Starting in June, auditions begin for a number of select Archer dance programs: Dance Company and Dance Troupe. These two programs have coexisted at Archer for three years, and each year combine their choreography to make up The Night of Dance, a showcase surrounding a common theme.
Dance Troupe is a program that is open to all levels of dancers; however, there are auditions held at the beginning of each year that determine which dance(s) the dancers will be placed in depending on ability.
Andrea Locke, head of the dance program at Archer, asks several questions regarding each dancer’s ability during the audition process.
“In auditions, girls perform certain technical skills, turns, leaps [and] very basic form,” Locke said. The dancers then perform a pre-choreographed piece and are assessed based on their performance.
“Some girls have skills in hip hop, where they don’t necessarily have them in ballet so we try to place them where their strengths are,” Locke said.
“There is a subgroup in Dance Troupe, called Enhanced Dance Troupe, made to fulfill a need for girls who were interested in increasing skills and technique . . . after school,” Locke said.
This program was put into place just last year as a way to get fitness credit through a higher level of dance outside of Dance Company.
Madison Turner ’17, co-captain for Enhanced Dance Troupe, said that she feels involved in “more advanced, more diverse dances” now that she takes part in the Enhanced Dance program.
“In Dance Company, the smaller classes allow each dancer to get more individual attention,” Dance Company and Troupe member Meg Smith ’17 said.
“[In] Dance Troupe, you can take more unique styles of dance and you get to dance in larger groups,” Smith said.
But how do these programs come together to create the Night of Dance?
“Every dancer has their own unique style and personality,” Smith said. “In the show, we all bounce of each other and build off of everyone’s individual energy. Somehow, this helps us come together in a really special way. We all just kind of mesh and fit together.”
This year, for example, the theme was literature. Each dance was based off of the themes from a novel spanning from youthful storybooks like “Harold and the Purple Crayon” and more mature pieces such as “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
“[The Night of Dance] was amazing, and next year’s will be even better,” Smith said.
The Dance Company showcase will take place on May 22 at Archer from 6:30-8:00.