The Choreography Behind Orchesis


The Orchesis group’s full company freshman through senior class Photo provided by Amber Jones

Victoria Lozano, Staff Reporter

Once a year, Grayslake Central allows student dancers to perform dances that they choose called the Orchesis performance. The dancers perfectly execute their choreography within a couple of months of preparation due to  their dedication and discipline. Having many different dance styles  including jazz, hip hop, contemporary, theatrical, tap, pointe, and many more, which bring creativity to the performance.  

     Choreography as a whole could take hours to even months to create and perfect. For example, Jenny Bareca, a guest choreographer for orchesis who is also a Grayslake Central alumni, said her piece took a couple of months to fully create. Orchesis choreographers spend that time researching songs, finding inspiration, creating movements, tricks, and even finding the perfect costumes and settings for their pieces. 

     Erin Brady, a student choreographer, and Orchesis dancer had to go through the same process when creating her lyrical piece. She was also able to use her past dancing experience to aid her when creating the dance. Brady said “I have learned a lot about movement quality and how dancing isn’t always flashy tricks. I have also learned to pick choreography up fast so I can remember what I have so far.” 

     The most difficult process for most choreographers isn’t creating the dance, but teaching it instead. Bareca said “I think I struggled because it’s a really intense process since you have four hours to set an entire dance and that’s it. So that puts a little pressure on me to be prepared with all the material and to come in with everything ready to go while making decisions quickly.”  After the choreography is taught it is all up to the dancers from there on. The dancers are in charge of making the dance their own by implementing their technique, style, and hard work. Each dancer always brings their own talent to the table while still dancing as one. 

     This year’s Orchesis dancers are working very hard for their 2023 Orchesis show. Orchesis sponsor Amber Jones said  “I was really impressed with the girls and how prepared they were. They pretty much were done with all their choreography in the first three rehearsals. Which was very impressive.” 

     Jones has been the sponsor of orchesis for 7 years since 2005. 

She explained how all the girls anticipate the show and performing for audiences because of the accumulation of every part from the lights, costumes, and the dances they have been practicing so hard for. The ability to display their talent in front of audiences is what the girls look forward to. 

     “This group that I have has been the most talented dancers technique-wise that I’ve had in a really long time,” Jones stated. However, one of the biggest obstacles that come around each year according to Jones is the conflicting schedules that each dancer and teachers have. 

    Jones encourages students to support the dancers and the production of the performance by coming and viewing their talent. The hard work seems to be paying off and is very exciting to hear that from our Grayslake dancers.