Preparing to 'Release'

Prospect's Orchesis group danced its way onto the stage last week with their show "Release" (Photo courtesy of Kathleen Spicer).
Prospect's Orchesis group danced its way onto the stage last week with their show "Release" (Photo courtesy of Kathleen Spicer).

By Tim Angerame
Staff Writer

Orchesis has recently wrapped up their season with a three day showing of “Release.” Orchesis has been practicing since November to make the show happen.

The performances were completely original, with music and dance routines picked by the members. In October, a voting system took place on which songs should be choreographed. Members usually pick what they believe are the best and most inspirational songs.

Orchesis director and dancer Morgan Deihs said that a typical practice lasts from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. After the transition to stage, practices are held on Fridays as well. There are two all-day Saturday rehearsals in the weeks before the show. On Wednesdays or Thursdays, practice extends to 8:30 p.m. to practice adagio, a dance with male volunteers, who only need to be strong enough to lift the girls to participate.

During every half hour, two groups of girls practice their respective routines in the commons and dance room separately. Girls who aren’t in the routine use the break to do homework.

“You really have to manage your time well when not in dance,” Deihs said.

Out of the 28 girls in Orchesis, 16, including Deihs, also have Poms from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., which makes dance scheduling more of a challenge.

After winter break, an act of the show is practiced every other day. Two weeks before the show, both acts are practiced in a day making some rehearsals last until 9 p.m. Senior Rose George said that the most difficult part of the process is the transition from practice to stage.

“We weren’t used to being on stage. It was stressful at first,” George said. “It was difficult at first, but we worked really hard, and everything worked out.”

Although it seems like hard work, the members of Orchesis have a great time. George has been in Orchesis for three years, but she has been involved in dance for 12 years. She joined Orchesis because she likes to perform. Her favorite experience in Orchesis is dancing backstage before the show starts with all her “Orchesisters.”

Orchesis’ newer members are also happy that they joined.

“I. Love. Orchesis. So. Much,” freshman Stephanie Kries said. “It’s my favorite activity that I joined this year. I would marry it if I could.”

Kries likes the welcoming attitudes of the older members but at first was stressed out about living up to their expectations.

In the future, she looks forward to choreographing a dance herself.

“It keeps getting better every year.” George said. “Every year we try to beat the last show.”