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Behind the Curtain: A Choreographer’s Press Conference

The+choreographers+line+up%2C+ready+for+their+press+conference.%0ALeft+to+right%3A+Dance+Instructor+Zoe+Dorony%2C+senior+Natalie+Moore%2C+senior+Faith+McCurdy%2C+junior+Issay+Eyobel%2C+junior+Monica+Perez%2C+junior+Danielle+Liberatore%2C+and+junior+Eugenia+Acevedo
Alaysha Bond
The choreographers line up, ready for their press conference. Left to right: Dance Instructor Zoe Dorony, senior Natalie Moore, senior Faith McCurdy, junior Issay Eyobel, junior Monica Perez, junior Danielle Liberatore, and junior Eugenia Acevedo

Feb. 22 and 23, Cypress Creek High School was blessed with the Choreographer’s Showcase in the IPAC Theatre. This showcase was comprised of pieces choreographed by the school’s student choreographers and was an incredible display of talent and dedication. From lighting, songs, and even the dancers being featured in the numbers, this performance was entirely student-ran. The dancers’ time on stage is a spotlight moment for them, but behind the scenes is also a spotlight moment for the choreographers. While the song’s time on stage might be short-lived, the amount of time and effort put into the routines by not only the dancers, but also the choreographers will be immortalized in their memories. 

March 6, the 11 choreographers along with the Dance Instructor, Zoe Dorony sat in attendance for the first Conservatory of the Arts press conference this year. Here, the talented student leaders got to share their experiences of being a choreographer. 

Becoming a choreographer is a more challenging process than many students may believe, as voiced by many of the choreographers. The process consisted of two sections, one written and one physical, with Dorony judging them on their skill, consistency, and vision. 

After becoming a choreographer, students are presented with the opportunity to showcase their craft in the Choreographer’s Showcase. During this process, these students decide which songs they want their dancers to perform to, and who they want to be featured from the department. Dancers go through an audition process, where choreographers create a snippet of dance, and the students must learn and perform it. Each choreographer looks for something different during the audition process, something that makes the dancer stand out from the rest. 

“…a lot of personality in their improv sections. It takes a lot to have that personality and stage presence.” said senior Addison Noll. 

Other student choreographers expressed similar thoughts. “I look for the musicality section for the freestyle sections of the audition process. I see the creativity that comes from the sections,” voiced junior Issay Eyobel. 

After the dancers are decided, the students had around five weeks to learn and perfect their pieces. This process brings out the true colors of dancers and tests their ability to not just learn the dances, but learn them in a timely manner. This stress brings out many emotions during the actual performance. 

“My piece ‘Royalty,’ when I watched for the first time it scared me,” recalled senior Anthony Santana. 

He talked about how nervous he was about the piece, and how it would go on the stage. But with the lights shining on the dancers, all Santana could feel was pride in his piece. 

Continuing, “…but seeing the work you and your dancers put in, it’s a strong emotion.” 

Emotions are a big aspect that many of the choreographers look for in their pieces and dancers. Senior Kendall Wheeler described how she likes to tell a story with her dances, and she reaches for more emotion in her pieces. Her pieces contain a lot of emotion, and when watching it, she sometimes feels like a puppeteer watching her masterpiece at work. 

“You’re like a puppeteer and you’re watching your story laid out in front of you. You’re watching your entire brain being played out. You feel like a proud mom or dad,” described Wheeler. 

Being a good choreographer doesn’t just come with dancing skills. It includes being a good leader that people respect. It is a big responsibility that all the dancers take highly. 

“I feel like all eyes are on you, so you have to be a good role model. They’re looking up to you to be a good role model. You don’t want a choreographer than is rude. I try to bring my dancers up,” said senior Faith McCurdy. 

While choreographing pieces comes with a lot of struggles, there are many aspects that are incredibly rewarding. One of those is seeing the final dance come together with all eyes watching. Junior Eugenia Acevedo had planned the concept for her dance “Fine Line” three years in advance, and seeing it on the stage performed by her dancers brought tears to her eyes. 

Acevedo recalled, “I really wanted to do this and in the final day, seeing it up on the stage with the dancers backstage, I was sobbing backstage.” 

The choreographers make it evident that these showcases are more than just a dance. It is a culmination of their hard work, ideas, and passion, displaying these all beautifully on stage. Each dance tells a story, told by the dancers and written by the choreographers.

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About the Contributors
David Caine, Editor
David Caine is a senior at Cypress Creek High School, and has been working with the program since his freshman year, coming back this year to help rebuild CCHowler. David hopes to work as a journalist, reporting on Capitol Hill.
Lilly Wine, Editor
Lilly Wine is the senior at Cypress Creek and loves being involved in the many programs offered by the school. She is an editor for the CCHowler, president of American Sign Language Honors Society, an active member of the Thespian Honor Society, and Cypress Creek's Theater Department. Lilly's favorite part of journalism is capturing memories with her friends.
Victoria Regenhardt is a junior at Cypress Creek High Scholl that loves taking photos and helping others. She aspires to work in the medical field and use journalism to boost social skills and leadership. Since sophomore year, she has loved being able to leave the legacy of people's high schools memories.
Alaysha Bond, Editor
Alaysha Bond is a junior at Cypress Creek High School. Alaysha joined photojournalism to learn more about photography. Now, she specializes in sports and the Conservatory of the Arts and has an Instagram that showcases her photos for the school's publications and leisure. Her Instagram is @shots_by.alaysha

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