RANDOLPH, NJ- Whether it was a contemporary solo or a class hip-hop routine, dancers at Randolph High School lit up the stage during the school’s 10th anniversary showcase. The performances took place on Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1, drawing an array of students, teachers, and guests from all across the Randolph community.
The show opened with a documentary by Mark Lucivero that included clips of current dancers as well as alumni, which gave viewers a glimpse of how the program has evolved over the years. Despite the fact that many of those who had graduated went on to pursue different things, they still had quite a bit to say about dance and the impact it had on them.
The prelude was certainly impressive, the main event wowed the attentive audience. Since the show was a celebration of the program’s 10th year in running, each class had a new piece along with a revival of a previous one. The result was a spectacular compilation of not only new performances, but some of the top dances from memory lane.
Student choreography included pieces such as Scorponok, a hip-hop routine that was unique, as it was the only all-boys piece in the show. Choreographed by senior Jason Hernandez, there was a total of seven boys in the routine, which is more than previous years.
Canto Abacua, a magnificent salsa duet performed by Emily Munoz and Jorge Riascos, stood out for its quick yet well-executed choreography.
Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken, a solo routine choreographed by Julia Pepe, was the final performance of the night before the entire program assembled for the finale.
"I have had the incredible opportunity to build the program into whatever I imagined it to be; I am so proud of how far we’ve come and honored to have worked with so many fantastic students,” said RHS Dance Program Director Michelle Adriano. “I love witnessing students take ownership of the choreography that either I’ve taught them, or that they’ve created themselves. When we reach the final piece at the end of the last performance, I always stand backstage in complete awe. It’s actually kind of emotional, and It’s what makes me realize just how amazing my job is and how much I truly love it.”
There were many more student choreography performances, such as Dream State by Alyssa Morgan, Jordan Snarski, and Kati Stifelman, Take Me by Arina Arshinova, Thick Skin by Bianca Spagnuolo, Gravity by Jenna Bachrach, Til It Happens to You by Emily Kale, Candy Man by Maura Holden and Emily Peel, and Variations from Pharaoh's daughter, performed by Charlotte Gu.
Move Around, choreographed by Jessie Tensfeldt, was a group piece performed by the Period 7 Intro class, while Friday Night Lights by Bianca Spagnuolo was performed by the Period 3 Intro class.
The dancers found the showcase to be an uplifting and exciting experience. The performances not only entertains the audience, but to encourages those on stage.
“Dancing allows me to have this confidence that shines onstage,” said Kristina Calderon, an RHS senior. “I may not have technique and years of practice but I have the best time and that’s what matters most to me.”
The showcase concluded with a confetti-filled finale, complete with dancers lining the aisles, the pit, and the stage. Speeches and awards were presented afterward, mainly to the graduating seniors. Tears were shed as the class of 2018 took their final bows on the RHS stage, with the bittersweet moment affecting everyone from freshman to seniors.
“Dance is such a personal experience that’s different for everyone but we all share a love for the movement and expression,” shared senior Jessica Wattman.
The arts program at Randolph High School has historically been revered; the dance showcase, which is one of the more recent additions, has consistently upheld its reputation over the years. It is undeniable that the marking of the 10th anniversary is a reason to celebrate. The show brought its most spectacular dances to the stage to create a lively, memorable night.
“Every performance was captivating and there wasn’t one performance I didn’t get chills from watching,” said guest Blair Murdock in regards to the performance.
The end of an old era marks the beginning of a new one; stay tuned next spring in time for the 11th showcase.
Editor's Note : Keyonna Murray is a RHS student participating in a journalism program.