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BRHS dance perseveres through difficult school year

Bruin dancers perform at their last show. Courtesy photo

Despite a challenging year, BRHS dance still keeps their hopes and leaps high for the 2020-21 dance shows. 

Even though most of this school year has been online, Bear River’s dancers have still been working very hard learning new dances, perfecting technique, and keeping spirits high for their traditional dance shows. 

A few of the dancers shared their feelings on how this year of dance has been.

“Dance has been good,” said Senior Klaire Wolford. “It sucks we haven’t been able to do as much in person but being able to dance is still a plus.”

“So far dance has been up and down this year,” said Senior Savannah Proctor. “Being able to go back to hybrid and dance in person and see Gaby [Blaney] in person has been amazing. While in contrast, dancing over zoom has been very difficult when it comes to space and motivation.”

“It’s difficult being over zoom. You want to be with your teacher when you’re dancing so you can get help or she can give you advice, which is harder online because she can’t see us like she can in person,” said Senior Jenna Watson.

Dance Teacher Gabriella Blaney expressed what the most inconvenient part of dance distance learning has been for her.

“I think the most difficult part for me has been fitting dance moves that take up the whole dance room into a very small space for students to be able to access in their homes,” said Blaney. “I feel I haven’t been able to teach a lot of skills that travel, but I have been able to really focus on technique and strength for my dancers.”

Blaney also shared how different it has been.

“Students are trying to learn a whole art form through a screen and I am trying to correct their technique by watching over zoom,” she said.

For many years, the dancers in classes one and two have put on shows, such as student choreography and the big May show for the school to display all their hard work. Proctor explained that the dancers are still arranging to put on these performances.

“We are preparing for shows for sure,” said Proctor. “We have already had one released on YouTube and plan to release another. We are preparing currently for our final show in may which we are exploring other options besides airing on YouTube.”

Proctor also gave insight on what the dancers were auditioning for recently.

“The auditions you heard about lately are for our student choreography show this year,” she said. “We have tons of pieces choreographed by the Bear River students and are rehearsing each week.”

Blaney also explained how they have been staying busy working on the shows and what to expect. 

We have just finished filming solos for the entire dance 2 class and they will be released as a filmed show (with a link) in a few weeks!” said Blaney. “We are also preparing for our May show (filmed or in person) which will be a collection of student choreography as well as some quest choreographer pieces. This show will include Dance 1 and Dance 2 dancers. The show is set for end of May. Dates TBA.”

Even through all the struggles, frustration, and accommodating, Blaney expressed how appreciative she is of her dancers.

“It took some adjusting, but I am extremely proud of what my students have learned in such a short time with almost zero in person instruction or demonstration.”

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BRHS dance perseveres through difficult school year