On Nov. 30, students, parents and friends came to Caswell Hall to watch as 35 girls participate as dancers or tech crew in the All-School Dance Show, which featured contemporary, modern and hip-hop dance styles and was directed by performing arts instructor Laura Iacuessa. The show featured dances by guest choreographers including Darrien Henning, who has traveled the world as a professional choreographer with people like Britney Spears and Cody Simpson and teaches at the Millennium Dance Complex, and Kathleen Davidson, who attended The Juilliard School and has choreographed dances for the Grammys. In addition, Natalie’16, Sabrina’16, Tiffany’16, Sarah’15 and Kalia’15 also choreographed dances with help and guidance from Iacuessa.
During the first and second weeks of School, girls frantically grabbed audition slips hoping to participate in the dance of their choice or in any dance at all. The auditions required each student to dance in front of the choreographers while they watched how the girls moved, immediately judging her dance ability. Next, girls of all grades were assigned to group dances, duets and solos. All 35 girls who auditioned made the All-School Dance show and were placed in at least one dance.
Iacussa explained the All-School Dance Show included students ranging from beginners to expert dancers. “The dance show is creative, fun and has a place for everyone!” she said.
Claire’18, who has been dancing since she was two years old, said that she wanted to get involved with the dance show because she does not play a sport and wanted to participate in the community somehow during her first year at Marlborough.
The girls practice their dances throughout the first semester and even come to School to practice on some Saturdays. Natalie and Sabrina began choreographing their dance to the song “1, 2, 3, 4” by Feist a couple weeks before School started. This is Natalie’s second year in the dance show but her first year as a student choreographer.
Whether wearing a metallic unitard or a fluffy tutu, Marlborough dancers said they become very excited when it comes to the part of rehearsals where they get to choose their costumes. The girls in the dance, the choreographer and Iacuessa choose the costumes together.
In the past, the All-School Dance Show has taken place every other year, alternating with the All-School Musical as the largest first semester show put on by the Performing Arts Department. However, with the high demand among students for dance opportunities and Iacuessa’s enthusiasm for the production, Performing Arts Department Head Anne Scarbrough decided this year to try holding the All-School Dance Show in addition to putting up Avenue Q, the All-School Musical, in November. Despite the logistical issues posed by the many choral, dance and theater performances held at the end of the semester, all of which take place in Caswell Hall and require the support of technical director and performing arts instructor Doug Lowry, Scarbrough said she hopes to find a way to make the All-School Dance Show an annual tradition.