Dancers stun audiences with student-run concert


Claire Wittkop, Features Editor

From Dec. 6-8, in The Artists Theatre, “Cosmic,” a student-driven production held by Dance 2, Dance 3, Dance 4 and LBHS Dance Company, showcased the talents of all levels of dance. Students in the dance program coordinated everything, from costumes, lighting, and music.  

“Since the classes have been in dance before, I pushed everybody to do the student-driven work because they have all been in the show before and have worked with me. We don’t have that much time so I kind of make it a project-based learning experience where our main goal is to put on the show,” said dance teacher Estee Fratzke.

Since only the higher levels of dance participate in the winter showcase, they have already learned how to choreograph and have participated in shows before. They were able to provide an inside look into the world of dance and run the show almost completely on their own. Of course, Fratzke helped throughout the process as well.

“A lot of the classes have already been in dance before. We do a choreography unit at the end of every year, so the majority of the students have some understanding of how to choreograph. I map out a schedule for them so they know exactly when they will be rehearsing. I personally make myself available for the choreographers so I can help them with things. If there are issues where they can’t be at rehearsal, I help them by asking them permission to add on material and then I get their feedback. So it becomes collaborative. My whole goal is to help the dancers get their dances done so they can perform them on stage,” said Fratzke.

Dance Company seniors pick the dance themes for both the spring and winter dance concerts. This year, the theme was inspired by pieces that they had choreographed the year before in class.

“A few seniors in the dance company and I chose ‘Cosmic’ because we wanted to include themes and music surrounding space and stars. We thought it would be different from anything we have ever done before. Most dances had names, costumes and music surrounded around the cosmos and space. My duet with Ruby was very inspired by the cosmos and the creation of our universe,” said senior Dance Company member Emma Gibbs.

With nearly 20 dances, both the choreographers and dancers were able to feature their different dance abilities.

“The dance that we created is called ‘Possession,’ and the style was a collaboration of hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, etc. Our goal was to take all our strengths and put it into our dance,” said sophomore and choreographer Jordan Trautwein.

Dance 1, the beginner level of dance, only performs in the Spring show, so for most Dance 2 members, it was their first time doing a completely student-run production.

“The hardest part of the dance show was having to adjust to not having an adult make the decisions for you. We were on our own to figure out blocking and how the dance should be portrayed…down to the littlest of details,” said sophomore Sydney Ekberg.  “I thought it was hard but also very rewarding. We were able to glimpse into our teacher’s life and how she works as a choreographer, and it gave me an even greater appreciation of her and everything she does.”

The Winter Dance Concert provided an opportunity for all the dancers to create new friendships and learn how to operate in situations without the guidance of teachers.

“I loved the relationships we all created together, and how we grew together and evolved as dancers and as human beings,” said Ekberg.