By Mary O’KEEFE
“5 … 6 … 7 … 8” A familiar countdown for dancers everywhere, but for the Crescenta Valley High School Dance Dept., it signals that it’s time to put on the final touches for the upcoming school program, “So You Think You Can Dance?”
The performance is based on the television program of the same name.
“Without the judges,” said Jacqueline Tsangi, a junior at the school and co-assistant director for the performance.
The dancers began working on their production in mid-December. Dancers Tim Kim and Roy Park, both juniors, have been in dance for two years. One of their dances is a unique blend of hip-hop and jazz.
The dances are choreographed to highlight the talents of the dancers, Tsangi said.
The opening and closing dances, along with the dance just after intermission, are choreographed by CVHS dance teacher Fredda Manzo and CVHS alumni Grace Shirvani and Rubina Vartanians.
All styles of dance are celebrated in the program including hip-hop, Latin, jazz and contemporary.
The process from concept to stage was not a simple one. The dancers first are told to come up with a choreography that highlights their talents.
“Every student [creates] a dance by themselves,” Tsangi said.
The student can choreograph a solo or can invite other dancers to join them. The students then audition in front of the two assistant directors, Tsangi and senior Alexa Sivazlian, and Manzo.
“After the [auditions], we go into the [dance] office and discuss the dances we saw,” Tsangi said.
They all have their favorites, Tsangi said, but they review all the dances looking for the ones that will best highlight each dancers’ talent.
Tsangi added that she loves to dance and does not plan to stop once she attends college.
The show is a celebration of dance and dancer. Performances are at CVHS at the MacDonald Auditorium in the 4400 block of Ramsdell Avenue at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are sold at the door for $10 for adults and $5 for students. The proceeds benefit the CVHS dance program.