A Review of the ADC Winter Dance Concert
By: Kylie Radford
Blown away would be putting it lightly. The production was flawless; from the lights, to the music, to the costumes. So much was said with every single motion. It was clear every second that each dancer was beyond passionate about what they were doing.
On December 9th, at 7 p.m., the Apex Dance Company (ADC) held their first ever title performance- The Winter Dance Concert- in the auditorium. The event was opened with an inspiring video, demonstrating how far the program has come in only a few months. Applause then began when Ms. Markoch- the dance director- simply walked onto the stage; it became apparent to me that she was beloved by all. Ms. Markoch then proceeded to deliver a speech recognizing all the hard work put in to make the show happen. The curtains then closed and every one waited in anticipation of the performance.
The first act opened with a group dance including the entire ADC and guest artist Hannah Marr. It became apparent by the end of the dance that we (the audience) were all in for more than we had anticipated. The group dance was followed with solo performances by each of the dancers, as well as a duet and trio. Each piece was beautiful and touching, with a wide variety of styles and music genres. What really blew my mind was that each song was selected and dance was choreographed by the dancers themselves; they are clearly very talented. They even picked out their costumes, which were awesome by the way. The performance of twelve high school girls truly felt like an entire Broadway show. The first act concluded and I specifically recall a girl sitting in front of me turning around to her friend to say, “I wanna learn how to dance like that.”
After intermission, the dancers came back with a bang. They opened the second act with elaborate bird costumes and intense music. It was quite baffling just how fast each girl was able to complete a costume change. They would finish a dance and return to stage only thirty seconds later, with all new hair, makeup, and clothes. Immediately following the performance appropriately named “I NEED MORE BIRDS!”, solos continued with the addition of another trio and quartet. The music from the concert would make a hit soundtrack, featuring songs by artists like: Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey, Lauren Daigle, Billie Eillish, Etta James, Adele, and Clinton Kane. A performance that specifically caught the audience’s attention was a rendition of “Not My Responsibility” by Billie Ellish. The interpretive dance was performed by Kylie Murray; it powerfully demonstrated the ideals and standards enforced onto women by society.
To close the concert, the ADC performed a final group dance. All those in attendance were left in awe; everyone was left wanting more. The lights went down and the curtains closed; then the dancers returned within a moment for the curtain call. The audience responded with a standing ovation, which continued for a solid minute or two. To end the night, Ms. Markoch delivered a speech portraying her pride in each of the dancers. She also awarded specific awards to two of the dancers: Annabelle Coleman received the MVP award (nominated by her fellow dancers), and Kylie Murray received the Heart of Gold award (nominated by Ms. Markoch).
Afterward, the students surprised Ms. Markoch with a speech and flowers to thank her for all she’s done for them. Most, if not all the dancers were in tears. It was a moving sight to see. The students expressed their gratitude and appreciation, highlighting how much the program has done for them in such a short time. I was able to interview Ms. Markoch after the show, and I was able to truly understand the reasons why all the dancers admire her so. I asked her how it felt to see that all her hard work had made such an impact on the girls. She responded:
“I love them; it’s all about them; everything I do is for them. I want them to feel loved just as much as they do for me every single day. No gift can ever surpass or equal that amount. Being their teacher is the best gift I could ever ask for.”
After the conclusion of the concert, I was able to go back into the studio with the dancers. Watching them as they sang, danced, and laughed together, it was clear just how close the group had become. Mayson Watson, one of the dancers, stated- “It was the greatest experience I’ve had at Apex so far. It meant a lot to perform with girls who share the same love and passion as I do. I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else.” She also added, “Big shoutout to Ms. M for starting it from the bottom and just giving us everything we’ve ever wanted. It was amazing.”
Not only was I able to interview many of the dancers, but I was also able to interview many members of the audience. Victoria Howerton, a student who attended the event, stated- “It was extraordinary. I was bawling my eyes out for many of the dances and I was just in shock. It was so well-choreographed.” Taylor Gilson, another student in attendance, stated- “I had no idea what to expect, but all the dancers did incredible. The lighting, the music, the outfits…it was all so good. It seemed so professional, too. My jaw was on the floor the entire time.”
To be transparent, I’ve never been big on dance; however, I would recommend this show to everyone. Each dance was truly breathtaking and often left me in tears. I’m so glad I had the chance to attend, and I will definitely try to catch the next performance. In addition, I know I will be adding quite a few songs to my playlist. Bravo to the ADC!