The St. Joseph’s Academy dance department presented its annual fall concert on November 30 in two sold-out performances at the Manship Theatre. The show, Destinations, was choreographed by dance instructors Jade McCune and Alyse Carriere.
The program started with a pre-show performance by the Red Steppers and three senior solos by Kristian Williams, Maeve Zelden and Amelia Bradford. Then, students in Dance I-V performed two dances per class, with each number representing different cities or countries and their unique cultures.
“Wow, what a fun night,” McCune said. “We are so incredibly proud of the effort and energy these dancers put into the show. They were professional and a joy to watch. Through each dance, you could see how much fun the dancers were having, and the audience’s energy was unmatched.”
Carriere, who joined the SJA faculty at the start of the 2021-2022 academic year, said her first SJA dance show set the bar very high. “The dancers came alive,” she said. “I saw each and every one of my students embody their star qualities. That’s what this is all about for me, witnessing my students find confidence in themselves and having a blast on stage. On top of that, there was an overwhelming feeling of appreciation and gratitude from the parents and other audience members. That meant the world to me. Jade and I are so proud, and honestly, I’m eager to start working on the spring show already.”
Senior Bella Toncrey said that after the last two years’ shows were cancelled by the pandemic, it was a joy to perform in her first dance show since the fall of her freshman year. “It was great to be back on stage with my SJA dance family,” she said. “I enjoyed the theme and music of the show. It kept the performance and choreography upbeat, and I think the audience really connected with the show. Our teachers, Coach McCune and Coach C, did a great job with choreography and running the show. Coach C is a new teacher to St. Joseph’s, and I had a great time in her class and learning her choreography this semester.”
Sophomore Anna Claire Scott said it was an incredible evening, filled with energy and passion. “I could tell everyone just wanted to go out there and have fun,” she said. “I was overwhelmed by the love the show received from everyone I talked to. My mom and grandmother still have not stopped talking about how entertained they were. My grandfather, who does not know much about dance, told me that he could see everyone enjoying themselves on stage. We also had many friends show up to support us, which we really appreciated. It felt way too short, and I did not want it to be over. I am extremely proud of Coach McCune and Coach C for all the hard work that went into this show. I am so grateful for the whole experience.”
Senior Anna Plauche said that the two months of in-class work and preparation paid off in great performances. “No lie, everyone killed it,” she said. “The audience loved it, and I do not think they were expecting the show they got. For so many girls to get up on stage and showcase their own personal level of dancing was beautiful and very well received. Families and friends expressed how proud they were of all the dancers. Many guests also expressed their own desires to get up there and dance with us because they said everyone looked like they were having so much fun on stage, which we were.”
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine