“For The People”: A century in one performance

The Dance Team closes the Winter Dance Concert with Black and Gold.

Photo provided by Rose Doss

The Dance Team closes the Winter Dance Concert with ‘Black and Gold’.

Throughout Reynolds’ history, there have been proms, dress code reforms, legacies, and so much more. This year marks the 100th year of Reynolds. The Winter Dance Concert celebrated this milestone with the theme, “For the People,” showing a series of dances, chronologically laying out Reynolds’s history. 

    Reynolds has turned one hundred and the dance team wanted to find a way to produce a concert that portrayed those years to the public. 

    “The meaning behind the dance concert was the people of Reynolds and the history of Reynolds,” senior Cailen Schaefer said. 

    The concert represented a multitude of students from different backgrounds and ethnicities. The theme was interpreted in many different ways. 

    “For The People means showing everyone who’s a part of Reynolds and a part of Winston-Salem on the stage,” senior Chloe Rivera said. “We had people who were freshmen and sophomores; we also had people of different races and ethnicities, and different sexualities, and I think that everyone needs to be shown on the stage.”

    No matter who you are or where you come from, there will always be a place at Reynolds and on the stage for expression and talent. Audience members felt the importance of the theme and found ways that each dance implemented it. 

    “I loved the dance about Gwendolen Bailey, that story is one of my favorites of Winston-Salem history” Courtney Tuck, parent of an RJR dancer, said. “I loved the blue sky and talking about different types of people, I enjoyed the inclusivity and the variety.”

    Getting ready for the Winter Dance concert was a process for the whole team, and that process was long and treacherous for the dancers. Getting through sickness, dancers’ block, and choreography was not easy. 

    “For the dance four class, we worked on ‘Black and Gold’ since the first month of school because we had a performance for All County,” Rivera said. “So, we have had that dance done and perfected for a while, but we also had to work on our small groups and our big opening pieces; it took a lot of group effort. A lot of the kids in the class got sick and it took a lot of teamwork. It was also a lot of getting to know everyone personally and not just stepping over people.”

Photo provided by Rose Doss

    The choreography was mostly student-directed, which made most of the concert student-led. This was different from the past years. The dance teachers gave freedom to their students and trusted them, putting the fate of the concert in the students’ hands. 

    “Most of the dances are student choreographed and the teachers will add the little snippets that they like,” Schaefer said. “They set the moves, they know what they want us to do in their mind and then we just create the dance.” 

    Both dance teachers, Ms. Hailey and Ms. Price, prepared their dance team this year in many ways. Making sure to highlight the seniors was a must, but also keeping high expectations for all the students, leading a new generation after graduation. 

    “In my group, it’s a lot of seniors, most of it was, ‘This is your last year, make it your all, and even if you think you look bad, you don’t. Give it your all and if you want to do something, let me know, and I’ll put it in, I’ll do all this stuff for you’ [Ms. Hailey] was just very helpful for us, and she’s done a lot for us,” Rivera said.  

    The audience overwhelmingly enjoyed the dances, erupted with applause after each dance, and there was a smile on every face as they watched every new dance being performed. 

    “I think that it was fabulous that the students were the directors, I thought it was a great performance,” Tuck said. 

    “Very successful and extremely well done, the musicality and the dancing, all of it,” audience member JoAnne Dahl said.

    The Winter Dance Concert was beautifully inclusive and effective in showing the overall theme, “For the People”, and gave tribute to the 100th year of Reynolds successfully. There were different genres of dancing, music, and different grades, overall making a riveting performance. The show ended with ‘Black and Gold’; showing Reynold’s true colors, what makes this school special, and the place everyone wants to be.