Annually, the community of Hacienda Heights and its board representatives host the District Dance Festival for the four high school dance teams of HLPUSD. The event is put together for the purpose of fine arts appreciation.
This year’s District Dance Festival took place on February 2, at the community center throughout the duration of the day from 8 AM to 8 PM. The day began with master classes taught by industrial dance professionals which lasted 4 hours.
Junior Mariah Ruiz explains, “The two styles of dance all schools took were contemporary jazz and hip hop this year. It’s a great experience for everyone to learn a combination by a professional and perform it in groups. It definitely strengthens us individually as dancers.”
The day then continued on with a five to six hour rehearsal for stage preparation for the following schools: Wilson High School, La Puente High School, Fairgrove Academy, and Los Altos. Run-throughs, technical staging, and lighting were crucial for the final show that would be put on at 6:30 that same evening.
Ruiz continues, “Before the actual event there was planning put into the order of the show being put on at night. The show consisted of student choreography pieces, competition pieces, and previously performed rally routines. We were the only team that had practiced on this specific stage before so it was important that every team had the opportunity to perfect their dances.”
The LAHS dance team took four pieces to the dance festival that day. Two competition pieces choreographed by coaches Mrs. Brennan and Maddie Gonzalez, a student choreography contemporary dance created by Junior Tiffany Hsu, and a jazz piece choreographed by dance captains Josie Osborn and Raina Lee.
Junior Tiffany Hsu expresses, “I feel that this specific event is an outlet to expressing the artistry and passion it takes to be a student of the fine arts. Over the past two years there has been much more appreciation toward the performing arts programs of HLPUSD.”
After the hour long show and the ten hour day, each school received a plaque gifted by Dr. Joseph K. Chang. It was an honor igniting the hard work and dedication each dance program has placed into the successful event.
With that being said, Hsu finalizes, “Each year the crowd during the show gets larger and larger. The District Dance Festival has been an immense help toward educating the community of the importance of the fine arts.”