I open my computer and take off my shoes. Beata ‘20, my co-choreographer, takes out a piece of paper and some pens. We are determined to choreograph a minute or more of our dance in the next two hours.
“Do you want me to play the song?” she asks. I nod my head. Hoizer’s voice fills the air around us and we listen carefully to the rises and falls of his vocals. Half way through the song I turn up the volume. We are in the Lavino Field House and there are pick up basketball games going on behind us. After listening to our song a few more times we get up and start moving. It takes a few minutes for us to fall into a routine but in less than half an hour we are working together.
She suggests a move and I build on it. I suggest a formation and she comes up with the walking pattern to get there. We make a good team. After two hours we have a minute of our dance. We smile at our accomplishment and walk to dinner. We will meet up again in a few days to show our dancers what we created and then meet up in a week to choreograph more. In a few months, we will be in the audience brimming with pride because of our work and our dancers.
Spring Dance Concert (SDC) has always been one of my favorite events at Lawrenceville. It is the largest student-run production and brings people together from all over campus. For two days in the spring, athletes, debaters, and dancers go on stage and move together.
I have been a part of SDC since freshman year and I always look forward to it. For the past two years I have been a dancer and a choreographer. However, this year I will not be dancing in my own dance. Bea and I agreed that we would do a better job of choreographing if we could focus on creating a dance instead of being in a dance. It has been incredible working with Bea because we are similar enough that we agree on most steps, but different enough that we can build on each other’s ideas and make them better.
SDC has helped me work with others and improved my communication skills. Having to express my ideas to another person has been challenging but has helped me find the right words and phrasing. Bea and I don’t always agree. We have had to adjust our ideas so that we both like what we are creating. Adjusting my ideas has taught that working with others is all about compromise.
Choreographing with Bea has not been the only place at Lawrenceville where working with others is vital. I’ve been able to work well with her because of the skills I’ve learned around the Harkness table. Lawrenville’s dedication to discussion-based learning has helped me in so many settings. I know that because of the practice I’ve had in the classroom my dance this year will be amazing and I can’t wait to see it in three months.
Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose. Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.