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How is dance perceived at Westside?

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Dance can be defined in many ways and can be artistically shown in various methods. To some, dancing is a way for them to express themselves with no room for judgement. To others, dance is simply a leisure activity. Not only is dance perceived in numerous ways, but with it comes contrastive styles that ranges from ballet to break dancing. Our very own Westside High School is a prime example of different styles coming together under one big dance program.

Here at Westside there are two different teams: a precision drill team and a coed dance company. Both are award winning teams that express different styles and perspectives of dance. Inertia Dance Company, which is the coed dance team under the direction of Bryan Paule and Ty’esha Lewis, consists of girls trained in the traditional dance forms of ballet, modern and jazz, with boys who specialize in the street styles of breaking’ (break dance), house, popping and locking. The Company displays a style and a feel of their own. Inertia has performed all throughout the Houston area and are even recognized around the country.The Pride Drill team, under the direction of Brooke DeMartino, is a group of talented girls that are trained in jazz, ballet and much more. This precision drill team never disappoints as they are seen at all of our football games and pep rallies during their pre-competition season.

Inertia members Euriah, Erin and Brenda

Inertia members Euriah, Erin and Brenda

Because Pride and Inertia both have their own identities, we decided to ask our peers and Dance 1 students what their insight is on the two dance teams. Tenth grader, Nicole Bazon, described pride as “being school spirited and more jazzy. Pride’s movements are also very technical.” Inertia, on the other hand, was described as “a team who is more into hip-hop dancing.” Similarly, 10th grader Fryda Mendez provided her opinion on the two teams. “Pride is to promote school spirit while Inertia is more hip hop.”

After conducting a few more interviews, it was safe to say that these two dance teams were separated into two distinct styles– Inertia being hip-hop based and Pride being a “school-spirited” team. But is that necessarily true? To a fresh pair of eyes, perhaps. But to the dancers of both Pride and Inertia, they had more to say.

Two year Inertia veteran, Brenda Almanza, says, “Inertia is a dance company where both girls and boys are able to express themselves through interpretative movements. We may be known as a hip-hop team, but both the girls and boys do other styles such as contemporary and jazz.”

Pride officer, Alexis Hooper, expressed her view on what Pride really is. “Pride is a competitive dance team. Our dance styles consist of modern, hip-hop, jazz and lyrical. Not only do we perform at football games, but we also compete during the spring.”

Pride officer Alexis Hooper (middle front row) dancing with fellow Pride members

Pride officer Alexis Hooper (middle front row) dancing with fellow Pride members

Despite the differences between the two dance teams, we did come across a common thread during the interviews. After asking them to describe their dance team, we decided to ask the controversial question, “What is dance?” Interestingly enough, each dancer described dance as “a personal escape.” All of the dancers explained how dance is simply a freedom of expression through movement and how it is a stress reliever. This allowed us to see that even though the teams may differ, their love for dance has no contrast as they both represent Westside’s dance program.

 

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How is dance perceived at Westside?