PATERSON, NJ- It was a night filled with excitement, rhythm, and grace. Just before spring break, the dance students of Rosa Parks High School of Fine and Performing Arts choreographed and performed a special show titled, “I Can. I Will. I Am.”  Dancers invested seven months into the production, dating back to September, to deliver a memorable performance in front of a capacity crowd.

The show featured a variety of captivating dance performances portraying characters of adversity, personal pride and empowerment. Dancers communicated their stories through ballet, interpretive, expressionist and modern dance pieces.

Junior Imani Williams enjoyed getting into character for her performances.  “It’s important to let the inner you tell you who you are. You have to dig down deep and you might go through a dark or a light phase to get it done but it’s all worth it come time of the performance,” explained Williams.

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Taylor Robinson, also a junior and performer in the production, felt that all of her hard work in rehearsal really paid off.  “The main thing I liked about performing is that it all came from the heart and come showtime, we just went for it. Even if someone missed their cue, they pushed through,” Robinson told TAPinto Paterson.

The show grabbed the attention of many watching, especially fellow students who attended the show.

“They did a fantastic job! The students that participated left their hearts on stage, everybody was so energetic and their dance performances really made a connection with me,” said junion Sarah Kay Russell.

Dance instructor, and  Rosa Parks alumnus, Erin Pride, said she was “proud” of her dancers’ efforts.

“We get dancers in our program who are  complete beginners and we get dancers who have been training since they were little, so I have become accustomed to creating work and a tailored program that focuses on the individual talents of dancers.” explained Pride. “Tonight was a culmination of all their hard work and I look forward to getting started on our June show.”


Natacha Bunay is a junior at Rosa Parks High School for Fine and Performing Arts and a member of the TAPinto Paterson internship program.