Annual Winter Dance Concert ‘Breaking the Ice’ Leaves Audiences in Shivers


Arshia Sista

Various students across all dance classes performed “Don’t Call Me Back” to the song “These Boys Ain’t It” by Saygrace, which included themes of female empowerment.

After dance concerts were put on pause — or some might say, frozen — due to COVID-19, the dance program featured its third annual winter concert “Breaking the Ice” on Dec. 2-3.

The concert featured Dance 2, Dance 3, Dance 4, Dance Company and guest performances from the Irvine High Dance Ensemble, Pacific Dance Elite and Junior Bulldog Dancers, children who attended dance clinics led by the dance team prior to the concert.

Contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, K-pop and Chinese traditional dances were among the many diverse styles featured. Student-choreographers created dances individually and underwent an audition process, which involved performing in front of dance director and visual and performing arts department chair Samantha Gardner; student choreographed dances made up 14 out of the 23 pieces showcased according to Gardner.

“I just really love seeing them collaborate and getting to see the student choreographers develop their vision over the course of a few months,” Gardner said. “I think we’re really lucky to have such a diverse set of dancers in our department and dancers who are so willing to try different styles and get better at everything, rather than just continue to perfect whatever their favorite style is.”

From the emotional and expressive “Walk on Water” to the powerful and robust “Human,” the pieces in the winter dance concert displayed both grace and strength. Dance Company member and senior Cinta Adhiningrat choreographed the dance titled “Walk on Water” to Kanye West’s “Hurricane,” which featured modern and contemporary styles.

“Since the song is called ‘Hurricane,’ I felt like it was a really good representation of how I am as a senior right now,” Adhiningrat said. “Even though this was a choreography that I felt I was confident in, I definitely went through a lot of trials and tribulations in the sense that I just did not feel confident for the longest time trying to fit this in for my piece.”

Because the dance department was able to host its first winter concert since the pandemic, Gardner said she wanted to rise to the occasion and create a theme that celebrated their return.

“I love to always do something winter related without it being a holiday show specifically, but it feels like we’ve been frozen over waiting for so long,” Gardner said, “and so breaking through the ice, breaking through this period of waiting and being frozen in time — it all just fits perfectly for our first show back.”