“Astra” Showcases Dance Company’s Hard Work


Audrey Hemingway

A group of dance company members posing in a group number.

Peach Schilling, Editor-In-Chief

Highland’s dance company proved this weekend that hard work pays off. The opening night of their 2021 concert entitled “Astra” sold out hours before it started and has been a popular community event for the last couple of days.

Senior and dance company president Lizzie Hales was just glad they got a concert after what happened last year.

Unfortunately, last year’s concert was canceled just hours before opening night when the COVID-19 pandemic became sudden big news in Utah. 

“‘Astra’ has been a really big deal for us because we had a concert canceled last year,” Hales said. “We hope we showed how hard we worked and how dance company can learn online as well as in person and still be amazing.”

Hales also recognizes how hard it must have been for last year’s seniors when the concert they had been waiting three years for all got taken away. Because they had been preparing all year for the concert they didn’t get to have, some of them were invited back as guest dancers this year. 

2020 graduate and previous company secretary Vivian Greenhawt was one of the lucky few guest dancers. 

“When I first got the message inviting us back to dance, I didn’t even hesitate saying yes,” Greenhawt said. “I knew it was going to be difficult to watch the company from backstage, but being able to walk back into Highland and go up on stage with lights was one of the best feelings in the world.”

Tears filled her eyes on opening night when she first danced on stage again. The group dance with the feature dancers called “Rise Up” was an audience favorite that sent chills to viewers as it told the story of working through all of the adversity COVID has caused. 

“Astra” included lots of variety, including hip hop numbers, contemporary numbers, and a stand out pointe ballet number. Another audience favorite was a partner dance entitled, “Footloose,” which featured some male Highland students who are not in the company. It’s a tradition for dance company upperclassmen and is always enjoyable to watch.

Although the dance elements were obviously what the concert was all about, the emotion shined over almost everything else. 

“I am honestly just so proud of all the girls and how we have pushed through with all of these challenges,” Hales said. “This was the best concert I’ve ever had.”

If you are interested in trying out for dance company, or any dance classes, for next year, reach out to Kelsey Condie. Auditions are the week of May 24.