Fresh Moves at Fall Concert

Victoria Ly, Asst. Feature Editor

Since the beginning of August, Diamond Bar High school’s dance department has been actively choreographing and preparing for the annual fall dance concert, which will take place on Nov. 20 and 21.

Like past performances, students will be showcasing their creativity and ability to perform through a multitude of dance styles, including lyrical, jazz, hip hop, and this year, even musical theater.

The most difficult task at large for dance members is the process of choreographing and creating a theme for their dance pieces. And although this year’s concert doesn’t follow a specific, unified theme, each dance number in itself has one.

While the more advanced dancers are expected to self-choreograph their pieces, the process of creating a dance routine is rewarding in itself.

“As for the process, we just choose any song that we like, have a vision of what the piece could be like, and make that vision come to life,” All-Male captain Peter Kang said.

Though the dance program’s previous advisor, Janna Van Horn, recently left her position to take over as USB Activities Director, the dancers are entering the new transition rather smoothly.

“There’s always that concern as you leave a program that things won’t continue to thrive but [the students] are working really hard,” Van Horn said.

During the transition from the dance department into USB, Van Horn would occasionally overlook the dance teams and give them insight.

“In the three weeks that I‘ve been in USB, I’ve been visiting them in the morning, checking in on different classes and critiquing them,” Van Horn said.

As the new dance teacher, Kari Simonson, steps in just weeks before the event, the students and faculty have welcomed her with open arms.

“The students are progressing very well, the dances are all student choreographed,” Simonson said. “The dance company is doing some of their competition routines and we also have one big dance that includes all three of the dance levels.”

Along with the change in advisors, this dance concert will also include a variety of co-ed performances, something different from the past years and exciting for the dancers, especially for the president of the dance company, senior Kimi Taira.

“Beforehand, we used to have only dance team dance together or only All Male, but this year there is definitely more co-ed pieces so that’s fun,” Taira said.

Although the preparation for the dance production takes much time and effort, the hard work pays off in the end for the dancers as they perform for those who truly support them: their peers.

“The dance concert is the most fun experience of the year, because we love the approval of our peers more than judges,” Taira said.