Dance Company Performs “Denouement”

The company debuts their first live act since 2019

On April 1 and 2, Walpole High School Dance Company had their first performance since March 2019. Two years ago, the company had their performance canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of their hard work choreographing and learning dances went unnoticed when they were not able to perform. Last year, the company was only allowed to practice outside and was not able to perform on stage with an audience. With the company finally being able to perform normally this year, they titled their performance, “Denouement,” a term that means the climax of a complex chain of events. “Denouement” is meant to represent the last few years of the Dance Company and finally being able to perform in a normal setting at the end.

“To me the show was about struggle and one’s journey to acceptance and happiness. A lot of the songs were about anxiety and stress and battling the hardships of life,” Senior captain Sydney Taylor said. “But some of them were more upbeat and the last full company song in the show was about finally finding yourself and being happy in your own skin.”

Having to cancel the show in March 2019 because of the pandemic was especially tough for the juniors and seniors in the company. They went two full years without a normal performance and watched the numbers drop from about 30-40 girls total to 10 this year. However, with all of this, the girls did not lose motivation and came back for a performance they will cherish forever.

“The overall show was meant to be a strong comeback, a rebound from the two previous years. A lot of the songs within the show were about being unapologetically yourself, expressing who you are and who you want to be freely,” Senior head captain Sofia Santiago said. “Performing this year meant so much to the members who have experienced the last two years in the company, we finally got a chance to do what we do best and show everyone what Dance Company is about.”

Under artistic directors Laura Barajas and Alyssa Tempesta, as well as assistant director Molly Rockwood, the company performed eight dances total, with six group acts. With the smaller numbers in the company this year, each of the girls had to learn the majority of the dances. 

In the first act, the company opened with a dance called “Medusa,” coming onto stage in all black outfits, each with a wooden pole as props. The company then went on to perform “Rita Farr,” “To Sink Beneath The Waves” and “License To Thrill.”

“My favorite dance was “To Sink Beneath The Waves.” We were told it was about nostalgia and bittersweet moments. Being a senior and performing my last show with these people really made the dance special as well as being able to channel a real emotion I had been feeling made the dance more authentic,” Taylor said.

In the second act, the company performed “Outre Lux,” “Wednesday And The White Picket Fence,” “A Long Time” and “A Righteous Wrath.” In their last dance, all of the girls were dressed in different colors dancing along with different colored curtains dropping as they went on.

“My favorite dance was “License To Thrill” in the first act. It was the silliest song out of the bunch and it was so fun to perform. We were told to mouth the words while dancing, smile and to chant the other dancers on if you were backstage.” Santiago said.

Everyone in the Dance Company agrees that their time in the group has had a major impact on their high school years. WHS Dance Company has allowed these girls to fully express their inner selves not only through art, but also through life. Being a part of Dance Company has changed their lives and anyone at Walpole High is encouraged to join.

“It is safe to say that Dance Company taught us valuable life lessons, like being yourself and not caring what people think. I find myself with more confidence to be me in any type of setting, along with the feeling you should never have to hide who you are. I will look back fondly on the memories and friendships I’ve made through this company and I owe a lot to it,” Taylor said. 

Congratulations to the three seniors, Sydney Taylor, Sofia Santiago and Haley Gilbert on their four years in Dance Company. Best of luck in the future!