Dancing Through Stages of Metamorphosis


Illustrated by Alexa Druyanoff

Vasilia Yordanova

Upper school dance students performed in the contemporary dance concert “Metamorphosis: A Celebration of Transformation,” on March 11-13.

 Dancer Cherry Li ’22 said the show is titled “Metamorphosis” to showcase the transformation and improvement of the dancers and choreographers. 

“We wanted to tell the audience about our story of growing up and our growth as dancers,” Li said. “A lot of us are seniors, [so] we thought [‘Metamorphosis’] would be a fitting theme when we are about to go into this big transition in our lives. We also wanted the audience to connect with [and find] the idea of growth and transformations in their own lives.” 

Li said the majority of her preparation for the show entailed practicing the dances her classmates choreographed. 

“Since I was not a student choreographer, I mainly played the part of learning dances,” Li said. “I tried my hardest to truly embody my choreographers’ vision of the dance while throwing in some personality with my movement quality.”

Li said that she enjoyed performing on stage and that she was pleased to see her classmates’ work come together for the show. 

“It feels really great to be back on stage again,” Li said. “I can easily see the hard work everyone has put into the show, so I hope our stories were able to reach our audience as well.”

Upper School Dance Teacher Quela Clancy said the show was canceled March 12 because a dancer tested positive for COVID-19, which caused several changes to the show’s original program.

“[Canceling the performance because of [COVID-19] meant we had to restage parts of the show,” Clancy said. “The positive perspective however, is that it allowed the dancers to exercise the words perseverance, accountability and understanding [in light of the cancellation].” 

Clancy, who directed and choreographed for the concert, said she also participated in one of the student performances. 

“I served as the concert director and faculty choreographer,” Clancy said. “I also had a featured role in ‘Two Sides of The Comb.’ The work was a solo performed by Olivia Sparks ’22 celebrating and addressing different perspectives of Black hair.” 

Clancy said giving the choreographers and dancers agency in their work allowed students to fully express themselves through the production.

“While working with the student choreographers, I avoid being too involved with their creative process because I do not want my voice to come through their work,” Clancy said. 

Dancer Mateo Ahmad ’23 said he enjoyed experiencing his peers’ excitement right before they performed on stage.

“My favorite part of performing was the energy everybody had,” Ahmad said. “Backstage to get out the jitters, everyone was doing little dances and joking around and it just made it a really fun atmosphere. That made it really easy to have a positive outlook onstage and have fun with the choreography.”

Ahmad said he appreciated all the hard work the choreographers and dancers put into the performance because it helped everyone do their best.

“I think my favorite thing about the show was the quality of all of the dancers around me,” Ahmad said. “For starters, the choreography they made was so innovative. But also, having everyone around you makes you try to incorporate [an interesting movement] you see into your own dancing.”

Dancer and choreographer Cory Porter ’22 said she savored the chance to collaborate with her friends as a senior. 

“My favorite part about performing [was] the company of dancers who I performed with,” Porter said. “I have been dancing with most of these people since seventh grade, and it has been really special to create this final show with them.”