The Choreo team stretches before one of their virtual practice sessions, which occur weekly. “While it seems like we have infinite time, there’s almost no difference from normal school when trying to keep up with dance responsibilities,” senior Co-Caption Justin Chong said. “[We still practice] on our own time.”

Choreo dances from distance

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With distance learning in full-effect, many clubs and groups have halted various activities. Since in-person gatherings are no longer a viable option, Choreo has introduced weekly virtual practices through Zoom.

During these practice sessions, which usually last for an hour and a half, the team begins with warm-ups and stretches led by a different leader each week. Afterwards, the team reviews other areas of dance including techniques and choreography. 

“We are working on general dance, [which consists of] facial expressions, textures, and personality, [as well as] technical skills,” senior Co-Captain Justin Chong said. “We also have members record specific assignments that we give them, and we spend time critiquing each member.”

The new platform of interaction, however, has also introduced issues for the team. From videos being mirrored in the camera to limited space at home, the dancers have had to adjust to these foreign circumstances.

“It is very different than in person practices,” Coach Rosalee Cabral said. “Virtually, it is more difficult to physically see how the dancers are moving. Students don’t always have the space to dance and aren’t really able to practice certain things. Not only that, but there is [also] a sound delay so not everyone has the same timing when trying to dance to music together.”

Regardless, the team tries to keep their passion for dancing alive, especially through maintaining high spirits among the team with bonding. Although lacking the in-person interactions of cracking jokes and random conversations, Chong said, “it doesn’t really feel like we’re practicing alone.”

“The leaders are great about focusing on the team bond,” Cabral said. “They plan virtual activities for the team to stay connected [and] get to know each other better.  I monitor how the team is learning and trying to keep them motivated but most of all just providing them with the avenue to continue to do what they are passionate about, which is dancing.”

Choreo will continue virtual practices as they begin to dive into choreography for a new routine. They hope to be able to perform it in-person if school resumes. 

“I miss being able to work with my team members together,” Chong said. “I’m looking forward to not only choreographing my own rally, but watching the teammates that I’ve bonded with performing [as well].”

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