Members of York Dance prepare for their upcoming show. (Eden George)
Members of York Dance prepare for their upcoming show. (Eden George)

York Dance Company prepares for fall concert

November 15, 2021

The York Dance program is in full swing preparing for their November Concert and their hard work behind the scenes will not go unnoticed. The student performers are dedicating time to get in touch with the unique, thought-provoking choreography while still making the specific moves unique. Each dancer goes about the motion with their personal touch, therefore leaving the overall message of the piece up for the viewer’s interpretation. After speaking to the York Dance program’s manager, Michelle Jensen, about her overall inspirations for her recent routines, she shared her thoughts behind her choreography.

“When we realized we would be back at school, and things were running probably as close to normal as possible,”  Jensen said. “I thought about three different themes that all of us are experiencing while surviving the last year and a half.”

Jensen lets the audience know the initial purpose behind each of her routines that will be showcased on Nov. 17 by her Advanced Dance class. She emphasized the importance of being in tune with your feelings when you’re dancing and the purpose of having an idea behind the choreography.

“This craving to have joy back in our lives, overall resilience we’ve all lived through, and how we just remain calm and find a sense of peace and contentment within all the things we can’t control,” Jensen said. “I also wanted each piece to be challenging physically, differently as well. I wanted it to show the dancer’s range and what they can emote.”

After being in the spotlight herself since she was three years old, Jensen knows the importance of creating a supportive environment for her dancers. With the upcoming concert right around the corner, current students who are involved in Advanced Dance and the York Dance Company, let us know about their newfound excitement for this year’s showcase.

“There is something about doing an intensive dance with an ensemble for over an hour and discovering and making art that is going to add to our school’s showcase is just incredible,” senior Owen Espinosa said. “It’s also just another excuse to dance with people from all over the school who are just as passionate as you are.”

Espinosa not only benefits his passion for dance but also the significance of the relationships he establishes during class. The overall environment of the dance program at York strives for a “safe space” with “only positivity” according to Jensen.

“I find it very calming and it’s something I look forward to every week,” senior Olivia Scumaci said.

Scumaci demonstrates the right mindset for dancing while connecting with the choreography personally.

“I always try to connect the meaning of the dance to my personal life,” Scumaci said. “For example during our resilience dance, I reflected on times in my life when I was resilient.”

The overall message of the Nov. concert is learning to be in touch with your emotions while making the audience feel the meaning and drive behind your movement.

“There is nothing better than the buzz of the audience before the show begins and the giggles from the dancers in the dressing room,” Jensen said. “We all live for the loud applause after each performance. The dance concert has always been a positive boost for all of us in the mid-semester slump and tends to bring a sensation of excitement entering the holiday season.”

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