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Spirit Week 2019: One for the Books

Freshmen Margo Kaye as Boo (right) and Grant Thompson as Sully dance together in the finale. Photo: Fred Assaf

(L-R) Lead sophomores Gus Thomas, Maggie Jenkins, Elizabeth Kaye and Logan Baker hype the crowd up. Photo: Fred Assaf

(L-R) Juniors Mbiti Williams, Everett O’Gorman and Will Rehmert participated in the Friday morning dance. Photo: Fred Assaf

(L-R) Seniors Jared Rayman, Gillian Weitzner and Holland Carlton lead the finale. Photo: Fred Assaf

Freshmen:

While audiences generally hold low expectations for the freshman class, the class of 2022 put on an impressive show with their theme “Monsters, Inc.” The freshmen are only given $500 to spend on supplies and costumes, but they did a fantastic job despite this. Their courtyard decorations, including monsters drawn in chalk were certainly on par with, if not better than, past freshman classes. The small amount of white space on the banner did not detract from its spectacular and intricate portrayals of the lead characters in “Monsters, Inc.” including Sully, Mike and Roz.

The freshmen did a good job with the decor, but they did an even better job on their dance. With more facial expressions and more complicated formations in future years, the class of 2022 is sure to leave an impression on its audience. This year, the dances were well-coordinated and featured creative and fun movements.

The crowd loved Margo Kaye’s dance moves in the center of her classmates during the opening dance as she played the role of Boo. The audience also erupted as Benjamin Chern, playing Fungus, jumped from lying down into a backbend. The colorful costumes were a nice addition to the overall good performance of the freshman class. The freshmen have a lot of potential and have already created a reputation to live up to in their coming years.

Sophomores:

Last year, the Class of 2021 had a rocky start to their Spirit Week due to technical difficulties with the music and their dancing not being synchronized to the beats of the songs. This year, however, the sophomores bounced back as their theme, “Space Jam,” and their performance, was well liked by the  audience.

Earlier in the week, the sophomores filled the cafeteria with decorations that included basketball-painted tables and “Space Jam” posters with references from the 1996 film, bringing their theme to life.

The sophomore’s banner perfectly depicted Michael Jordan, Bugs Bunny and the evil “Monstars.” Everything leading up to the actual performance was typical for a sophomore class, but their dance exceeded the student body’s expectations.

The dance was filled with flips and acrobatic stunts by Maggie Jenkins and Robert Houser that left the audience in awe. Logan Baker played Michael Jordan in the skit, incorporating his own modern dance moves with slick basketball plays that kept the crowd dancing along. Along with a bounce back performance from last year, the sophomores got the crowd laughing as Baker and Gus Thomas twerked.

The choreography was at its best during the dance battle, when the main characters split into two teams and took turns showing off their fresh moves. Everyone was precisely on beat and no one made a mistake. The sophomores overall performed a fairly ordinary Spirit Week as far as the types of dances, but their lead performers catapulted them to another level.

Juniors:

A small glitch in the music didn’t stop the juniors from doing a great job this Spirit Week, even with the slightly basic theme of “High School Musical.” After decorating Inman with lots of posters and lights, the juniors made Pace Academy look a bit like East High.

While some costumes resembled regular clothes and pieces of the dance’s choreography were straight from the movie version of “High School Musical,” the junior class is full of good dancers and the class appeared to have put a lot of work into both their morning and afternoon dances. The afternoon performance received lots of applause following Hayden Sample’s backflip and lots of laughter as Davis Futrell excelled at playing Ms. Darbus, which were just two of the highlights of the coordinated dances.

The juniors also did an excellent job with their first video, making even the sleep-deprived seniors laugh out loud on Friday morning. The biggest successes of the video were the up-close shots of random bystanders’ reactions as the juniors danced through the mall, and a great reenactment of Evan Duncan being friend-zoned.

Although the juniors put good effort into their performances and video, it was their banner that made them stand out. The lead characters were painted nearly perfectly and were placed in front of a beautiful background filled with light as well as different iconic scenes from the movie. With such an impressive banner this year, audiences will be eager to see what the juniors come up with next year.

Seniors:

Most every year the senior class gives the best performance out of the four grades. Despite this regularity, the Class of 2019 has excelled way beyond every grade during their time in the Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School. Although their theme, “Super Mario Bros.,” was exposed earlier than expected, they did not fail to perform at the highest level. They portrayed the classic levels of the game accurately from Rainbow Road, to “Mario Kart,” to Bowser’s Castle, as well as a scare from Donkey Kong.

The entire dance was filled with comedic scenes, beginning with seniors Charlie Hirsch and Emily Pulver sitting down to play “Mario Bros,” then trying to rescue Princess Peach, played by Holland Carlton, and return her back to Mario and Luigi, played by Brogan Smith and Jared Rayman, respectively. The Class of 2019 consistently has had the best choreography, thanks to the hard work and talent of senior Gillian Weitzner.

Weitzner drew tremendous reactions from the crowd when she isolated herself from the group and did her well-known robot dance. The finale dance was one of the best, specifically because each student was on beat and their dance steps were well coordinated. For those with a birds eye view from the stands, the seniors depicted the numbers 2019 with their bodies on the dance floor. The Class of 2019 will truly be missed and it will be tough for any class competing in future Spirit Weeks to top their performances.


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