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The Paw Print

Poly Upper School students “Dance the Night Away”

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Jennifer Godwin-Minto

From Nov. 16 to Nov. 18, Garland theater hosted a display of performances from Poly’s Upper School dance program. The show, titled “Dance the Night Away,” featured students from Dance 1 through 4 and was hosted by the Women’s Service League (WSL). Upper School Dance Teacher Danielle Pigneri directed and organized the show, which showcased over fifteen performances, spanning a range of genres.

In preparation for their performances, students spent long afternoons and weekends practicing. The experience helped create new bonds across different grade levels by featuring several collaborative group dances such as “Vent’anni,” choreographed by senior Julia Kenny, “Peach Fuzz,” choreographed by junior Charlotte McDonald and “On Then & Now,” choreographed by Pigneri, featuring the entire Dance 3 class.

“We started with the concept of artificial intelligence, and then we just kept going with it. It was a long piece, so the stamina that was required of the dancers was quite high, and I am really happy with the way that piece turned out,” said Pigneri.

“I formed some very meaningful friendships with people I didn’t know that well or even at all before,” said junior Emma Bertran in Dance 3. “The different grades and dance levels meshed really well and we all became very close with each other. It was truly the best experience and I can’t wait for next year.”

For many, Poly’s performing arts program has been crucial to their development as dancers, forcing them to hone their skills and explore new styles.

“The Poly dance department has always been my favorite community on campus. All of the dancers are unwaveringly supportive and we have all become so close, especially during our show’s tech week,” commented senior Siena Jurgensen, who is enrolled in Dance 4. “Although I’m sad to be saying goodbye to dance at Poly at the end of the semester, I’m glad I have a few more weeks to cherish this wonderful group before we move onto the next phase of the year.”

During the show’s intermission, the WSL held a silent auction where attendees could bid on various goods, ranging from private lessons with Poly student athletes to handmade jewelry. All proceeds from the auction went to iThuba Innovation Hub, an organization dedicated to fostering learning in STEM in the township of Langa in Capetown, South Africa.

Junior WSL member Celeste Rodriguez-Garcia said, “Knowing that all our hard work went to a great cause feels very rewarding. This being my first auction I didn’t really know what to expect but our leaders Annie [High] and Willow [Breen] made sure it ran smoothly.”

Pigneri hopes the dance show will inspire Poly underclassmen to try a dance class in the future. “It’s never too late to join and to find a place in the dance program,” she said.

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Greg Panossian, News Editor
Grade: 11 Years on Staff: 3 Fun Fact: Enjoys spending time with family and taking long walks on the beach. Favorite Book: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
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