Gulf Islands Secondary School dance students are holding their end of semester performance tonight at ArtSpring, with a second show running on Thursday night.
Students have been working on material for their Backin’ It Up show since the start of the school year. The two classes are made up of students of different ages and levels. They will be performing 17 different pieces in varying styles. Four larger group dances were choreographed by the teacher, with other smaller pieces created by the students themselves.
“There’s going to be a range of different styles of dance. The kids really love hip hop and some of them really love lyrical dance. The pieces that they made in the smaller groups is their chance to express what they feel and their chance to use dance as an expressive form,” said teacher Sonia Langer.
This year’s class consists of a lot of new students, which has Langer focusing on teaching fundamentals and building up skills.
“We’ve been working hard all semester. In order for dance to be a complete art form, now we need to give it to an audience,” Langer said. “We need that response, so we’re really looking forward to having a big audience.”
After working for three months on their pieces, the students are excited for the show. Mischa Engel explained how the class has been difficult, yet it was rewarding for the students to be able to express themselves creatively.
“There’s four choreographies with all of the class, and the rest of the choreographies are in small groups, which we [made] ourselves,” he said. “There’s a lot of funky, groovy hip hop. There’s also some contemporary and modern . . . It’s really fun.”
Dancers will also perform their repertoire piece “Greta,” about climate activist Greta Thunberg, which has seen other public performances.
“We’re going to do it again, because the issue continues to be poignant in terms of the Australian bush fires that are happening,” Langer explained. “We also have some new pieces that are vibrant and exuberant. It’s going to be fun. Please come to see our show.”
The two shows begin at 7:30 p.m.
For more on this story, see the Jan. 15, 2020 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.