Poly Student Ambassador Blog: Virtual Dance With Sabrina Z.

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By Sabrina Z. '23

The pandemic has shifted all forms of learning, especially the performing arts. In place of the big mirrors and raked stages are our living room floors and bedroom carpets. But even in our own spaces, Ms. Pigneri, our dance instructor, has made the most of the situation we’re in and compiled a set of combos that cover a variety of styles. 

Dance 4 has finished a jazz combo and has started the lyrical unit of the semester. The detailed choreography gives me an opportunity to focus on my shortcomings as a dancer, and I can’t wait for our hip hop, musical theatre, and ballet combos. To further our engagement in class, dancers are encouraged to write journal reflections and give feedback on each other’s performances. I’m really grateful for the work Ms. Pigneri has put into our lesson plans to improve our technique. 

We start classes with a 10-minute warm-up, one that best prepares us for the specific style of dance we’ll learn, and spend the rest of class learning counts and running pieces with music. I always look forward to dance class, especially since the exercise gives me a break from sitting in a chair for virtual classes. While there is a lag on Zoom, Ms. Pigneri has provided recordings to learn and review offline so we’re always prepared for the next class. 

Likewise, student choreographers have put a lot of effort into their dance concert pieces. Students in Dance 1-4 dedicate their time outside of school hours to learn additional dances choreographed by their peers, Ms. Pigneri, or even alumni. Student choreographers demonstrate their pieces from multiple angles at different paces in order to match the detailed in-person learning experience back at school, and I think I’ve actually danced more in the past few months at home than I have before quarantine! 

We’re all working hard for an exciting event coming soon. Ms. Pigneri, student choreographers, and other performing arts faculty have collaborated to transform Poly’s annual dance and theatre show into one live-streamed concert called, “Awakenings.” Stay tuned for yet another amazing Poly production!