Taking center stage: Dancers perform student-choreographed routines during Festival of Dance


Photo credit: Francie Wallack

Upper school dancers strike their final pose in their dance, “King of Pop,” which was inspired by Michael Jackson. The dance was a part of Archer’s annual Festival of Dance, which took place May 12 in the courtyard.

By Francie Wallack, Multimedia Editor

Students took the stage in Archer’s annual Festival of Dance Friday, May 12, to perform dances they choreographed themselves. From the choreography and costumes to the music selection and group sizes, students coordinated all aspects of the festival.

The festival took place at lunch in the courtyard, and students and faculty were encouraged to watch and support the dancers. Archer’s dance companies and the Dance Leadership Team began planning the festival in early March, following the Night of Dance shows. The festival showcased dances with themes ranging from an homage to Michael Jackson to messages of female empowerment.

Students in both middle and upper school dance companies performed in the festival, and those who wanted to choreograph dances created sample routines that their classmates later voted on.

“The choreographers figure out the costumes and choreography and get different people in their dance,” junior Sydney Azar said. “For the past month and a half, we’ve been choreographing those [routines] and teaching it to everyone who’s in our dance.”

Junior Anna Entin is a member of DLT and choreographed a dance for this year’s festival with the help of fellow juniors Lexi Wolf and Rebecca Lazarus.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to choreograph the dance,” Entin said. “It’s super fun, it’s upbeat and I hope that it’s a crowd pleaser.”

Azar has participated in Archer’s dance program since her freshman year and decided to choreograph her own upbeat jazz dance for this year’s festival.

“I’m very excited to be choreographing,” Azar said. “When you’re choreographing, you really have to be sure of what you’re saying, and you have to learn how to teach people who have different dance abilities.”

It’s just a super fun opportunity. I’m glad that we can share student-choreographed dances with Archer’s community in a way where it’s open to everyone.

— Anna Entin ('24)


This was sophomore Hayden Seid’s first year participating in Archer’s dance program. She said she appreciates the welcoming community other dancers have fostered.

 “It’s a really good team to be a part of,” Seid said. “Everyone’s really supportive and inclusive, and you feel like you’re working towards a really good goal.”

Seid said she has also enjoyed collaborating with her peers and learning about the process of planning a dance performance.

“It’s really fun to try a new leadership role with a bunch of peers and really talented dancers,” Seid said. “It’s cool to see everyone’s unique style of choreography because we’re coming up with a lot of different, really interesting dances; it’s exciting.” 

Entin has participated in the festival since her sixth grade year and said she has admired the growth of the show over the years. Though it started as a small X-Block performance, Entin said it has flourished into a yearly tradition that promotes empowerment, community and self-expression among students.

“It’s been a longtime tradition that I think is really important,” Entin said. “It’s a great way to just keep on dancing after the Night of Dance, especially for the company classes.”

Unlike the Night of Dance, which requires a purchased ticket, the festival is free of charge for all members of the Archer community. Sophomore Miya Nambiar watched the festival with her friends and said she enjoyed seeing all of the dances that her peers created.

“The vibes were super fun,” Nambiar said. “It encapsulated the Archer spirit very well, and it was fun seeing everyone support each other.”