The bell rings, signifying the start of second period. Students file into the dance room, which is cut off from the rest of the gym by worn out brown dividers. A long mirror, marked with fingerprints, stretches across the room and reflects the row of student dancers, who begin to pick up the pace, moving and contorting their bodies faster to the blaring music, moving as one.
The Dance Academy is one of many elective programs within Francis Lewis High School. Students learn all types of dance styles and techniques, including Caribbean, hip-Hop, and jazz. The classes take place in the morning and afternoon, and are filled with both male and They practice techniques and skills as well as competing in dance academy to improve their dancing skills.
“Being able to move their bodies differently, their growth has been so immense,” dance instructor Ms. Franza said. “Every time I think of [the] academy I just think how impressed I am by all of them.”
Ms. Franza was originally only supposed to teach an English, but now teaches a dance class in the morning and English in the afternoon.
“I was happy,” Ms. Franza added. “At my last school I was able to [teach] English and dance because I have both licenses. “I was excited to do it again. It’s the best thing ever.”
The Dance Academy also holds auditions for its old and new students, assessing their skills and placing them in the correct class at the correct level. They place students in different levels so that they can flourish in the next year. The Dance Academy holds these auditions on June 12, 13 and 14th from 9:30-2:30. The Dance academy starts classes when school starts at the beginning of the school year.
“It was kind of scary because personally I’m not really great at individual auditions,” junior Daniel Abdurakhmanov said. “I get really anxious, but everyone in the class already knew everyone so it kind of took away the anxiety I had.”
The students and teachers of Dance academy work hard to improve their skills as dancers. They work hard to be able to dance in sync with the music and to get their dances down to perfection. They are able to gain more experiences and are able to become better dancers through their persistence.
“It’s not that difficult,” sophomore Isabella Arrua said. “You have to be able to push yourself and to go outside your comfort zone to be able to get yourself to become a better dancer and be at a better place.”