Window Dance Ensemble enters a new season – Wayland Student Press

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The lights fade to a blue hue as the auditorium falls silent. After a brief skit from the main entertainers, Window Dance Ensemble takes the stage. The dark silhouettes of the dancers are backlit as they jump, twirl and glide to the beat of the music. Slowly the performance ends and all the dancers leave the stage with the audience cheering and screaming behind them – another dazzling performance of the winter week over.

Since Window started 10 years ago, they have produced two shows each year, one during the winter week and one in the spring, with the help of their senior managers. This year, the principal directors of the ensemble are Sarah Liszewski, Sammy Janoff and Taylor McGuire.

“Window is a student-run dance ensemble, it always has been,” Liszewski said. “It has always existed. I mean my neighbor, who’s like [30-years-old] now, was in the window growing. She looked after me and taught me the dances.

The whole is advised by the assistant of the academic center, Eimile Bowden. Besides his occasional supervision, the senior directors plan all dances and practice programs. The lack of adult education gives dancers a unique chance to develop leadership skills and friendships.

“I joined Window because I love to dance, and also, I felt like the community of girls dancing there is such a fun community,” sophomore Dana Efrat said. “It’s both the dance aspect and the friends aspect, and it goes really well together.”

While participating in performances and bonding with the team is a fun experience, joining Window also takes a lot of time and effort. To prepare for their shows, the group meets and practices together several hours a week.

“We dance four days a week after school in the lecture hall, until about [5 p.m.]said Janoff. “It’s a pretty high commitment. But not everyone is into every dance, so you might not have to come for a week. Although for the majority [of the practices]we are all here.

During practices, the group creates and rehearses its choreography. Over the years they have used an array of techniques, songs and styles to achieve their self-choreographed performances.

“Each year we have a new theme for dances that inspire song choices and choreography,” Janoff said. “We have a variety of dance styles, but for the most part it’s lyric-based because we have things like jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, and silhouette numbers. We also have hip hop acts, which the crowd loves.

With so many different dance styles, Window practices tend to get busy. However, the hard work pays off at their spring show, where they can show off their hours of effort.

“It’s really hard,” said sophomore Julia Sun. “We just have to learn [a dance] and then perform it for our show in late spring, so we don’t have a lot of time to go over every dance. We just have to go.

The benefits of joining the ensemble are not limited to performing in the spring show. The sense of community that Window offers dancers makes it a great experience for everyone.

“I joined Window because I love to dance,” Janoff said. “I didn’t realize I was going to get so much more out of it. I’ve been able to bond so strongly with people of different levels. It’s very collaborative and a chance to use our creativity as we choreograph all our dances. We’re having a blast.”


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