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April 30, 2024

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FDHS Dance Department Leaps into Action this Spring

Guest choreographers, District Dance Day, and new performances help dancers reach their fullest potential

The FDHS Dance department has begun to dive into different cultures beginning with the first of many guest choreographers, Wona Womalan.

On February 15, the department celebrated Black History Month by inviting the dance and drum group, Wona Womalan to perform. Wona Womalan is a West African dance and drum ensemble dedicated to preserving the arts and culture of West African dance, drum, musical, and theatrical traditions located in Berkeley County, SC.

The dancers welcomed the ensemble in the band room as the West African performers showcased various culturally significant dances and songs such as a wedding song and dance. The students then began to learn the names of the African drums, the history of the company, and finally learned a piece of West African choreography. Guest choreographers are important, as the new teacher of the Dance department Ms. Zimone Mincey shares, “It helps students explore different cultures and backgrounds and experience choreography from other people.” Taking dancers out of their comfort zones is the most effective way to help them learn, grow, and appreciate dance. It also helps them discover their own personal styles and improve their technique.

Mincey was  introduced to the Fort Dorchester family at the beginning of the school year. She is determined to help dancers reach their full potential and usher in new changes for the dance department. Sophomore Morgan Scott explains, “Ms. Mincey does a lot because her choreography is very interpretive and that helps you grow into a better choreographer and dancer.” Mincey has already begun  successfully raising the Dance department’s budget out of the negatives. She has also ordered new yoga mats and placed new LED lights this year.

That’s not all that’s happening in the studio though. On March 12, the FDHS dancers participated in District Dance Day where they showcased their skills alongside Summerville and Ashley Ridge’s High School Dance departments. They performed and watched other schools in the district dance as well. This includes: River Oaks MS, Gregg MS, Oakbrook MS, and Rollings Middle School of the Arts. FDHS’ hard work over January and February paid off at District Dance Day.  The audience was emotionally invested in the contemporary dance, “Wash,” choreographed by Mincey. The dancers also inspired middle school students with their Jazz dance, “Standing Next to You,” choreographed by sophomore dancer, Summer Walker. Walker noted, “It’s stressful, but I love choreographing and I would participate in District Dance Day again.”

Don’t miss the department dance the night away! Be on the lookout for the exciting Student Choreography Showcase on April 12, and the final “Icons” show in May, which celebrates the senior dancers.

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