By GABRIELLE SHIOZAWA
Moapa Valley Progress
Echoes of laughter, the pattering of feet, and fast-paced pop music filled Moapa Valley High School’s Gary Batchelor gymnasium last week as the Pirate Motion Dance Team held its annual Junior Dance Camp. This program, led by MVHS dance coach Angie Lee for the past seven years, serves as both a team fundraiser and a way to reach out to young dancers in the community.
The three-day camp was open to all elementary school-aged children. More than two dozen young dancers attended.
After warming up as a group each day, the children dispersed into four age groups: preschool, kindergarten/first grade, second/third grades, and fourth/fifth grades. Once in their groups they learn individualized jazz-style routines choreographed by the Pirate Motion dancers.
Learning moves, playing get-to-know-you games, messing around, and eating snacks, of course, all led to an easy-going and fun-filled environment for all involved.
“Junior Dance Camp is my favorite!” commented Pirate Motion dancer Ashlynn McClure. “The little girls pick up on the dances so fast. I’m really impressed. I love watching them perform! It makes it all worth it.”
“When we work with the little girls, we get the experience of teaching and connecting with younger children with something we’re passionate about,” added Rebecca Rebman, a junior. “It’s so much fun, and they’re always so positive! I love their creativity and their craving for knowledge.”
The Junior Dance Camp culminated in an exciting opportunity for all of its participants. It was a chance to perform alongside the Pirates in their annual Dance Revue.
This year’s Revue theme was based on the December 2017 musical blockbuster film “The Greatest Showman.” The event’s elaborate backdrop was modeled after a circus, complete with a clown motif, balloons, and a red-and-white striped tent draped over the stage. Several dances performed by Pirate Motion were set to songs from the film’s soundtrack, as well.
The Revue began with an original “Flashlight Dance” choreographed by Angie Lee. The gymnasium was blackened while Pirate Motion performed an impressive, fast-moving regimen to the song “The Greatest Show”. The Pirates went on to perform several jazz, hip-hop, and military-style dances, as well as a “captain’s dance,” the Cha-Cha, and a Viennese waltz.
In between these performances, the Junior Dance Camp attendees made appearances, as well as the middle school dance team, Lyon Locomotion, and the Virgin Valley V.V. Ettes.
Local black belts Garrett German and Joshua Lee also treated the audience to a karate performance.
“I love the dance team!” said Rebecca Rebman. “I have a really good relationship with all the girls on the team, and it’s really fun to team-build together. Dancing has always been a passion of mine, and it’s been such a good experience.”
“When I first came into dance, I was kind of scared, just because I was the youngest and didn’t think I would be good enough,” remarked freshman dancer Elizabeth Williams. “But this team has made it so much fun, and I have never felt so welcome. It’s been amazing.”
Norwegian exchange student Ingvild Saeteroy added, “I absolutely loved being a part of the dance team. It was so much fun and the girls were amazing. I am forever grateful for having had this opportunity!”
Pirate Motion has put on a plethora of powerful performances over the years, but this was truly their “Greatest Show.”