Show them what you got

Wylie East Dance Company performs at their first showcase


photo credit: Mallory Hatch

Strike a pose \\ After weeks of auditioning, the 2022-2023 Wylie East Dance Company performs at their first showcase Dec 3. “We perform a wide area of styles from modern, jazz, and ballet to hip-hop,” junior Jade Banks (center) said.

writer: Gloria Olajimi, Editor-in-Chief

They mold melodies into physical displays, designing a gallery of pop-and-lock, relève, spins, steps and leaps. They sow sound into stories, sweeping the crowd off their feet. They reach within themselves, letting their passion, talent and hard work let loose as they perform at the Wylie East Dance Choreographers Showcase Dec. 3. 


“Personally for me, I enjoy dance because of the amount of skill and emotion that is needed to create art,” senior Sophia Luu said. “These aspects helped me grow as a dancer and a person.”


Led by Director Stephanie Jackson, the Wylie East Dance Company (WEDC) is a non-competitive organization created to nurture the talents and aspirations of student dancers. 


“It is our desire to instill an appreciation of dance in our students, while encouraging them to seek a level of creativity and self-expression that can only come through dance,” Mrs. Jackson said. 


Unlike the dance class, WEDC is a space for students serious about performance as well as interested in creating pieces. 


“The Dance Company is held to higher standards,” junior Jade Banks said. “We must be dressed, warmed up, and ready to listen and learn new choreography.”


Students prepared for the upcoming Wylie East Dance Choreographers Showcase by attending frequent rehearsals, whether they were held during dance class, lunchtime, or before school. 

I enjoyed showing the audience our hard work, and getting to dance around the people I consider family

— Jade Banks, junior

“I joined the company to express myself through dance, and I get to work among amazing dancers who work well together,” senior Taylor Oates said. 


The showcase was held in the auditorium and comprised of a total of nine performances, three of the nine performed by WEDC.


“I enjoyed showing the audience our hard work, and getting to dance around the people I consider family,” Banks said.


They performed three pieces: a jazz piece entitled “Energy”, “I Won’t Complain” choreographed by Southern Methodist University student dancer Sebastian Garcia and a contemporary piece entitled “I Lived” choreographed by Mrs. Jackson.


“Each of the dances are heavily influenced by the music, as well as the skill level of the dancers,” Mrs. Jackson said. “I always aim to create choreography that allows dancers to feel accomplished and proud of what they have shared with the audience.”


The showcase was only the start of an eventful year for WEDC. Upcoming attractions for the organization include the WEDC Spring Concert and collaborations with the Wylie East Percussion as well as the Wylie High School Dance Department for Celebrate the Arts. Students also look forward to performing at the Gaylord Dance Convention where they will have the privilege to watch and participate in choreography taught at the convention. 


“To me, this opportunity will be an amazing experience and great insight into how to improve our team,” Luu said. “I cannot wait to experience my first dance convention, and will love to be able to bond more with my teammates.”