The Wessex Wire

The Student News Site of West Essex Regional High School

The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

Dance Team ignites emotions with heroic performances

Photo Courtesy of Dina Drew Duva Photography
The West Essex Dance Team impressed the crowd at this year’s showcase. From left: (front row) Molly Wolf, Chloe Berger, Samantha Kopec, Hailey Levenberg and Charlotte Stevens; (back row) Mia Russotto, Molly Trauman, Kaitlyn DeGraw, Josie Duva and Natalia Mitchell.

After months of preparation and dedication, the West Essex Dance Team took the stage for their annual showcase on Feb. 1. For nearly two hours,  the high school and the middle school teams amazed the crowd with their technique, skill and obvious hard work. 

To start off the show, both teams came together for a joint opening dance to introduce the night’s overall theme: Not all heroes wear capes. “Heroes (We Could Be)” by Alesso set the tone for the performance and excited the crowd. Directly after, the high school Dance Team came in with their dance to a mashup of “Feel This Moment” by Pitbull and “Pepas” by Farruko. They did not miss a single beat, having performed this mashup at nearly every home football game. Since the start of the season, captains Chloe Berger and Kaitlyn DeGraw, as well as co-captain Hailey Levenberg, had not only been preparing the team for the showcase, but also for half-time performances under the Friday night lights. 

“Getting the girls prepared for their performances took many hours of rehearsal, organization and teamwork,” DeGraw said. “But it all worked out in the end, I’m very proud of the progress we all made as a team.”

Throughout the show, each of the seniors got the opportunity to choreograph and perform solo dances. Levenberg, Berger, Molly Wolf and Josie Duva all showcased their solos in the first act, while DeGraw shared hers in the second. With music ranging from Taylor Swift to Alicia Keys, all five girls put on excellent performances.

All three of the juniors on the team were also given opportunity to create and showcase their own solo dances. Mia Russotto, Molly Trauman and Samantha Kopec individually performed with well-choreographed and high-energy solos. 

However, the group and duo dances throughout the show were just as impressive. A team favorite, “I’m Dat Chick” by Kelly Rowland, was performed by Berger, DeGraw, Levenberg, Trauman, Natalia Mitchell and Charlotte Stevens at the end of the first act. This hip-hop number turned heads and was a perfect finale of the show’s first half. 

While the high schoolers did most of the dances in the show, the middle schoolers, including Gianna Gaudiosi, Evelyn Lange, Gabriella Shepen and Adriana Theis, still had the opportunity to shine in their performances of “Lip Gloss” by Little Mix, Fifth Harmony and Lil Mama, and “Rock This Party” by Bob Sinclair, Cutee B and the Black Eyed Peas. 

In the most memorable dance of the night, all of the seniors got together to perform a tribute to all the hard work they put in over the years. In the performance of “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” from “Hamilton,” the seniors said their final farewell to the Dance Team and put their graduation caps on for the first time. 

Although this showcase was what the girls had been working toward for months, all of their memories from practices, games and past performances will stick with them forever. Above all, the relationships between the girls is what makes the Dance Team so special. 

“Everyone on the team has created such a close bond,” Junior Samantha Kopec said. “Our connection is something that none of us will ever forget.” 

Behind the Byline
Sophia Nicholls, Arts & Culture Editor
Sophia Nicholls is a 2023-2024 Senior Chief Arts and Culture Editor for the Wessex Wire. She likes to spend time with her friends and family. Her favorite artist’s are Harry Styles and Taylor Swift, and her favorite show is “Pretty Little Liars”.
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