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South Jordan Journal

Bingham High Dance Company Season Closes with ‘Vision’ Showcase

Mar 28, 2017 09:55AM ● By Julie Slama

Bingham High Dance Company will end its season with the showcase, “Vision.” (Gina Terrell/Bingham High School)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Bingham High senior Katie Hedman said her mother put her in a dance class when she was little.

“I think my mom put me in dance class to get rid of all the energy I had,” said the Bingham Dance Company president. “I did baby ballet and tap and just loved it. I competed on teams at studios and then, I joined the Dance Company here at Bingham.”

Senior and co-vice president Jade Kilgore had a similar experience: “I started dancing at age 5 and have never stopped and have never wanted to,” she said.

These girls and 28 others will perform together one last time in 18 dances at the season-end, two-hour showcase, “Vision,” at 7 p.m., Friday, April 27,;Saturday, April 28; and Monday, May 1 in the Bingham High School auditorium, 2160 West South Jordan Parkway. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door.

Their season kicks off in May with auditions followed quickly by a four-day USA dance camp in June in Davis County.

“The girls literally dance all day long,” Dance Company teacher Gina Terrell said about the camp. “It’s their first big thing they do together.”

During the summer, the officers — Katie, Jade and co-vice president Maddie Ruesch — choreograph a routine that the team learns and performs throughout the year. This year, they took their dance theme for the year, “Vision,” and created a motivational dance inspired by famous quotes.

“The officers also take the underclassmen under their wing and bond with them through sleepovers, barbecues and attending school functions together,” Terrell said.

During the school year, the Dance Company rotates halftime of football games with the drill team and marching band.

“We usually trade off between two hip-hop dances and our opening number. Sometimes, if the game is on or near Halloween, we’ll create a Halloween dance that is fun for the company as well as the crowd,” Terrell said.

In October, the Dance Company also performs at the region concert, where they perform as well as see other dance companies throughout the district dance.

“We get to see what they’re doing and see how we can improve our own dances, themes and choreography,” Terrell said.

In December, the Dance Company helps with True Blue, a schoolwide effort to give to people in the community who might need assistance for the holidays.

“The girls perform a Christmas dance, and then Man Co., a boys dance team, will dance together with the girls before finishing the performance,” Terrell said.

For the winter showcase, Terrell asks each student to choreograph a one-minute piece and audition for parts. From there, 10 student-written choreographed pieces are selected and dancers are selected for those pieces.

“This year’s theme was ‘High School Musical,’ and it was so much fun. We packed the house,” Katie said.

The winter showcase also included the Tiny Dance Company, where young girls, age 3 to 15, learned a routine in one day to perform at the concert.

“It’s a fun opportunity for them and a fundraiser for our Dance Company,” Terrell said.

The fundraising effort was for their late-January Southern California tour, where the Dance Company and ballroom dancers from the school took five master classes at The Edge dance studio in Los Angeles. They learned several dances such as the Cha Cha and Fox Trot and spent time practicing contemporary, hip-hop, ballet, tap and African routines. They also performed at Disneyland’s California Adventure.

The girls, being outside with the sun in their eyes, said they learned how to adjust to performing in a different environment.

In March, the Dance Company performed at the Utah High School Dance Festival at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah. They also performed at many other festivals and workshops throughout the year.

Now, as their season draws to a close, some of them are realizing it may be a turning point of their dancing careers.

“I’d like to teach,” Katie said. “Choreographing is my favorite part because I like to create dances that express yourself—show stories that words can’t tell. I feel like so much of my high school is built around dance. I was blessed that the seniors embraced us when we first came, and that welcoming feeling, that continued love and support is special. I feel as if I’m not only losing a place I come to feel safe and comfortable, but I’m losing my sisters I’ve grown so close to.”

Jade said she’s open to taking some dance classes at college and has appreciated learning leadership skills this year.

“I’ve learned how to teach others, how to communicate and deal with problems,” she said.

Maddie, who said she has learned to be better organized, said she would like to continue performing.

“I want to keep dancing,” she said. “I love being part of a team, so whether I’m taking a master class or choreographing, I want to embrace more dance and keep performing. It’s what I love to do.”