Vanguard Dance Company and Vizion Crew Place Third

Vanguard Dance Company and Vizion Crew take third place at West Coast Elite on Saturday, February 11, 2017


Makenna Snow’s lyrical small group (left to right): Vanessa Carroll, Mia Vasquez, Sophia Pracilio, Christian B., Kaylee Nguyen, and Kayle Solis

   At West Coast Elite hosted by Beckman High School, Vanguard Dance Company and Vizion Crew came in tow with four dances ranging from lyrical to hip hop. The team’s big wins of the night included the large hip hop co-ed dance placing third and Vizion Crew also placing third in the all-male division. 

  The West Coast Elite competition circuit is designed specifically for high school dance teams to compete among each other; similar to more traditional sports’ league events.

  El Modena brought an intermediate jazz, a co-ed hip hop, a lyrical small group, and an  all-male group dance. Being the first competition of the season, three out of the four dances had not been performed for a large audience or judged, so the teams were looking for critiques to improve within the season.

  The first dance of the day for El Modena was a intermediate jazz dance previously performed at the homecoming assembly called “Heads Will Roll.” The funky electro music by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, hot sequined red shorts, and high-energy technical choreography embodied a traditional jazz dance. A mild mishap occurred near the end of the dance in which the music skipped. One of the most critical factors in dance is that when the music stops you must proceed, in which the Vanguards didn’t miss a beat.

  Following “Heads Will Roll” was a large hip hop number in the co-ed division called “Kiss Me Quick.” Both teams worked in the studio under instruction from guest choreographer Kristin Santiago to master waaking, house, popping, and breakdancing elements incorporated into the dance. The number proved successful as the crowd responded well to the tricks and flips within the dance.

  The competition than transitioned from hip hop to lyrical in which a selective small group (pictured above) was set to perform to Bear’s Den melancholy masterpiece “Above the Clouds of Pompeii.” The song is about a boy in the midst of losing his mother and comforting his grieving dad while both in low-spirits. Emotional pep talks in the wings led the dancers to tears while  reflecting on their personal losses and what the dances symbolizes. Sophomore Vanessa Carroll says that she’s, “been told many times before to ‘feel something.’ I didn’t quite understand, and it always just felt forced … until I danced last night.” She continued to say that, “We left every bit of our heart out on that dance floor. We were all crying in the middle of our dance, because we could feel the energy bouncing off of each other.”

  The reinvented all-male dance group was next, competing for the first time as Vizion Crew and under the direction of SMRF Kids’ choreographer Erik Sandoval. Morphing them from mainly poppers and bboys to technically strong hip hop dancers.

  Awards proceeded and the nervous energy in the room was exchanged for freestyling. Vizion Crew’s Francisco Flores represented El Modena in a freestyle circle with his bboy style. Leaving West Coast Elite with a taste of what El Modena’s dance teams are capable of and what is in store for the continuation of the season.

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