Dance Focus sambas for audience

Liza Rodler

Adorned in feathered head-dresses, flowing white fabric, and vibrant colors, the Dance Focus class took the stage last Wednesday through Saturday in four of their semi-annual performances.

Comprised of approximately 25 dancers, Dance Focus is a night class that studies and practices a variety of dance styles. The class performs during EPiC’s One Acts at the end of every semester, and occasionally at rallies and other school events.

This semester, the class performed an Afro-Brazilian samba that reenacted a Brazilian parade.

“The dance represents when African slaves were brought over to Brazil, bringing their culture with them,” said junior Suhaila Sikand, who has been performing with Dance Focus for three years.

The dance opened with students performing as different gods and goddesses, each representing an element or aspect of life, such as the ocean, wisdom, and beauty.

This semester, in addition to Afro-Brazilian samba, Dance Focus also studied jazz and hip-hop routines choreographed by the guest artists that provide instruction for each unit, according to junior Marnie Ginis.

Junior Ben Brazee, one of the two male students in Dance Focus, said his favorite part of the class is the camaraderie formed between performers.

“The audience always changes, but the performers stay, so they mean something more to you,” he said.
According to Brazee, he initially decided to participate in Dance Focus because the dancing looked difficult, and he appreciates a challenge.

Sikand, who said she has practiced dance styles ranging from Indian to Latin to Broadway during her time in Dance Focus, said her favorite style was a West-African style from Ghana that included percussion and singing.