Dance Company Showcases Solos


Sydney Jean ’23

Dance Company performs in the winter of 2019.

Hotchkiss Dance Company members performed solos to songs such as Taylor Swift’s “Marjorie” and Giveon’s “Like I Want You” during its annual spring performance.

 On Monday, March 29, eight dancers – Fatoumata Bah ’22, Natalie Bushell ’24, Paige Dzenutis ’23, Kavya Ramasamy ’24,  Stella Ren ’22, Vivian Shi ’23, Isabel Su ’22, and Daniela Vasquez ’24 – performed in Elfers Hall. In preparation for their live performances, the students spent four weeks choreographing and rehearsing their solos. Ms. Allesandra Rinaldo, instructor in dance, said, “Students [were able to] show off all of their hard work, [and] provide the Hotchkiss community with the opportunity to enjoy a live dance performance for the first time since the start of the pandemic.”

The Dance Company is an after-school winter and spring co-curricular led by Ms. Rinaldo and Ms. Lynn Peterson, instructor in dance. Students in the co-curricular study ballet and modern dance three times a week.

Last winter, the dancers focused on choreographing solos for the showcase. They were challenged to implement elements such as repetition, theme and variation, level changes, and dynamics. Ramasamy, who performed a lyrical piece to the tune of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer,” said, “The process was tough in the beginning, because I had never formally choreographed a whole piece of my own. It was hard to gauge myself, but it got easier as the process went on.”

To perfect their individual performances, the dancers spent five days a week choreographing and rehearsing. Vasquez, who choreographed a lyrical piece to Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade,” said, “I originally had bits and pieces of choreography that I had made improv dancing in my room, and wanted to incorporate them in my dance. I had to fill in some of the blank spaces in my piece. It was my first time performing at Hotchkiss, and it was great to see everyone’s dances come together. It was a little nerve-wracking, but once I got on stage, all my nervousness turned into excitement.”

 To follow COVID-19 restrictions, the Dance Company restricted the number of audience members allowed in Elfers to 30, and the performance was live-streamed. Aurora Smedvig ’22 said, “It was great to see an in-person dance performance happening again. Everyone’s stage presence was impressive especially considering the fact that they were all solos and [that they were] done in such a short timeframe.” 

The Dance Company showcase is the first of many more student performances to come this spring, followed by student musical recitals on April 13 and 15. Students can also look forward to the Senior music recital and Hotchkiss Orchestra performances, among other events.