Ayala dance prepares for ‘City Lights’ annual spring dance concert


Kaitlyn Luu

Mrs. Hofstetter gives feedback to Ayala Dance Production (ADP) after their first run through. The dancers have been fine tuning each detail before the concert’s first night.

Kaitlyn Luu, Staff Writer

Concealed behind the stage curtains, Ayala Dance Production (ADP) waits for their music to start so they can begin their first number, Jet Set. ADP had performed this dance at a show once for an audience at Dance of Hope the week prior, and now it’s their last rehearsal before they perform this routine again as the opening act of the City Lights spring dance concert. Backstage in the wings, stage director Abby Lane gives the tech crew their cue to hit the lights. This is it, their very last practice, and afterwards all that’s left to do is give it their all at the actual dance concert.

For months upon months, the entire dance program consisting of Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and ADP has worked very hard to perfect their routines for this show. Every minute detail repeated over and over again in practice to get it synchronized and sharpened to a tee reaps indescribable reward for these dancers. They all work so hard to get better every time they step on the stage during the long, tiresome rehearsals so they can put on a great show for their audience. To attain this level of precision, practice extends beyond class and can even bleed into designated leisure time. 

“I’ve been practicing choreography after school and at home just so I could refresh and not forget it,” Advanced dancer Julianne Basurto (12) said. “We prepare a lot beforehand so I feel pretty confident in my dances.” 

To make the show run more smoothly, select students from every period are appointed to one or more of three different positions: dance captain, good vibes committee, and costume crew. The dance captains are chosen by the class via a vote and are responsible for leading warmups, running through dances when dance director Mrs. Hofstetter is unavailable, and making sure everyone knows their choreography or formations. The Good Vibes Committee coordinates spirit weeks and fun events to uplift the class and make them feel excited or more at ease because dance concert week is always really stressful and hectic for everyone. All the costumes that the dancers wear for their numbers are negotiated, planned, and distributed by the costume crew who ensure each dancer has a costume for each routine. These jobs are assigned to students because Mrs. Hofstetter cannot run the show on her own and do all the things to get ready for the dance concert without help. 

A lot of the Advanced and ADP dancers have experience competing or performing, so nerves, stage fright, excitement, or anticipation are nothing new to them. Some of the other dancers, especially the Beginning Dance classes, are performing on a stage for the first time ever.

“On a scale of one to ten, my confidence level is an eight because everybody messes up. I messed up a few times,” Beginning dancer Chelsea Dominguez (9) said. 

The biggest advice every performing artist receives in case they mess up is to just keep going as if nothing had gone wrong, even if they fumbled their lines in a play or forgot the choreography of a dance. Concert week can be extremely chaotic because time is short and there’s always lots to do. Not all the routines are finished or cleaned up just yet, so the dancers are reasonably concerned about all the work that still needs to be done.

“I’m feeling nervous about the spring concert,” ADP dancer Marley Rivera (9) said. “I did the fall concert which was pretty good, but I feel like it was very rushed because not all of us were prepared. I think this concert is more rushed because a lot of people still don’t know their dances.” 

There will definitely be a lot of things to wrap up and put together before the concert to make it fabulous. So much has to be done in such little time, but it will surely be managed. After all, the show must go on.