The John I. Smith K-8 Center Dance Team recently participated in regional dance competitions such as Dance Xplosion and is currently preparing for their next endeavor which is StarPower and Nextstar nationals in Orlando. Under the direction of Ms. Sonia Esquenazi, the dance team has prepared jazz, musical theatre and contemporary dances that have won first place in their specific category and in the overall category. This year’s top scoring routine, Adrenalina, was a jazz fusion piece highlighting the Latin American culture. The Dance Team allows students to audition in the Spring time and work together over the summer, during class and after school to create these dances and perform them at school events, fundraisers for charity and various competitions throughout the year.
This year the group will be performing a contemporary piece at Nationals choreographed by Ronald Reagan High School Senior and Silver Knights nominee, Emily Abboud. Ms. Abboud has been an essential part of the middle school dance program from its inception. As a former member of the team, Emily has volunteered her time and services during high school to teach contemporary dance and it has earned her a prestigious choreography award for her work last season.
Their teacher, Ms. Esquenazi affords students the opportunity to advance not only their dance technique in different genres but also it instills the confidence to discover and develop in other areas of fine arts such as choreography and acting. Several 8th grade team members have been accepted to magnet schools specializing in dance for the 2018-2019 academic school year. Although, these dancers will be missed, the John I. Smith K-8 Family is very proud of their accomplishments. This program has grown and evolved into what it is today because of so many special individuals that are involved in making it a success.
Former students who volunteer their time and expertise, parents and community members who sponsor and help coordinate events as well as the John I. Smith administrators and PTSA members who give all school teams their full support. The John I. Smith K-8 Dance Team is always displaying an upward trajectory and that is a solid affirmation of the hard work and dedication of so many.