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AVPA Dance’s “Once Upon A Time” Was Bigger than Expected

Members of One Body Dance Company performing at the spring dance concert series “Once Upon A Time”.

AVPA One Body Dance Company held their 2024 Spring Concert “Once Upon a Time” in the Robert Frost Auditorium from March 21-23. The concert consisted of 22 pieces and over 70 students performed. Each piece was choreographed by students, faculty members, and guest choreographers. Some were solo pieces, small groups, and even entire classes. Nava Waisman, one of the co-presidents of AVPA Dance, said that all of the pieces “were made up of the stories that make up our lives and our imaginations.”


Carol Zee, the Artistic and Creative Director for AVPA and CTE Dance, said she was very “proud of the focus, effort, and creativity from all of the student performers.” As there were many dancers who had never performed onstage before, Zee said she was “happy to be a part of that experience for them.” She also said she had “received many compliments from attendees on the variety of dances and the overall professionalism of the show”, and that this concert had one of the highest audience turnouts ever for an AVPA Dance concert.


Senior Re’Anna Rowe, who choreographed both a solo piece titled “No More Time” and a group piece titled “Payback”, said that the dancers had been “a little stressed due to limited rehearsal time in the Frost, [but they] still made it work and had a wonderful show.” Rowe stated choreographing was sometimes a challenging process, as “there were many days where [her] brain would go blank and [she] did not have any ideas for both pieces.” Rowe expressed her appreciation to tell a story “with the encouragement of [her] dance peers and of course Ms. Zee”, and that she is “grateful for the opportunity to choreograph for both shows”, as she had previously choreographed a piece for the Fall Dance Concert in November. She said she will “definitely miss being a part of AVPA Dance.”


Senior Naomi Gibbs Zehnder choreographed two group pieces and a solo piece titled “Portal in Room 307” for the concert, and also helped choreograph a piece titled “livE Life” and another piece titled “Dancing in the Rain”, which was performed at the Taste of Culver City event in late April. Zehnder said the concert “turned out to be an awesome show” and that “everyone put a lot of work into it and it really paid off.”


Waisman choreographed a group piece titled “In Wonderland” and a solo piece titled “Home”. She expressed how she was “so happy to choreograph a solo and a group piece this time based on [her] own stories” and that it felt “fulfilling to be able to convey experiences and emotions through dance.”


Junior Sarah Rauschuber has been in dance for the past 3 years and choreographed “Pink Friday Girls”. She said that “choreographing for dance can be challenging and stressful at times, but it is a lot of fun working together with dancers and seeing the dance come together at the end.” Rauschuber described AVPA Dance as “a fantastic group of dancers who always make everyone feel welcome and loved” and said she is very “thankful to be able to expand [her] choreography and dance skills and connect with people who also love dance.” 


Following this concert, the CCEF (Culver City Education Foundation) invited AVPA Dance to perform at Taste of Culver City, which took place April 27-28. The company performed “Dancing in the Rain”, “Gatsby Party”, and “Celebrating the Future of Hip Hop” at the festival.

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Aakriti Shaw
Aakriti Shaw, Staff Writer
Hello! I am Aakriti Shaw, a freshman at CCHS. I like writing about things that interest me, like the school's events. My hobbies include listening to music and watching movies!

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