Boogie battle: Spirit Week culminates with annual dance competition

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Photo credit: Sabrina Kim

The senior team performs with their grade mascot, the shark. Many students showed up to support their classmates and watch the dances. “It’s a hard process but the end goal is really good,” senior Naya Ben-Meir said. “I also love how spirited the whole day is.”

By Alexis David, Staff Reporter

During the week of March 14 to 18, the Archer campus was filled with students and teachers wearing themed clothes and participating in various activities, all in celebration of Archer’s annual Spirit Week event.

Each day had its own activities and selection of food, whether it be fruit tossing on Anything but a Backpack Day or baby food taste testing on Flash Forward or Flashback Day. On Friday, the food and drink options were lemonade and watermelon, which was served alongside the annual dance competition.

Ten students from each grade participated in a two-minute dance in order to earn spirit points. A panel of alumnae judged the competition. The day also included a faculty dance that was not judged by the panel. The senior class won the competition, with eighth grade coming in second place and the juniors coming in third.

In preparation for the event, many grades appointed choreography and music captains. Senior Naya Ben-Meir took charge of most of the choreography for the senior dance. The senior class wore matching blue shirts with “22” written on the back. They were joined on stage by a blow-up shark, this year’s senior mascot, who participated in the last segment of the dance. Ben-Meir, who has been a part of the Spirit Week dance since eighth grade, discussed how the seniors prepared for the dance.

“We have been going to after school rehearsals for two hours,” Ben-Meir said. “We’ve been rehearsing wherever we can get a space … This year, I’m choreographing most of it, but also Sophia Farmer choreographed some of it. We have Sabrina Kim making the music for us.”

Sophomore Lacey Thompson took on the role of lead choreographer for the sophomore class. The sophomore dance team had a blow-up dinosaur standing near the stage to support them. The dinosaur was holding a sign with the grade’s catch phrase, “Hear us roar, 24.” The sophomore team, like the seniors, have also been using their free time to work on the dance. 

The sophomore dance team practices on the back field. "Seeing people who don't normally dance get the chance to dance and show their skills and bond has been really fun," Thompson said.
The sophomore dance team practices on the back field. “Seeing people who don’t normally dance get the chance to dance and show their skills and have fun has been really fun to watch,” sophomore Lacey Thompson said. (Photo credit: Alexis David)

“Gemma [Larbelestier] did the music, and I did the choreography,” Thompson said. “It’s been a really big team effort. We started rehearsing last week, and we’ve really used our lunches and free periods and FLX. We’ve worked really hard during these times to prepare for the Spirit Week dance.”

Junior Georgia Ehrlich was the head choreographer for the junior dance team. The junior performers wore matching red outfits when performing. Ehrlich said the process of creating the choreography was really challenging, but despite the hardships, she said she really enjoyed creating the choreography.

“It has been a lot of work,” Ehrlich said, “but it’s also been really fun. [The process] just consists of mostly teaching pieces of choreography, setting the choreography and then cleaning the choreography over the course of three weeks.”

When choreographing, Ben-Meir said she tried to make the dance simple for her teammates to learn.

“Usually, the choreography [is] a process that takes a few hours to choreograph and make it as easy as possible for people to learn but also look good,” Ben-Meir said. 

Like Ehrlich, the process has been challenging for Thompson as it was difficult to get the team together to practice the dance. Thompson said their busy schedules made it much harder to practice.

“The biggest challenge is just finding the time,” Thompson said. “This has taken up a lot of my time, either just choreographing or getting everyone together. We all have super busy schedules so it’s been hard to get everyone to come to one practice.”

Although it was challenging to manage the work, all three captains said they experienced both joy and excitement all throughout the rehearsal process. Ehrlich said the most rewarding part of the journey was the feeling of accomplishment afterward.

“What [is] most rewarding [was] just feeling awesome after dancing,” Ehrlich said, “and feeling like we did something together, we got something done and that we are providing energy and spirit for our grade.”