Steamboat Springs High School Dance Showcase features 90 dancers, 19 pieces |

Steamboat Springs High School Dance Showcase features 90 dancers, 19 pieces

Steamboat Springs High School students practice "Country Commotion" for the 15th annual Dance Showcase.John F. Russell

Editor’s Note: This story has been changed from its original version, to reflect that Shelby Dyer is a senior at The Lowell Whiteman School.

It played out like a scene from a high school movie: boys in flat-brim hats, girls with flowing curls, pop-hip-hop blasting from the speakers and a painful love story of breaking up and making up emerging between each of the seven couples.

It wasn't real, but the dancers on the Steamboat Springs High School stage Tuesday night had all felt relationship turmoil before.

Shelby Dyer, a senior at The Lowell Whiteman School, choreographed the dance for this weekend’s 15th annual Dance Showcase. Dyer said she was inspired by the music and the high school romances playing out in the halls before her eyes.

"It's really important to be able to express ourselves in that way," Dyer said about choreographing and dancing in the showcase. "It's a way to get out there what is necessary to get out, and it's sometimes hard in that (school) environment."

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"Dream On," set to "Just a Dream" by Nelly, is one of 19 pieces in the showcase, a production produced, directed, choreographed and danced by high school girls.

It opens at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Steamboat Springs High School auditorium, and there will be shows Friday and Saturday nights at the same time. Tickets are available at the high school and All That Jazz and are $8 for students, $10 for general admission and $12 for reserved seating.

The show is called "Pan­de­mon­ium," because, as the student directors and producers learned, coordinating 90 high school girls is no easy feat.

Each year, the four-person production team chooses the four rising seniors who will run the show the next year. This year's producers are Kate Rusk and Kendall Mc­Gill, and the directors are Hannah Ogden and Sophie Abate.

All of the girls said they put in hour after hour of work, from auditions and costumes to fine-tuning and final touches, but Abate said it was worth it.

"There's so many emotions you can put through dance," Abate said. "It's a chance for me to let go of things in my life. It's a great thing to share a piece that means a lot to you and for the audience to understand it."

Abate said she strongly connected to her piece, "Invisible," which depicts the lives of homeless people as the rest of the world walks by, oblivious.

"It shows the disconnect, and that everyone feels something and everyone is human," Abate said.

"She's always the one that makes us cry," Ogden added.

But not all the pieces have a heavy tone. "Pandemonium" stays true to its title, offering a chaotic assembly of dance styles. There are two belly dance pieces and two forays into African dance. Some dancers are in three or four pieces, making the changing areas seem like utter pandemonium as well, with set pieces, glittery costumes and masks all a part of the show.

But when the curtain rises Thursday, all of the hard work, endless rehearsals and stress about the production will dissipate.

Even pandemonium has a tendency toward what they call "collected chaos," the producers and directors learned.

Dyer said there were tough times along the way, but her attitude shone in her face as she ran through the dress rehearsal Tuesday.

"Now all my dances are amazing, and I stand on the side, and I can't help but smile because I'm so happy," she said.

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