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High School Dance Team Wows Crowds

Posted By: Nneka Opene | Filed under: Competitions | Oct 24, 2017
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Creative costumes, dynamic dancing, wicked wardrobe, charming sets and characters come to life… not what anyone would expect from a high school production, yet this is exactly what ThePac The Performing Arts Crew Walden Grove dance team known as ThePac delivers in each of their larger than life productions.

More than just dancers, ThePac dance crew of Arizona is a theatrical powerhouse; including the acting out of classic storylines, along with iconic characters, detailed props, and more into their Broadway style numbers.

“Being state champs three years in a row is amazing, Choreographer/Coach Kristi Lopez said, but even more remarkable is that only one of the 17 dance team members was on last year’s team.” These champions are now winning hearts of viewers around world with their dynamic, full on performances now going viral. Their most recent performance simply themed Pixar earned them an invitation to perform at the Phoenix Suns NBA halftime show, and garnered millions of views in just days. Their electrifying performance was filled with daring acrobatic flips and topped off with elaborate costumes, props and more.

Their latest work of art titled The Wizard of Oz has spread across the web like wildfire with team members dressed in iconic costumes as they ease down down a handmade yellow brick road, and eased into the hearts and consciousness of sports fans and the rest of America. This seven minute medley was packed with enough wow moments, and high production value to be on Broadway, or some other professional stage.

Reenacting classic moments from the Classic films The Wizard of Oz,  dancers dressed as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly lion, and the Wicked Witch. They danced and pranced across the court as they acted out memorable scenes, mixing classic original music with modern pop music                                                                                                                 and trendy dances of today. The backdrop set was Dorothy’s house, complete with around 12-15 backup dancers dressed as the green people from the Emerald City. Mid number, they eased into the seventies remake of The Wizard of Oz called The Wiz. This soulful version featured a funky snippet of  the song “Ease on Down the Road” originally scored for the film by Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, who both stared in the 1979 version as the Scarecrow and Dorothy. And just like in the movies, the show ended with Dorothy clicking her heels together and winding up back at her modest home. The creative display was met with rousing applause, national news coverage, and increased shares and views online.

Well before taking the world by storm with their show stopping numbers,  just last year this talented team racked up accolades such as:

  • Back to back State Champions – Large Group Division 1-3 Hip Hop
  • 295/300 (second highest score in competition history)
  • Viral Youtube and Facebook videos: Pixar Dance 40 million views and The Wizard of Oz over 2 million views in just a few short weeks.
  • Performed at Phoenix Suns half time show
  • First Place at Spark the Floor Hip Hop competitions

A common question many have wondered, is how they do it? Team members and coaches confess to their tremendous sacrifices being a factor; The team meets for one hour during the school day, three hours after school twice a week, and all day Saturdays. They also give up rodeo break, spring break and other holidays to practice, coach Lopez said. They perform 3 to 4 five times a month and have earned a reputation for outdoing each of their previous annual homecoming performances. While their Pixar /Toy Story performance earned them special attention from NBA teams, their most recent Wizard of Oz number is fast earring these kids a reputation as seasoned professionals. Since July, Assistant Coach Kathy Quihiuiz, Lopez, and the team have choreographed at least 10 routines.

Not your average high school or even college level performance team for that matter; this dance team largely made up of first time teenagers has been hailed as one of the best, and on par with professional, adult dance teams in their precision, dedication and creativity. While they typically choose iconic, popular themes, they always add their own signature twist with bits of modern choreography to some current pop music choices.

Classic themes like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and the latest, Wizard of Oz, are revived with memorable music and moves from the original works, then layered with bits of contemporary music and dance trends today’s charts. One irony is that the flashback through the decades create a nostalgic feel for viewers who are taken on a trip down memory lane by a group of millennials who weren’t even alive when many of the hit songs and dances were originally performed! Team member Quihuiz explained, “We decided to add in different moves, moves that aren’t common in hip hop dances, so we could stand out.” Choreographed by

Bringing together important elements like: good storytelling, dynamic sets, clever choreography, charismatic characters, and enough energy to power a small city, it’s no wonder why audiences can’t get enough of this show stopping team.

 

About the author:

Having fearlessly explored every continent, Nneka is multi-lingual and passionate about travel, culture and life. A SDSU alumni, she has worked in KTVU Fox's newsroom, interviewed notable figures and hosted programs for various media outlets. She has also written features for The San Leandro Times and LostGirlsWorld.com. Also a seasoned performer and fitness professional, Nneka holds several fitness certifications, has shared the stage with entertainment icons, and has appeared on various TV Shows.

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