By Morgan Oberwiler and Helee Shukla
On Friday, April 7, New Hyde Park Memorial High School performing teams kicked, stepped and twirled their hearts out as they presented their routines for their family and friends.
New Hyde Park’s student population enjoyed watching their peers perform their long-awaited routines. Friends and family gathered in the bleachers and watched as the groups revealed what they have been practicing for months.
“I really loved watching the groups perform. You can really see how much hard work and dedication went into these routines. My favorite were the steppers,” junior Julia Fulgieri said.
The showcase was a substitute for the school’s biannual pep rally, which was canceled from unpredictable weather. It would most likely have to be held indoors, and combined with the mask mandate being lifted, administration suggested having a smaller showcase in place of it. Performing teams choreographed, routined, and refined their steps starting from early morning meets to late afternoon rehearsals. Because of practice days being limited from the pandemic, the teams didn’t have nearly as much time to go over their steps as they had for previous seasons.
Source Andrew Jung and Birkkaren Singh
The Twirlers and Romanettes celebrate and take photos at their final school performance of the year.
However, the Twirlers, Romanettes and Step Team made it work with extra coordination and preparation.
“In preparation for the showcase, the twirling officers had to choose their song selections and choreograph their routines in record time. In previous years leading up to a performance, we would usually have practice on a daily basis during the school week,” junior Ishita Bansal said.
Many students enjoy the rhythmic stomping and clapping in every Step Team routine, and the Steppers commented on the complexity of performing them. Oftentimes, staying in-sync with the rest of the Steppers is the most common challenge the dancers face.
“We all send different songs that we want to dance to prior to practice and make moves in groups for them. For the step team, it’s different since you’re mostly experimenting rather than directly choreographing. It’s mostly us clapping at random times and finding a beat that works,” junior Melinda Mathew said.
While dancers on the Step Team, Romanettes and Twirlers executed their dance routines to perfection, many Step Team members remarked on the bittersweet emotions felt since the showcase was the final performance for the seniors.
“My favorite part performing at the showcase was that it was our last performance for the seniors and I think we got really close to them these past few years, so just the fact that it’s our last performance with them made that showcase performance really emotional and special to all of us,” sophomore Ashley Pulinthanathu said.
Some seniors on the Step Team even left the showcase in tears due to the nostalgia and mixed emotions felt at their last performance. For many students, the performance was an emotional experience as well because it was sentimental and special for the dancers. Moreover, the support of friends and family from the audience amplified the excitement and emotions.
“When we hear cheering from the crowd and the other performing groups, it feeds us energy and it helps us make the performance more worthwhile,” sophomore Isabella Chu said.
Some were dissatisfied initially with the showcase being held in place of the widely anticipated pep rally, but the showcase did not disappoint.
“I was new to the team and really looking forward to the pep rally, but I would certainly say that having a showcase instead made me less nervous. Nonetheless, it was a great and fun way to incorporate the performing groups into a school event without having to host a pep rally,” junior Julia Esposito said.
“I really loved seeing all the performing groups and especially loved the senior performance with all three combined,” said sophomore Michayla Rinaldi.
In terms of choreography, each performing group expresses their dance style differently. For the Twirlers, energy is king. Looking “peppy” is a huge priority during performances, which not only requires energized steps, but also a variety of upbeat music genres. On the other hand, the Romanettes underscore being in sync with one another. As they kicked to the beat of “Level Up” and “Tonight,” they showed their utmost flexibility and expertise while maintaining coordination.
Despite NHP’s beloved pep rally being canceled, the three performing teams put on a fabulous show for their families and friends. Not only did they impress with their remarkable moves, but also with their level of confidence and intensity.