Dancers prepare for first Fine Arts showcase

Dance+teacher+Amber+Corriston+%28pictured+earlier+this+month%29+leads+students+at+a+dance+workshop+during+ELT+in+preparation+for+the+musical.+
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Dancers prepare for first Fine Arts showcase

Dance teacher Amber Corriston (pictured earlier this month) leads students at a dance workshop during ELT in preparation for the musical.

Dance teacher Amber Corriston (pictured earlier this month) leads students at a dance workshop during ELT in preparation for the musical.

Rachel Phengsitthy

Dance teacher Amber Corriston (pictured earlier this month) leads students at a dance workshop during ELT in preparation for the musical.

Rachel Phengsitthy

Rachel Phengsitthy

Dance teacher Amber Corriston (pictured earlier this month) leads students at a dance workshop during ELT in preparation for the musical.

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As the first quarter of the 2018-2019 school year wraps up, the Fine Arts Academy brings together all that they have been working on so far this year into their first showcase. For the dance strand, this includes challenging choreography and intricate details to bring their piece of the performance together.

It’s really amazing when you get to sit back and watch your students.”

— Amber Corriston

The theme for the showcase is “Head in the Clouds,” which was determined by students first coming up with ideas and then eventually deciding on it as the theme. According to dance teacher Amber Corriston, the theme is a way to unify the different pieces of art created by students in the academy. For “Head in the Clouds,” students have interpreted the theme in many different ways.

“Imagination came up quite a bit, [and] the idea of being up and lofty versus really grounded. Some people are showing that contrast in their choreography. There’s powder being used in [one student’s dance], so it will make the clouds,” Corriston said. “It really goes in various directions as [to] what the students take the theme as.”

While certain strands of the academy collaborate in their interpretations of the theme, Corriston says that for this showcase the dance strand is primarily independent.

“In this particular [showcase], my strand is mostly separate, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes the strands overlap where you might have a dancer dancing to someone’s music they composed [for the show], or an artist making their art based on what the dance is,” Corriston said. “It all just kind of depends on how the students are inspired.”

In addition to being the first showcase of the year, seniors in the academy are also in charge of its organization and planning. This eliminates some of the stress of planning the event for teachers as well as giving students the opportunity to bring together skills learned throughout the course of their time in the academy.

“As a teacher it’s really awesome because there’s so much outside work that goes into putting on a show. Giving that responsibility to the students is kind of a relief for us,” Corriston said. “It’s really amazing when you get to sit back and watch your students. [Seeing them] grow and learn because their hands are in it [is] definitely a nerve-wracking process, but our seniors are so prepared [for it].”

Senior Sophia Thomas has enjoyed the task of planning the showcase, but also realized the amount of work that goes into it.

“I like being able to take a leadership role and see the other side of the process. It’s also been nice to not have to worry about my own piece and be able to really focus on the growth of everyone else’s,” Thomas said. “It’s pretty stressful though because there [are] many things the teachers have to do [to plan the showcase] that I never realized.”

The showcase will take place Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7pm in the auditorium. According to Corriston, attending a showcase is an opportunity for people to appreciate the hard work of students on a deeper level.

“It’s really neat to see what [we] do in the academy, taking things one step farther and making [art] with a purpose,” Corriston said. “Not everything will be perfect but it’s really nice to have the hands-on work and [be able to] present it pretty regularly.”

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