ve made. I’ve done dance at Carlmont all four years and it has definitely become part of my life. I will miss all the underclassmen and Ms. Secrist as well.”

The Spring Dance Show this year will be held on May 9 through May 11 in the Carlmont Performing Arts Center. Kelly said, “This year’s theme for the show is: inspiration. I think it will be a great show.”