Behind the choreography of the 2019 Dance Spectrum Homecoming performance


Dhiara Berkley

Two student choreographers and twenty nine student dancers made up the MVHS Homecoming Dance Spectrum performance that was displayed at the Homecoming rally, parade, and football game. Student choreographers Mezi Iroaga and Stephanie Dancel expected this year’s homecoming performance to have “really awesome moves.” and “more energy and cleaner choreo [choreography].” 

Iroaga is a senior and has been on dance spectrum team for two years, after joining the Spartan Dance Club where she learned the basics of dancing. Dancel is a junior, and this year is her third year in dance spectrum. The first dance she choreographed was in her first year of joining the dance spectrum team.

Both Dancel and Iroaga have worked together in the past, and have been friends.

“I definitely think me and Steph have been working well together,” Iroaga said.

Dance Spectrum homecoming group performing at homecoming parade
Photo by Ava Hinz

The choreographers had a few weeks to put together the dance however both had busy schedules, which proved to be a problem. They did end up finding a system that worked for them.

“Sometimes we completely have packed schedules, so we’ll just designate parts to choreograph and then choreograph it separately,” Iroaga said.  

Another challenge that the two students faced was, as Stephanie calls it “choreographers block.” This is a time when there are no ideas flowing, and choreographers are not able to produce any fresh ideas.

Dancers are preparing to “woah” in sync
Photo by Ava Hinz

According to Dancel, this is in part because of herself and Iroaga’s particular taste in the choreograph and transitions that fit within the dance. 

The twenty nine dancers chosen to perform the homecoming dance were selected through a particular audition process.

“The choreographer teaches a count or two of the choreo then…what Mezi and I did was we looked at the dynamic of the dancers, and then which people would really fit,” Dancel said.

Group photo before performance at homecoming rally
Photo courtesy of Angelina Ma

According to both Dancel and Iroaga the dancers have greatly improved since the start of the audition process. 

“It’s really funny because at first, a lot of them just look dead…now they’re really getting into it and going actually full out, which has been really cool to see,” Iroaga said.