Valdosta Daily Times

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May 10, 2013

VHS students ready for spring dance concert

VALDOSTA — For a few moments, the young women of the Valdosta High School Dance Program freestyle to the music, striking any pose, moving to the beat of their own drummers.

This is how the show will end, explains Karen Carson-Cook, Valdosta High dance instructor. Cook has the students go through the motions that come into their minds for a photo shoot.

Then, subtly, the student dancers move from the

anything goes of rhythmic chaos to form lines. Their movements become uniform. All arms rising. All legs moving. A chorus line of synchronicity.

This weekend, these dancers will be showcased in “A Time to Dance,” the annual Valdosta High School spring dance concert. They will perform in several numbers that touch upon dance styles ranging from modern to lyrical to spiritual to jazz to stepping.

Cook trains this group which includes students from freshmen to seniors. Each student in the all-female troupe had to audition for this dance concert. For Cook, every day and every season is a time to dance. She has been teaching 20 years at Valdosta High School.

Once accepted, Cook allows the students to develop the dances included in the show. Cook choreographed some of the dances while students choreographed many of the featured selections.

Before the full rehearsal, Dance Captain Bre’Anna Everett stands on the Valdosta High School Performing Arts Center stage, reading off the names of dances. She is running through the dance concert’s line-up. As Everett reads each dance title, a cluster of students run onto the stage. They strike a pose for a second before Everett instructs them to exit. Everett reads another dance title and a different group of dancers run onto the stage to repeat the process.

On show night, these same groups will take the stage to dance and hopefully move the audience to joyous applause.

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