5, 6, 7, 8: Night of Dance participants adjust to the remote platform


Photo credit: Addison Lee

The dance shows theme this year was Synergy. Junior Marley Mills who has been dancing for Archer for five years, described the show as “impactful and inspiring.”

By Chloe Fidler, Voices Editor

Disclosure: This reporter is a dancer within the Archer Dance Troupe and Dance Company.

For the first time in Archer’s history, community members viewed Archer’s annual Night of Dance on a computer screen rather than a stage. From weekly virtual rehearsals to planning out the annual show online, dance this year has been a “challenge” according to senior co-captains Lexie Ben-Meir and Zahra Umoja.

“It is really hard to see the girls and see how they are dancing,” Umoja said. “I feel like the virtual setting makes it harder to connect and communicate with them.”

Ben-Meir echoed this sentiment and added the dance program feels less like a community than it normally would in person.

“People have a lot going on and a lot of personal responsibilities. We have to be considerate of everyone’s circumstances,” Ben-Meir said. “It is hard to regulate how everything is going, and we put it [the show] in the hands of the choreographers and editors and hope everything turns out great.”

Rather than being performed live, the dance show was livestreamed through Vimeo on March 19 and March 20. Throughout February and the beginning of March, dancers have recorded themselves doing the choreography and sent in their videos to editors and other members on the dance leadership board.

“This dance show is unlike something that we have ever done before and the fact that we were even able to put it together was a big positive in this experience for me,” Umoja said. “It really shows the dance leadership team coming up next year that if we can do this, then really anything is possible for the dance program.”

Ben-Meir said that she and Umoja have really learned the importance of patience through this “difficult” process.

“You have to rely on others sometimes,” Ben-Meir said. “It may not be exactly as you planned but you have to adapt and learn from that.”

According to junior Naya Ben-Meir who has participated in Archer dance for five years, patience and learning how to overcome challenges are both essential in order to maximize virtual dance rehearsals and opportunities.

“Remote dance this year has challenged me as a dancer and a learner. I feel like I have grown as a dancer through going through this unprecedented experience.””

— Naya Ben-Meir

“It is hard to find motivation in quarantine to just get up and dance,” Naya Ben-Meir said. “I have tried to be as present and involved with remote rehearsals as I possibly can in order to push myself beyond my own boundaries.”

The dance show’s theme this year is “Synergy,” which according to the Cambridge Dictionary means “the combined power of a group of things when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately.”

Umoja and Ben-Meir said the true focus of the dance show this year is unity.

“We wanted to really tie the whole show together with the last dance performed by the seniors,” Ben-Meir said. “It shows just how much Archer dance has really evolved and changed over time.”

Although COVID-19 currently prevents social interaction, the captains are hopeful that eventually, all the dancers will be able to dance together on campus.

“It has been an amazing ride this year,” Ben-Meir said. “But nothing can compare to dancing with each other in person.”