Festival of Dance highlights student-created choreography, dance talent


Photo credit: Yasmin Gohar

Students dance to Childish Gambino's "This is America" at the Festival of Dance. The festival is an annual event in which students choreograph their own dances to showcase in front of the school.

The sun was shining as the students and faculty sat down to watch Archer’s annual Festival of Dance on May 3 in the courtyard. The festival showcased dances by student choreographers in both middle and high school.

Sophomore member of Dance Company II Mackenzie Turner explained that each student in dance company had to choreograph a dance that expressed a message of their choice.

“I think it’s a really inspiring showcase,” Turner said. “It allows a lot of people who don’t normally get to choreograph to do that and express themselves creatively.”

Turner also said that the Festival of Dance is a great way to showcase each dancer’s “hard work” throughout the year.

“Outside of the Night of Dance… I think it’s another opportunity for our dancers to get out and perform in front of the school and have a good time,” Turner said. “[We also] express ourselves, learn more about choreography and the steps of…getting our creative juices flowing.”

Junior Angelica Gonzalez, who choreographed a dance to the song “This is America” by Childish Gambino with junior Kennede Tucker and senior Siena Mills, explained how she has grown as a choreographer this year.

“Last year was actually my first year ever choreographing for Festival of Dance, and it was difficult,” Gonzalez said. “It was a lot easier this year…It was a lot of collaboration, so that was fun.”

Gonzalez also spoke to how she created the message for her dance. She explained that she wanted to talk about race in the dance.

“I think it’s uncomfortable talking about race,” Gonzalez said. “I wanted to make people uncomfortable — not in a negative way — and have them ask questions as to why they were uncomfortable.”

Every year, the festival culminates in the announcement of the dance leadership team for the upcoming school year. Both Gonzalez and Turner received leadership roles for the 2019-20 school year. Gonzalez will serve as Dance Team Rehearsal Captain, while Turner will serve as 11th grade co-captain.

“I’ve been involved in dance all… three years [I’ve been at Archer.] I’m excited to be a part of the executive decisions for Night of Dance and also Festival of Dance,” Gonzalez said.

Turner echoed Gonzalez’s excitement for becoming a leader in the dance company.

“I think it was really amazing to learn from [our dance captains] and see… how to build a community together,” Turner said. “I can bring my love and passion for dance, along with my love for everyone in Dance Troupe and dance company, … and make it a great year.”