Lion Tales

Our Steps: Great Dancing in Black Box Theater

“Through dancing you can express anything you are feeling without judgement.”

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From October 11 to October 13, 2018 Lincoln High School had four dance performances: Three evening shows on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and a show in afternoon on Saturday. All of that was part of the Our Steps which take place every year in fall and spring.

All PE Dance classes and all the various dance teams performed at the shows. There were also solos and groups of friends/dancers performing. These dancers had to audition before.

The whole show was organized by the dance teachers Mr. George, Mr. Nile, Ms. Scadina, and Ms. Vela. Even though they organized the show, they didn’t choreograph the performances. Seniors choreographed the dances of the beginning classes, and the dance teams choreographed their performances on their own.

The theme of the show was “Emojis and Emotions.” Every dance team picked a different emoji and a song matching the emotion. There was a wide variety of emojis, such like the purple devil one, the fan girl emoji, the one with the sunglasses, and a lot more. Every dance team had different ideas which made the show interesting and varied. In total, over 30 emojis were captured through dance.

A performance at the afternoon show at Saturday, October 13, 2018 as part of Our Steps (Jennifer Schwarz, Lincoln Lion Tales)

The tickets, which were sold online, were sold out for all the night shows just three days after they started selling them. A lot of people were interested in Our Steps and the black box theatre was filled in all the shows.              

The levels of the dancers were really diverse. There were dancing beginner classes, but also advanced classes like the Convertibles and the LPC. However, they all did a great job, and the audience was thrilled. 

Lion Tales talked to Mr. George about Our Steps. He told Lion Tales that the purpose of Our Steps is to give the students a chance to choreograph on their own. Also he told Lion Tales: “I like to see the student’s creativity, and how they express themselves.” His favorite performance, he told Lion Tales, was the “Vivaldi” by Ava Fein (10th grade) and her friends because “that was what we were looking for: creativity and the artistic part in their dance.”

Lion Tales also talked to Ava Fein. Ava choreographed and was the main character in a dance performed with three of her friends Brooklyn Butler (10th grade), Mallory Malate (10th grade), and Emily Emmons (10th grade).

Ava told Lion Tales that she loves dancing because “through dancing you can express anything you are feeling without judgement”. She also likes Our Steps, especially because everybody puts so much effort into their dances and performances, whether they perform or choreograph. Also, Ava likes that everybody interprets a dance differently, matching their personal feelings and experiences.

Ava chose Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons: The Winter Edition” for her performance. “I felt the music showed all the emotions I wanted,” she said. “It has high fast keys, melancholy parts, but also parts with a feeling of anger, which I liked to incorporate in my dance.”

Her inspiration for the dance was herself. She was diagnosed with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), and the emotions portrayed in the dance are really the emotions she feels. These emotions (anxiety, sadness, but also happiness) control her real life; “When I scream at the end of the dance, it is my way of showing the audience that I can’t take the constant changing and heavy emotions anymore.”

Mallory Malate dancing in a dance choreographed by Ava Fein impressing the changing emotions of a young girl diagnosed with PTSD (courtesy of The Monarch Yearbook)

Ava told Lincoln Lion Tales that she “really wanted to show the audience the struggle of someone they know, someone they think is happy or strong. Eventually, they won’t be able to take anymore emotional distress, and they might want to get some help.”

Also, she wanted to show the audience that it takes a lot of build up to finally break and that it doesn’t mean that this person is weak if she does break in the end. “It might be hard for someone to see every emotion within someone’s head, so I guess I tried to give that to the audience.”

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About the Writer
Jennifer Schwarz, Journalist

Jennifer Schwarz is an exchange student from Germany in 10th Grade. She loves to read and write, so she chose Journalism. Beside of that she also enjoys listening to music, dancing, baking and hanging out with friends. She is very excited about being in the U.S. for school and also being a part of the Lincoln Lion Tales. She wants to do the best in all her classes but especially in Journalism even if it is hard for her to write in English. Her favorite subjects are History, English and Journalism (in school in Germany also German and Latin). She speaks German, English, Italian, Latin and a tiny bit of Spanish. She really wants to improve her English, so that is why she came here.

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Bilingual Student Newspaper of Abraham Lincoln High School, San Jose California.
Our Steps: Great Dancing in Black Box Theater