St. Margaret’s dance program was in the spotlight last weekend, as the Hurlbut Theater stage welcomed dancers of all ages for the MS/US Spring Dance Concert and the Spring Dance Conservatory Concert on Saturday.
Spring Dance Conservatory Concert
The matinee Dance Conservatory Spring Dance Concert in the Marcus D. Hurlbut Theater featured dancers from Early School through grade 5 as well as some guest dancers from the Middle and Upper Schools. Director of Dance Kirsten Harvey said it was exciting because so many younger students took multiple after-school dance classes throughout the school year.
The 2022-2023 Dance Conservatory classes included jazz, tap, ballet, and lyrical for students in Early School, Kindergarten, Grades 1-2, and Grades 3-5. The dance conservatory faculty were Carri Burbank, Jennifer Klein, Carly Taberski, and Annie Von Heydenreich.
Both Saturday dance concerts included a new element that grew out of the first year of the Tartan Dance Buddy Program. This program was established to help provide a sense of community within the dance community on campus. Younger-age dancers were paired with Middle School dancers, and older Lower School dancers were paired with Upper School dancers. For the first time ever, the Spring Dance Concerts featured a Lower School student, Quinlyn H., performing with her buddy, senior Ashley Shanahan to the song, “The Moment I Said It.”
MS/US Spring Dance Concert
The Middle and Upper School Spring Dance Concert in the Marcus D. Hurlbut Theater featured 47 dancers from the two divisions performing a variety of dance works varying from contemporary dance to musical theater style dance. The students worked since January to plan, practice and perform the dances. According to Director of Dance Kirsten Harvey, “Dance is a form of expression, so look deeper as there is often deeper meaning behind the piece.”
The evening concert featured nine performances that were choreographed by Upper School students in advanced dance and honors composition. Mrs. Harvey said that the students have learned how choreography is a process. Part of their learning and growing as a choreographer is also developing skills as a leader.
There were a number of duets, including Tori Clark and Tessa Maryott’s “90 Days” choreographed by Tessa Maryott, Ella Mack and Ashley Shanahan’s “Love in the Dark” choreographed by senior Sophia Moran, Czarina Couig and Ella Pintar’s “I’m in Love With…” choreographed by Ella Pintar, and Alyssa Margason and Victoria Palacio’s “My Boy” that the juniors choreographed together.
There were also a few soloists: senior Emma Evanson’s self-choreographed “Before You Go”, Paige Minton’s high-energy, self-choreographed “Current Affair”, Tessa Maryott’s lyrical choreography and performance to Sam Smith’s “Don’t Forget Me”, Ella Jia’s self-choreographed Chinese dance to “Theme Song from Red Sorghum” and Ashley Shanahan’s self-choreographed “Cornflower Blue.” Ensembles included MS Sixth Grade Dance, MS Seventh/Eighth Grade Dance, US Beginning Dance, and The Tartan Dance Company. The entire cast and faculty performed in the finale to Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration.”
Freshman Gavin Shams and grade 7 student Mika Kim provided tech crew support.