“Everybody” Dances in Seniors’ Show

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“Everybody” Dances in Seniors’ Show

Twenty-one dancers performed in Slaughter and Warren’s “Everybody dance?”.

Twenty-one dancers performed in Slaughter and Warren’s “Everybody dance?”.

Jeffrey Zhai ’20

Twenty-one dancers performed in Slaughter and Warren’s “Everybody dance?”.

Jeffrey Zhai ’20

Jeffrey Zhai ’20

Twenty-one dancers performed in Slaughter and Warren’s “Everybody dance?”.

What gift could two departing seniors give to the school community? For Gwenyth Slaughter ’19 and Nia Warren ’19, the answer was to share their passion for dance. On May 25, the two Seniors presented their project, “You Can(’t) Dance,” in Walker Auditorium.

Dance is something that everyone can do, and [our last number] shows that it’s something that everyone should learn to do and have fun doing.”

— Nia Warren ’19


The performance featured 21 dancers and showcased a variety of genres, including jazz, modern, and Latin. Out of the five pieces performed, Slaughter and Warren choreographed three together, and Warren choreographed and performed a solo entitled “Full Circle.” Additionally, Cici Bu ’20 and I Lok U ’20 created and performed a Latin duet, “Mezcla.” Warren said, “The purpose of [our] dance show is to combine different styles [of dance] to music you want to dance [to]. When I came to Hotchkiss, [the dance program focused on] modern [and] ballet, but I wanted to do a final show that [featured] styles I did back at home – [including] jazz [and] lyrical.”
Both former members of the Hotchkiss Dance Company, Slaughter and Warren started dancing before they came to the school. This year, Slaughter and Warren did not perform with the Dance Company, but instead prepared for their independent choreography project. They also took care of all logistics, including casting, staging, and lighting for the performance. Slaughter said, “Dance is a form of expressing how [I am] feeling without words. [It’s] ironic, because I want to study English in college, and I love writing, but I also love how dance is [open to] interpretation because there are no words.”
Slaughter and Warren sought to show that dance is inclusive, regardless of experience. In the last dance of the show, “Everyone Can Dance?,” they featured 15 dancers with no prior experience.
At the same time, they wanted to encourage the community to engage with dance, an art that is often not highlighted at the school. Warren said, “A lot of times, dance is put on the back-burner in terms of the Arts [at

shows that everybody can put themselves out there, and any student or faculty member can be involved in anything they want here. ” photo=”” align=”left” background=”on” border=”all” shadow=”on”]Annabelle Duval ’19”

— ”[You


Hotchkiss], so I am really excited to show that people are excited about dance and [that] we have a lot of talented dancers here. Dance is something that everyone can do, and [our last number] shows that it’s something that everyone should learn to do and have fun doing.”
Annabelle Duval ’19, who performed in the show, said, “My favorite part was when the projection went up on stage. It said, ‘Everybody dance?’ The lights went on, we all stood up, and everybody in the front row was around us. When we started going on stage, everybody was cheering. It shows that everybody can put themselves out there, and any student or faculty member can be involved in anything they want here. It’s fun to do something new and interesting.”
Their last performance at the school earned Slaughter and Warren rounds of applause. The Hotchkiss Dance Company will be back to perform in its annual dance show next winter, although it will miss its graduating seniors.