Story by Linda Yun and Morgan Sun
Photos by Shin-Hye (Rachel) Choi and Emiko (Emi) Essmiller
The SPHS Dance Program took the stage for their Spring Dance Concert,“Dancing Through the Decades”, on Friday May 22 and Saturday May 23. Students from Dance I, II, and III performed a variety of genres, from ballet to K-pop. The concert explored different dance styles from the 1920s all the way to the modern 2000s. Each decade hosted an introduction video to the genre with performances dedicated to the time.
“I think this concert was one for every [type] of audience”, said Dance II junior Lola Sekon. “People from older generations got to see [names] that they grew up with, and to see that through a future generation – our generation – was probably really [empowering].
Beginning with the 1920s, in The Jazz Age, Advanced Dance showed out with a performance of “Time Warp”, followed by “Flip n’ Flap” from Dance II. Select dancers premiered junior Phoebe Ho’s choreography of “Ballet to Modern” before the SPHS Guard, led by captains Victoria Crow and Lizzy Chan, performed “1920s Twirl”.
The Swing Age of the 1930s kicked off with a tantalizing performance of Murder Mystery, choreographed by senior captain George Hong Sheng. Junior Maya Johnson performed a self-choreographed solo on the song “Dream a Little Dream”.
The 1950s called for Rockin’ and Boppin’, which began with an enthusiastic performance of “Rock Around the Clock”. SPHS Dance captain senior Stephanie Law and Hong Sheng performed a romantic duet in “The Way You Look Tonight”, transitioning into the somber solo of a housekeeper in Rebecca Rivera’s “Closing Shift”.
The 1960s — the period of Twist and Shout — kicked off with a Dance II rendition of Milieu. Law, Hong Sheng, alongside seniors Lia Borja and Taylor Jo-Gibson became real-life caricatures of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover in a performance of “The Beatles”.
After intermission, an electric performance of “Disco!” brought the audience into the Disco Fever of the 1970s. “You Should Be Dancing” and “Retro Ride” featured the same hippie style of the 70s.
As a part of the 1980s rock era, Indie Pangelinan, Maggie Vyas, and Quin Solanski performed “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” — a throwback trio featuring the pillow-fighting of the classic teenage sleepover.
For the age of pop in the 1990s, guest choreographer Marc Miranda was introduced for “Goin’ on Y2K”, which featured a combination of dancers from all levels performing to a mix of 90s and 2000s music. In the new age of the 2000s, a combination of songs from K-pop group Twice were used in the medley, “Time to Twice”, as the dancers sampled choreography from the famous girl group. As part of the closing performance, the dancers yelled out encouragement for the audience to join in.
The four senior captains and co-captains — Law, Hong Sheng, Jo-Gibson, and Borja — have made significant contributions to the dance team and will be missed. Dance looks forward to continuing its legacy at SPHS in the 2023-2024 school year.
“All our captains are seniors, they were like the four elements of dance,” Dance III junior Sharon Cho reflected. “Seeing them leave is really sad, but I have hopes that next year’s captains will make history again.”