Berkeley High Beat: All They Want To Do Is Dance By Rio Bauce

Friday January 13, 2006

Have you ever wanted to attend a Berkeley High School event and really see how great of a dance program they have? Well, now is your chance. This Friday and Saturday, under the direction of Linda Carr, around 150 BHS students are putting on a show called “Dance Productions.” 

According to BHS Senior Sophie Bridgers, 17, there is a main group of dancers, called the Dance Productions class, that have sixth-period dance class, and there is an intermediate and an advanced dance class as well. The Dance Productions class requires an audition to enter, while the intermediate and advanced dance classes do not. 

“We all auditioned last spring,” said Bridgers. “The top maybe 30 to 35 people got accepted. I think there were like close to 80 who auditioned.” 

The dances include people of all levels and styles. 

When asked what the biggest thing that they have gained from participation in Dance Productions, sophomore Johanna Cheney, 16, a member of the advanced dance class, answered, “Probably getting to work with such highly skilled dancers ... It pushes you. When you’re dancing next to them, you get pushed to do better than you normally would.” 

The Dance Productions class is specifically geared towards this show. This group started practicing towards the end of September. Originally, there were around 20 dances and the class voted on which fourteen they wanted to keep. 

“About every student is in six dances,” remarked Bridgers. “Each person whose piece was selected is a choreographer. For the costumes, most people got stuff from home or made their own. We have more freedom as opposed to the intermediate and advanced dance classes.” 

Cheney joked, “It’s kind of funny. My class began working on this in November. It started out as a little group project. We didn’t know it would be a production dance. But it morphed into this huge dance.” 

Cheney describes her group’s dance as a “strange, modern ballet mix.” To prepare for the show, Carr had them do technique classes and had professional choreographers come to their class. 

Bridgers and Cheney started dancing at very young ages. 

“I have been dancing since I was 3 years old,” reminisced Cheney. “My mom was a ballerina for eighteen years. So I sort of got sucked into it.” 

“I started dancing when I was 4,” Bridgers recalled. “After I saw the Nutcracker, my parents enrolled me in classes. It’s been so much fun and such a nice balance from school. It’s very free.” 

Dance Productions is said to be very wild. There will be a lot of high powered energy dances, and some of the best dancers at BHS will be performing. There is a lot of exuberance and varieties of dance style. 

Cheney chimed, “Even if you’ve never taken a dance class, everybody can appreciate how hard this is. They take ballet and put it to Michael Jackson and end the normal stereotypes for certain dances.” 

The Dance Productions show will be held this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Florence Schwimley Little Theater at the high school. Admission is $5 for students and $10 for Adults. All proceeds benefit the Dance Productions class. 


Rio Bauce is a sophomore at Berkeley High School. Comments, suggestions, or story ideas may be sent to baucer@gmail.com.