Generation Day brings a blast from the past

Dance sophomore Morgan Jourdin points to another dancer in the sophomore routine as they kick to beachy ’60s music. The sophomores ended up in third place for the dance, placing behind the juniors and seniors who tied for first.

Haley Johnston

Dance sophomore Morgan Jourdin points to another dancer in the sophomore routine as they kick to beachy ’60s music. The sophomores ended up in third place for the dance, placing behind the juniors and seniors who tied for first.

By Lilly Randolph, A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts

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Walking Dreyfoos’ halls Wednesday was like entering a time warp; from building to building, different generations sped from class to class. The arrival of leather jackets, go-go boots, peace signs, and leg warmers all at once could only mean one thing: The highly anticipated Generation Day had begun.

After the bell rang for lunch, students shuffled into the gym to enjoy the day’s festivities. Upon entering, they sat with their classes in the bleachers where they could view each class’s generation dance, an event that many look forward to.

“There is something so special about coming together during Spirit Week with students of all grades while we just have a good time,” theatre senior Francesca Alfano said. “Today was one of those days where we could just watch the amazing generation dances and support each other.”

The freshmen were the first group to take the floor and perform. Typical of the new group of students, the number of dancers was relatively small. While the freshmen waited in their starting positions, music that did not match their own began playing. After that issue was fixed, the correct mix stopped playing halfway through. Even with this mishap, the dancers continued and eventually started over for a smooth run through.

Haley Johnston
Theatre junior Morgan Davis emerges from a group of dancers only to arouse cheers from her classmates after a successful dance routine by the junior class. Davis took on a ’70s rock-inspired look by spiking up her hair in different directions.

“Personally, I was not affected by the audio mishaps because, as a dancer, I have experienced this many times, and we have learned to just keep going no matter what,” dance freshman and one of the choreographers Jaelynn Bromfield said. “I am glad that the music ended up working so that we could have a chance to redeem ourselves.”

Throughout the gym, the freshmen seemed to be the quietest section in the stands, as many of them were not responding to the “two-oh” chants with the enthusiasm that other classes do. Bromfield believes this can be attributed to the limited upbeat music in their dance since music from the movie “Grease” was not allowed and would have resulted in a disqualification if used. Freshman Class Council Co-President Marion Randolph thinks the low spirit was due to the students’ lack of experience.

“For some reason, it is really hard to get the freshmen to show their spirit and express it when they need to,” Randolph said. “They are dressing up and showing up, but when it comes to being vocal and getting loud like everyone else, they don’t. I think it is because this is our first experience with it, but I want to encourage everyone to get more involved because they’ll have more fun.”

Following the freshmen, the sophomores took over the gym floor with high energy. As they performed, it was clear that the group had taken inspiration from ’60s bands such The Beach Boys, whose songs were incorporated into their mix.

“Our inspiration came from songs and videos that we researched,” dance sophomore and one of the choreographers Ekko Greenbaum said. “We realized that in the past, everyone did that big-dress, hairspray-esque theme, so we opted for something more outside the box and went with ‘beach ’60s.’”

The juniors were up next and brought a stronger sense of excitement to the room when their dancers began. Right from the start, it was clear that this dance based on the ’70s was unlike any other that had been performed by past junior classes. Rather than just dancing to ’70s disco, the number became somewhat of a dance battle between two main music genres from the ’70s: rock and disco.

“Our dance was different than any other year because we encompassed the entire decade,” communications junior and class council Co-President Nikolas Zimmerman said. “In past years, the grades only do the disco aspect, but we wanted to be different, so we did both.”

After the juniors finished, a large group of seniors took their turn, positioning themselves around the gym in their thong leotards and sweatbands. The dance was one of the shortest of the four, but it was very intricate considering the time slot that it was choreographed in. Dance senior and generation dance choreographer Elizabeth Zuccaro said that the dance “hadn’t been practiced until the first week of January,” and “it was hard at that point to get everyone to come in at once.” Nonetheless, the seniors pushed through and went all out for a day that many had been waiting for since their freshman year.

“Generation [Day]  has always been such a fun experience for me since freshman year. I have looked forward to ’80s since then,” Zuccaro said. “Still, every year is different and brings something new to the table. Seeing it all finally come together for the last time was very cool.”

Media center specialist Shannon Kostecka and creative writing teacher Brittany Rigdon carefully score each class’s generation dance. They scored in areas such as technique and creativity, ultimately choosing the order in which the classes would place.

When the dances were done, students in attendance patiently waited for SGA to announce the results. Most had speculated about who would win and discussed their predictions. Based on the reaction from the crowd, many students were expecting the juniors to win. When it was announced that the seniors won first place, the juniors were left in shock. However, after lunch, an intercom announcement was made that there was a miscalculation—the juniors and seniors were to receive equal points. The sophomores were third, and the freshmen were fourth.

“I was extremely upset when I heard we got second,” Zimmerman said. “I watched the dancers put in hard work throughout the process, so I was upset for all of them. After their performance, it was evident [to me] that they deserved first place.”

In addition to the dances, today’s activities also included chalk drawings on freshman hill. Each class was given a set of chalk and a square of pavement to create a design to go with their theme. After being judged by teachers, it was announced that the juniors had come in last place, the seniors in third, the sophomores in second, and the freshmen in first.

“I think we deserved first place in the chalk drawings since our artists worked so hard and created an awesome piece,” Randolph said. “I know that certain classes are unhappy with us placing above them in some activities, but we’re working really hard for this.”

As the final day of Spirit Week nears and students prepare for Pep Rally, anticipation continues to build up. The generation dances and chalk drawing competitions today could be a game changer in how the point totals come out in the end. Keep following The Muse each day to see how it pans out.

This story was originally published on The Muse on January 31, 2019.