High School Dance Day Attracts New Students

Brent Wallace

More than 200 high school students came to GCC to participate in a High School Dance Day organized by the dance department Saturday.

The event was first organized last year by Glendale’s Phyllis Eckler, a modern dance teacher, as a way to expose the dance department to students on campus and potential newcomers.

“What a better way for our students to find out about our department,” said Lynn McMurrey, associate professor of dance.

The Dance Day offered dance lessons for attendees to the event from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. taught by GCC faculty along with such well-known figures as Alex Da Silva and Shane Sparks, two choreographers and judges from the hit Fox TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.”

“I think this is good for the people at the college, because it gives them a balance. They don’t have to worry about grades, they come here to have fun,” said Da Silva.

At 5:15 p.m., there was a competition between several of the high schools attending the event. The competing high schools were Ribét Academy, University, Taft, and Hollywood.

There were seven dances total, as University, Taft, and Hollywood each performed two dances each, Ribét performed one. Ribét and University were attending the event for their second time, while Taft and Hollywood were attending for the first time.

“[High School Dance Day] gives them a different perspective on dancing,” said Elaine Balden, a dance instructor from Ribét Academy, “and I like that.”

At the end of the show, there were four trophies handed out; for technical excellence, performance, choreography, and best of show respectively.

Ribét Academy was given the technical excellence trophy, University High won the best performance trophy, Taft was awarded the best choreography trophy, and Hollywood High won the best of show trophy.

There was also a $350 scholarship awarded to John Gibbons, a student from University High.

“I knew it’d be fun as I’ve done college dance festivals before,” said Victor Robles, a jazz teacher at Glendale.
The dance department can be contacted at (818)-240-1000 ext. 5556.