Greenwich Academy Press

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Greenwich Academy Press

Greenwich Academy Press

Dance Corps Takes Their Moves to Miami


On Thursday, April 4th, Greenwich Academy’s Dance Corps travelled to Miami, Florida to participate in the National High School Dance Festival (NHSDF), which was hosted by the New World School of Arts this year. The trip was organized and chaperoned by dance teachers Ms. Marcia Brooks and Ms. Annie Heineman.

Every other year, the NHSDF invites high school dancers from across the country and world to participate in a four-day long festival, packed with dance classes, lectures, and evening performances.

Months before the NHSDF, students and faculty submitted their choreographed pieces to the NHSDF committee. Although it is consistently one of the few dance companies at the festival that does not belong to a performing arts high school, Dance Corps has been invited to perform for many years, including this one.

Alicia Kiley, Group XII, Sarah Better, XI Charlotte Stone, XI Catherine Jones, XI, Darren Drittel, X, and I performed the introduction of “Rising,” a piece choreographed by Ms. Annie Heinemann who teaches dance in both the Middle and Upper Schools.

GA shared the stage with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a school reputable at the festival for its high-energy and technically-impressive performances. Many of GA’s dancers felt nervous performing with such intensely trained dancers.

“[Performing] was really nerve-wracking because if you messed up, you weren’t surrounded by a room of parents, but other dancers. But despite the pressure, I could feel the support from the audience as they cheered on everyone that walked on stage. It just goes to show how dance has such a strong ability to connect people,” Drittel said.

Kiley, President of Dance Corps, expressed the same mixed sentiment of apprehension and excitement.

“Being with the performing art school kids was both exhilarating and terrifying. But even though we might not have been at the same caliber as them, we were all at the festival for the same reason: to celebrate dance and to be inspired,” she said.

In fact, many of GA’s dancers felt that performing and attending classes with these pre-professional ballerinas, hip hop and jazz dancers, was, more than anything else, a source of inspiration.

“Being surrounded by such well-rounded and talented dancers and performers raised the level of the entire festival. I think I pushed myself harder in class and on stage because of that,” Drittel said.

Although Dance Corps was motivated to perform at its best for the festival, the trip to Miami really revolved around the classes NHSDF had to offer. From pointe to hip-hop and ballroom dancing to yoga, for many of the dancers, the classes were the highlight of the trip.

“It was really awesome to be able to take classes in different styles of dance that we normally don’t get to do at school. My favorite class was definitely the Fosse class I took. But, I also loved my African dance class. It was the hardest class I have ever taken. It’s such an intense, different style of dance that merges athleticism with storytelling,” said Olivia Winn, X.

In Dance Corp’s four-day visit to Miami, it got the chance to perform for, take classes with, and view the work of some of the most dedicated and intensely trained teenage dancers in the country. Although the group was initially intimidated by the high caliber of some of the companies there, the trip only served to make Dance Corps a more motivated and close-knit group of dancers. We were all inspired by our experience at the festival.


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Dance Corps Takes Their Moves to Miami