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STEPS TO SUCCESS Bailey Maierson, an incoming junior at St. John’s School, choreographed a dance for the Student Choreography Showcase.
This past winter, I choreographed a dance piece to Billie Eilish’s song Ocean Eyes for STUCHO, the Student Choreography Showcase at St. John’s School. My first task as a choreographer was to assemble a crew of fellow dancers. Because the other girls were my good friends, it was sometimes awkward to instruct them and critique them. It was also my responsibility to coordinate my team’s schedule for rehearsals, which took place before, during and after school.
I had never choreographed a dance before, so creating a dance from scratch was by far the most challenging task. It took me several weeks to create the ideal steps that not only complemented the music, but also matched my original vision and would appeal to the audience. Each day after I completed my homework, I went straight to work on the next part of my dance; nights felt endless as I often choreographed past midnight for several weeks. In December, my dance was finalized. We were ready.
Unfortunately, my plan for my fellow dancers and me to take the stage on Dec. 7 was crushed when the entire evening of performances was cancelled due to inclement weather.
The choreographers and dancers who were scheduled to participate in the showcase were devastated to learn that a severe thunderstorm and flood warning had emerged that very afternoon. The performance ended up being postponed until Jan. 9, after winter break, which seemed like it was decades away. Weeks of hard work and practice suddenly felt useless to me.
Even though this temporary setback was difficult to accept, we eventually were able to put on a very successful dance program for a packed house. I was thrilled with the way my piece turned out and how the dancers performed. Learning how to choreograph a dance allowed me to become more confident and skilled as a dancer. I am excited to continue choreographing during my next two years of high school.
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