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Nevada Union students choreograph dance showcase

Eileen JoyceNevada Union students rehearse a dance they choreographed for their show.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

For the second consecutive year, Nevada Union High School dance teacher and arts department head Yelena Holt will pass on the reins to nine of her student choreographers with the Student Choreography Showcase this Friday and Saturday.

With last year’s debut showcase attracting sold-out crowds, Holt and her team of dancers hope this weekend’s student-directed show will experience similar success.

Regardless of this year’s turnout, Holt insists that the payoffs are rewarding.



“It’s very gratifying to see them (the dancers and choreographers) so dedicated. They’re all so talented, and they’ve built this great camaraderie,” said Holt.

Last year’s audience not only saw the student-choreographed dances, but also watched the choreographers themselves introduce their numbers.




“I think the audiences really enjoyed hearing the choreographers talk about something that they’d invested their time, energy and body into,” said Holt.

Senior choreographers and veteran dancers Samantha Corn, Valerie Mathews, Tara McArthur, Kayla Metz and Lindsay Ferguson, however, will tell you that “the speeches” weren’t easy to do.

“Speeches are definitely the hardest part of the night. Also, it was hard acting more like a leader than a friend at times,” said Metz.

Together, these seniors have shared four years of hard work and dedication in an art discipline that they have loved since they were toddlers … and when it all comes to a culmination this Friday, they will have come full circle – from trainees to trainers.

“It’s all worth it when you see the finished project and when you see your dances up on the stage. It’s taken a lot of discipline … we didn’t give up,” said Metz.

This seasoned batch of seniors knew that they wanted to be a part of the Student Showcase when they themselves were directed during last year’s hit production.

And, as the show is student-run, it makes sense that they decide whether the production will make a return next year.

“They (the students) do most of the work, so it’s really up to them if they want to take on the challenge,” expressed Holt.

And a challenge it is.

Theatrical Dance Department members were willing to brave the time-consuming practice schedule along with the pressures of college applications, homework, and the accompanying regular high school workload.

Preparing for the show’s opening night got under way months ago with painstakingly long hours of rehearsals and run-throughs.

It is clear that the dancers put their hearts into this year’s showcase. And if last year’s show was any indication, the hard work and sacrifices are definitely worth the end.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: Nevada Union Theatrical Dance Department presents 3A Student Choreography Showcase²

WHEN: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Don Baggett Theater at Nevada Union High School, 11761 Ridge Road, Grass Valley.

ADMISSION: $5.

Tickets at Odyssey Books, NUHS Student Store and at the door.

INFORMATION:

273-4431, ext. 278. The box office opens at 6:30 p.m. both nights.


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