Apex Dance soars at NCDPA

By Amber Wilson

On January 21, 2023, the Apex High School Dance Program traveled to Broughton High School in Raleigh to compete at the North Carolina Dance Performance Adjudication. After showcasing five pieces to be judged by dance professionals from North Carolina university dance programs, the Apex High School Dance Program received five superior ratings.

The North Carolina Dance Performance Adjudication, better known as NCDPA, is a festival-like event held annually at Broughton High School. NCDPA is hosted as a festival instead of a competition because schools are not competing against each other. The supportive environment fostered at NCDPA allows students to focus on the artistry of dance instead of trying to outscore one another. 

At NCDPA, any North Carolina school with a dance program can submit pieces for adjudication in the form of written feedback and a score out of 100. Feedback and scoring are based on a rubric containing artistry, choreography, technique, performance, and overall effect. The adjudication is awarded in terms of Superior, Excellent, and Good (similar to the MPA for music) per each numerical score.

Another feature of NCDPA is the opportunity for dancers from across the state to take master classes from respected choreographers in the Raleigh area. Apex High Dance Director Mrs. Brady shared that her favorite part of NCDPA this year was seeing her students perform and collaborate with others in the master classes. 

This is the Apex High School Dance Program’s second year at the school and the second time attending NCDPA. Apex’s most advanced dance group, known as the Apex Dance Company, brought five pieces, each receiving Superior ratings of 90 and above. All of the pieces performed at NCDPA made their stage debuts in the Winter Dance Concert or ADC Solo Showcase. 

First was a contemporary ensemble piece with all of ADC titled Queen of Peace, choreographed by guest Brooke Averette. Additionally, jazz small group titled The Grace Case choreographed by Amber Wilson ‘23, Ally Organo ‘24, Grace Meehan ‘24, Taylor Jo Steele ‘25; emotional lyrical duet titled Set Me Free choreographed by Mayson Watson ‘23 and Kendyl Bloomer ‘24; self-choreographed contemporary solo titled Chamber of Reflection by Anna Hulse ‘23; and self-choreographed contemporary solo titled Trust by Luna Cadenas ‘25 also performed. 

This event was the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic in which schools could perform multiple pieces for feedback and scores. At the previous NCDPA in November of 2021, the Apex Dance Company brought a piece titled Muir choreographed by dance director Mrs. Brady, receiving a perfect score and a Superior rating. Mrs. Brady is proud of all of the ADC Members who performed at NCDPA this past January.

Anna Hulse ‘23 told Legacy, “My favorite part of DPA is being in a ‘competition’ style environment again and being able to perform a couple of dances one more time.”

Performing at NCDPA is just one of the exceptional opportunities granted to dancers in the Apex High School Dance Program through in and out-of-class training. If the Apex High School Dance Program sounds like something of interest, be sure to check out the program website HERE, and follow their Instagram @apexhsdanceprogram to stay in the loop with all things Apex Dance.

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