Choreography Hell Week

Megan Smith, Contributor

The third week of October of this year was Company of Singers choreography week. The choreographer is April James, along with her dog, Undie, and her assistant, Lexi. April is from Los Angeles and comes up to Minnesota every year to help out with Company.  

Joe Dols, a first year company member, described how well he works with April. “Working with April is great. She has great ideas and she does a really thorough job teaching the choreography to us.”

When April choreographs, she doesn’t use just one style. “April James’ dances are in all kinds of different styles. In our show, we dance slow and lyrical, almost similar to a ballet in the kind of movement; elegant and smooth. We also dance in a more hip-hop style, with a lot of low levels and slightly more relaxed posture. We also do a high-energy and intense style.” describes Ben Kroll, a third year member of Company.

There are ups and downs when it comes to choreography week, more commonly known as ‘Choreo week from Hell’, by those who are in Company. Many people in COS are also in the play and other extracurriculars. Going from one practice to another is time consuming. Ben Kroll sums up his fellow cast and COS members thoughts by saying “Sleep takes a back seat to homework.”

Being a lead in this years play, Guys and Dolls, and being mentally present in all hours of practice, while practicing 4-6 hours a night, always ending around 9 o’clock and sometimes later, takes a toll on all of the members.

Ashley Neske, a two year member, says, “Sometimes, the later it gets, the more tired my brain is and it’s hard to comprehend all of the information April is giving us. But also easier because knowing that we are learning our show and how it goes makes it easier to get through rehearsals.”

But, the groups doesn’t let the lack of sleep get them down. Ashley says her energy stays up because of, “The rush of it all. Seeing what our show is going to look like and getting the dance is the best because you feel like you accomplished something,”.

Joe says, “It’s just so much fun being with this group of people and how excited we are to work at this.” Is what he likes most about the week.

The theme of this years show is quite complicated. The overall idea is ‘speed’. Songs ranging from fast and upbeat to slow and almost romantic feeling. Not too much can be said about the theme as to keep it a secret until the first time it is performed so the audience doesn’t know what to expect.

The group doesn’t let their lack of sleep get them down. Competition season will start sometime in January, giving the group plenty of time to make everything perfect.

The COS members highly suggest joining any of the show choirs offered. “It’s so fun, we are all a family, everyone comes together to create something that people don’t understand is so amazing, everyone is happy and positive. It has been an amazing experience and I have found life long friends. Join show choir because it will be the most challenging, stressful, and the most amazing thing you have ever done!” Says Ashley Neske. Ben Kroll says, “Absolutely. 100%. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had.” and Joe Dols says, “Definitely, it’s so much fun being a part of this group and the people in it, there is no judgement when it comes to ability so if you don’t have experience, it doesn’t change your experience.” 

It is too late in the season to join Company, but there is an all-guys group called the Testostertones (T-Tones) and an all-girls group called Encore. If you are not interested in being on stage, there is band and crew for all three show choirs. Sign up sheets are up by the choir room for show choir, talk to Mr. Voss about being in crew, and talk to Mr. Hoffman about participating in band.