Dancers Attend DCPS Dance Honors Festival
Walls dancers perform at the DCPS Dance Honors festival / Via DCPS
School Without Walls students hopped on a bus Jan. 12 to spend the entire school day doing nothing but dance. Whether they were taking one of the dance classes offered at Walls, a part of the Dance Team, or on the B.O.M.B. Squad, Walls' dancers attended the 2nd Annual DCPS Dance Honors Festival. Hosted at Joy of Motion’s Atlas Performing Arts Center, students from DCPS schools around the city joined in for a day of masterclasses taught by professional dance instructors in the city. The workshops Walls students participated in centered around learning dance styles such as house, hip-hop, and West African dance.
Carmen Couts (‘26) who is in Walls’ Dance Orientation class, found the workshop to be an opportunity for her to expand her knowledge of different dance styles. “I have never done house,” she said. “It’s kind of like street dancing. But it has some links to ballet and contemporary.”
Couts, who is a ballerina and contemporary dancer, explained she can use some of what she learned in the workshop to enhance her dancing at school and in the studio. “[I can] experiment with like, improv, or choreography, [and] add those elements into my dancing.”
Along with learning different styles of dance, students had the opportunity to choreograph their own, performing it at the end of the day to an audience of parents, and DCPS Chancellor Dr. Lewis Ferebee.
Heather Pultz, who teaches the Dance Orientation and Dance Technique classes at Walls felt the day was an important stress reliever for students. She said Friday was a good day “to dance all day,” and that “a lot of students at Walls might be stressed . . . Being able to be together and dance all day could be a really big relief from [the] pressure of school”
Couts agreed. “It was nice to have fun with my classmates,” she said.
Though there aren’t any other workshop field trips currently planned for Walls’ dancers in the upcoming months, Couts thinks it would be a good experience for future dance students to have. “I think it would be a good experience for dancers who haven't taken any classes or want to try something new.”