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Orchesis uses dance to help viewers heal during turbulent times

Molly Manley, Managing editor

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Alumnus Megan Kudla performs with other Orchesis dancers at the Holiday Assemby.

Blistered feet from a wooden floor. Cramps in calves from pointed toes. Sore fingertips from countless hand-sewn costumes. These are just some of the things that the members of Orchesis deal with while preparing for their performances.

For two weeks, the group has been developing their technique and rehearsing their Christmas dance to show to the entire school during today’s assembly. Many of the girls are ecstatic to finally show the school what they have been working on.

“I’m excited for the dancers and the audience to come together [and] being a part of a piece of art so that for those few minutes we are on stage,” junior Haley Hintz said, “everyone feels united in hope that the world can change for the better.”

For this year’s Christmas dance, Orchesis sponsor Reggie Good wanted to take a different approach. Considering events that took place throughout this year, Good mostly drew influence from the reactions and emotions throughout the country.

“Dance is very therapeutic…,” Good explained. “Whether you’re the dancer performing it or the viewer watching it, it’s a way to for you to process what’s happening and to heal, so the dance  is going to be about rising above racism and violence and hate and sending a positive message of hope and love and peace and equality.”

Good, along with many of the members of Orchesis, hope that they are able to spread their message of “rising above racism and hate” throughout dance.

Even before they began working on the Christmas dance, the group already began preparing for the Orchesis show in March. After the dancers return from Winter Break, they will begin rehearsing the chosen dances to be performed in the show. Senior Orchesis President Eleanor Casale is looking forward to showcasing this year’s talent.

I want us to have a really strong year when it comes to technique, choreography and style, but my main goal is for everyone to have fun and love dance,” Casale said.

Since the theme of the show still hasn’t been decided, they’re hoping a common thread among their dances will reveal itself as they progress with the choreography.. Similar to the Christmas dance, the group plans to continue addressing relevant topics in their dances.

“They know that I want them to be creative, and reach beyond…” Good said. “So I think I’m their support. A constant encouragement to express themselves.”


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