Audience shows only love, not loss for IB Dance concert

“Wow,” murmured the audience, enraptured by the dancing unfolding on the stage. The International Baccalaureate Dance class, led by Cameo Carolan, hosted their annual concert in the NPHS Performing Arts Center on March 3, showcasing cultures from around the world and their own talents.

With two acts and 24 dances, the show, titled “Love, Loss and the In Between,” was composed in the IB dance class from students in the first and second years of the course, and many dances were recorded for evaluation for the IB Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL) tests. For the assessment, students have to choreograph and perform dances with styles they know and some they are unfamiliar with, as well as write an essay comparing them.

For Anjali Kokatay, senior, her favorite dance was the new style she learned from the program, even though that it was from her own culture.

“I love Bollywood. [I’ve] never really taken Bollywood dancing… [so] learning something about my culture was really interesting,” Kokatay said. “Being able to learn what I learned in class and then choreograph a Bollywood number myself, it was just a really great experience.”

However, a lot of hard work went into choreographing and performing all of the dances. After taking the class to explore dance, Emily Goldstein, senior, related the extensive preparation needed for the concert.

“All of our dances were choreographed at various points in the year, so it’s been really difficult to try and bring everything together really fast,” Goldstein said.

 

Watching the students, Carolan revealed that one of her favorite parts of the class was seeing the students try again after failing, and pushing forward in an effort to thrive.

“I mean, we fail everyday, and we fail really really hard, but that is the only way they grow and they produce what they do,” Carolan said.

The growth of a dancer not only includes learning routines and practicing dances, it also stems from trying again after not succeeding, and for Olivia Saad, senior, her growth involved a special moment on stage during her solo, called “Anchor.”

“Yesterday, it was a mess, but today, I don’t know, I felt it. That is the only way I can describe it,” she said. “I feel the music, and I picture it in my head. It’s less of just drilling it like I would do with cultural dances, because I’m not familiar. It’s more of just I listen, I learned the song, and then I place the movement, and let it marinate in my head.”

Saad said that dancing by herself on stage was “almost easier,” but remarked that she cherished her time with her classmates.

“[My favorite part was] just getting to perform with all of these people, because we are so different, but we are still very coherent and tight-knit, and so the environment is amazing,” the senior said.

Kokatay agreed, saying she “would do anything for these girls.” She recommends the course, “without a doubt,” as does Goldstein.

“I would absolutely recommend taking IB Dance,” Goldstein said, “as long as you want to work hard, as long as you are willing to get your butt kicked, and as long as you want to be a better human being.”

Photographs by Caitlin Henderson/Prowler

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