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Behind the curtain: how dancers prepare for a show

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On Sat., May 21, DuPage Dance Academy held their biannual recital at Sandburg Middle School and many of the students involved also go to York.

While the dancers spend months preparing with rehearsals and extra practices, the most important part of a dance recital is the one that goes most unnoticed: company warm-up before the curtain goes up.

“The company has rehearsal for one hour before the show and it only lasts 30 minutes,” said sophomore Siena Olson. “It’s really important for the dancers because we can’t go onstage completely cold. We could seriously injure ourselves!”

It only consists of a simple barre in the auditorium and then some jumps and turns on the stage, similar to a really easy and really fast ballet class.

“I personally really like the warm-up before the show because I feel more prepared for dancing,” said freshman Abbey Pettineo. “Even though it is easier than a normal ballet class, it helps me warm-up and helps me feel less like I’m going to hurt myself.”

After their warm-up, the dancers go back downstairs to their dressing rooms to put on makeup and their costumes on. They also continue to stretch and stay warm.

“I love putting on makeup downstairs with my friends,” said sophomore Sidney Valdez. “We usually play my friend Jacki’s music, which is anywhere from Spanish music to musicals, and just let all of the nerves go before we are called to pre-set.”

With warm-up and crazy before the show antics, the dancers all felt ready to go onstage and bring their all for the audience. Whether it be a ballet, tap, or jazz dance, the dancers were ready to show off their hard work and everything they have been working on.

Sophomore Siena Olson holding onto the stage as she works on her tendus.

To use all available space, some dancers move into the aisles of the auditorium, as Maddy Small, a sophomore, is doing here.

Claire Gornick, graduate, warms up her feet on the stage as they do jumps across the floor.

Another way the dancers warm up their feet is through repetitive little jumps called “Petite Allegro” to make sure that when they jump during the show, they don’t hurt their arches or ankles.

After warm-up, Ari Denning freshman, and Maddy Small, sophomore, put their hair up and makeup on.

Jacki Riek, sophomore, puts the final touches on her makeup, while Abbey Pettineo, freshman, checks herself in the mirror.

One of the dancers’ favorite things about warm-up is the leaps across the stage. Story goes that one time Mrs. Geri couldn’t get the music to play from the CD so the dancers just counted out the steps and continued on. This tradition of sorts has stuck all the way to today.

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