Article by: Kamilla Jamal
ISM’s official dance group, Dance Company, has long held ISM’s community in awe by its spectacular routines. This year’s troupe, consisting of a mix among juniors, sophomores and freshmen, has a wide array of talent that its audience can only dream to possess.
Dance Company, or Dance Co. for short, has always been exclusive. It is not an ordinary ‘sign-up and I’m in’ club. The process of auditioning for – and eventually joining – Dance Co. is a long and physically grueling one. Towards the end of every school year, auditions are held by Dance Co.’s “Mother Duck” Yek Barlongay, ISM’s fierce ‘Dance Diva’ and the leader of the troupe. Prior to auditions, interested contenders must prepare a completely self-choreographed dance that lasts circa 2 minutes. This will then be performed at the actual auditions, which are led by an external professional dancer invited by Yek. After that, each dancer’s fate is in the hands of Yek and her intimidating associate. Finding out who actually makes Dance Co. is not just an exciting and nervous process for contenders, but, because of the fantastic role Dance Co. plays in ISM’s society, for the entire High School.
It is a struggle to put Dance Co.’s mode of performance into writing. The way that they all effortlessly move in a synchronised and flowing manner looks incredible from the perspective of an audience member. However, in reality, it takes weeks, if not months, to perfect pieces that might only be performed once. An example of this is Dance Co.’s annual closing performance at Filipiniana, a performance that is anticipated by students, teachers, and parents alike every year. Typically, the dance lasts around 3-6 minutes, but perfecting a 3-6 minute dance might take 3-6 weeks at the least.
It is safe to say that even after watching a single performance, students, teachers and alumni from all around the world are joined together in amazement of the magic created by the one and only Dance Co.