Captains to choreographers

Lauren Runde

Xavier High School’s varsity show choir, Xhilaration, has had to adjust over the past year due to COVID-19, but the adjustments they have made,  give more students the opportunity for leadership and brought these students closer together. 

Xhilaration would typically have two dance captains, but this past year has been anything but normal. Given the circumstances, eight dance captains were chosen, four boys and four girls, to ensure that there will always be a captain or two at practices in case some were absent with COVID-19 or other circumstances. This year’s captains are seniors Carlie Mauss, Keely Cookson, Lizzy Schmitt, Arwen Gilbert, Greg Lesnik, Jack Delaney, junior Braedon Roling and sophomore Tim Lesnik. The dance captains took it upon themselves to choreograph the last dance of their show, “Be Good To Yourself” by Journey, and presented it to Mr. Schroetter, who encouraged them to choreograph the entire song. 

The dance captains are able to bounce ideas off one another when it comes to dance moves, different formations and what styles they want to incorporate in the song. They are all unafraid to reject one another’s ideas to further build off one another and improve. 

“We have the best time while we are choreographing together. We spend long days working through every detail, but the time flies. We are always laughing and getting excited about the moves we just came up with. It’s been extremely fun to see our hard work pay off and to watch our vision come to life,” Mauss said.

There is lots of hard work put in behind the scenes to choreograph a song.  

“It has been kind of difficult to choreograph an entire dance because you have to come up with tons of new ideas and make sure that the moves are different, but cohesive, at the same time,” Cookson said. 

Choreographing a song has its ups and downs, but for the only sophomore dance captain Lesnik,  it has given him a leadership opportunity. 

“It has been fun to see my friends dancing things we choreographed, but it has also been stressful. Choreographing an entire song is remarkably hard,” Lesnik said. 

This past year has proven to be very difficult, but Xhilaration and the dance captains are making the most out of every moment. 

“It is such a blessing that we are able to make history at Xavier by creating this choreography. We are able to make this show our own in a year when we are losing so much, which has been an exciting experience,” Mauss said.

The dance captains have said that this opportunity is not very likely to happen again because having a professional choreographer is very helpful and the opportunity came about this year because of the bad circumstances. 

Cookson adds that normally dances are learned throughout the summer, and that because of the difficulty of meeting up to choreograph the dance, it is unlikely to continue. 

The group has put many hours into the dance and used the three Mondays off in January to meet and further work on the dance 

Xhilaration will be recording Friday, January 29 for the Sadie Street Showcase hosted by Anamosa High School, as well as recording Monday, February 22 for the Marion Masquerade hosted by Marion High School.