WHS Dance Company Prepares for Upcoming Performance


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After about a year and a half of postponing all practices and shows, the Walpole High School Dance Company has finally announced their showcase, Denouement, scheduled for Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2. The show will include eight dances total, with six group acts, marking it the first show back since 2019 with directors Alyssa Tempesta and Laura Barajas. 

While COVID-19 has done a number on the company and the popularity of it, the girls are determined as ever to deliver a memorable performance, especially for their three senior captains, Sofia Santiago, Sydney Taylor and Hailey Gilbert. 

“There used to be 30-40 people in the company, but now there’s only ten since not that many people know about it anymore,” Santiago said. “But, we want to bring back the knowledge of the dance company and express our hard work from all year,” Santiago and Taylor said.

As it is a great challenge for such a small team to take on, directors Tempesta and Barajas have done incredible work to prepare for the show, including choreographing the dances and getting all the props ready for action. Director Tempesta, a graduate of Walpole High, was a founding member of the Dance Company, which was created in 2004/05 and was a member/choreographer for four years. 

“When I graduated, I would come back every year and volunteer. Then when Mr. Kim put out the call for assistant directors, Laura and I started together, and later took over” Tempesta said.

Along with the hard work that goes into each showcase, the group has goals of conveying a message within each performance, and having the audience connect with each dancer and the music.

“There’s way more to dance company than just dancing,” Taylor said. “There’s props, storylines, and thoughts to each song. Every song means something and each of us try to resonate with it.” 

After being unable to perform in 2020, then creating a dance video in 2021, the directors have yet to host a performance due to COVID-19.

“We’re very excited and a little anxious because since we took over we haven’t been able to perform on the stage.” Director Tempesta said.

Even with only ten dancers in total, the girls are planning to give it their all, hoping to give the audience twists and surprises as their past choreographers have done. 

“Past performances were a little different, since Mr. Kim was the director,” Taylor said. “Mr. Kim wanted the audience to question if things were supposed to happen or not, and there’s still a bit of that this year, but on a lower level,” Gilbert said. 

Although having a change of choreographers, the dance company is working hard with their new directors, and are ready for the upcoming show. 

“I’m just really excited to just get back on the stage, I haven’t had a performance since freshman year, and I hope people will come and see the company like they used to,” Gilbert said.