WEST ORANGE, NJ — The public is invited to the West Orange High School (WOHS) dance program’s free performance of "Evolving" on Jan. 30 in the auditorium beginning at 7 p.m.

Now that dance has been part of the high school curriculum for four years, the structure is fully in place for the four-year program.

"The program is helping to bring more connections and awareness to the rich dance community that exists in West Orange," said dance instructor Melissa Sande. 

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Students can take the Level 2 Performance Skills Class, and the Level 3 Advanced Honors Class can be taken two times to allow students to take dance all four years of high school. Many of the students in the program participate in a number of dance organizations after school, outside of school and during the summer.

Current dance students Maya Elvie, Nyah Wise and Steve Brizuela worked during the summer enrichment session to facilitate dance classes for elementary and middle school students as well.

WOHS dance students also take trips to see live dance performances in New York City and New Jersey. In fact, the advanced-level class recently had the opportunity to attend Montclair State University’s Dance Day, where the WOHS students took classes with “Master” dance teachers and saw WOHS Class of 2019 alumnus Jonathan Najera perform as a dance major.

"Jonathan Najera is in his first year at Montclair State University in the dance program and is loving it," said Sande, who added that three other WOHS alumni—Cameron Bridgers (2017), Kennedy Fort-Foskey (2017) and Kristian Reynolds (2019)—returned to teach master dance classes to students and to help choreograph for the concert. “All three are still active in dance in college as well.”

Keep up to date with the WOHS dance program by following the program on Twitter (@wohsdance) or Instagram (@wohs_dance).

The lineup of dance numbers choreographed by the team is as follows:

Choreography by Sande and Period 5 Dancers
Song: "Agua y Puerta" by Lechuga Zafiro

Choreography by Sande and Period 2 Dancers
Song: "Tambores Escondidos" by Lechuga Zafiro

The Upper Hand
Choreography by Tamia Blackwell
Song: "Pray" by Sam Smith

Choreography by Sande & Dancers
Song: "Breathe" by Ricky Kej

Choreography by Kennedy Fort-Foskey and Cameron Bridgers
Song: Mawenzi by Elfenberg
Choreography by Ms. Sande and Period 8 Dancers
Song: "Balaya" by A-STAR

(“Fire” is dedicated to Nina Jean Speight, late grandmother of Caitlin and Cameron Bridgers)

Look Up Child
Choreography by Gabrielle Rembert
Song: "Look Up Child" by Lauren Daigle

Choreography by Kristian Reynolds and WOHS Dancers
Song: "Midnight Hour" by Skrillex, Boys Noize & Ty Dolla $ign