Let it Glow

Celebrities, Organizations Perform Annual Holiday Show on Dec. 2


Photo by Tristan Hernandez

Striking a pose, Celebrities lieutenant and senior Ava Caldwell performs her squad routine at the holiday show on Dec. 2. Caldwell’s team performed a high energy jazz routine to an “All I Want For Christmas” remix. “Leading up to the show, I was pretty nervous because I have a lot more dances and responsibilities as an officer during the show,” Caldwell said. “The holiday show is my favorite with the music, the groups featured and the styles of dance we typically get to do. This year was even more exciting because I had the chance of choreographing something for my squad as an officer.”

Ally JohnPress, Editor-in-Chief

Decked out in their sparkly sweaters, elegant dresses and holiday-themed outfits, the Celebrities and other organizations danced along to festive music at the annual holiday show yesterday. The performance was held in the PAC, unlike last year, where it was held in the gym due to COVID-19 restrictions, and included more clubs and organizations, as well as more audience engagement.

The celebrities performed three team routines and four squad routines, with each dance choreographed in a different style: hip hop, musical theater, jazz and contemporary. The team also showcased their contemporary routine “Beloved” for the first time this year.

“Each of the four lieutenants choreographed and prepared their own routines to perform with their squads, each one a different style that encapsules each squad’s energy and character, which I think the audience really enjoy[ed],” Celebrities captain and senior Katie Kim said. “Last year, I was able to choreograph a hip hop routine for my squad, and I really enjoyed that bond I got to share with my teammates. It’s one of those experiences that really brings everyone together as a group. It also made me a better leader, as I was responsible for a number in the show as well as for creating and setting a routine for my teammates. I have really loved getting to witness this process within the squads this year.”

In addition to choreographing their squad dances, Celebrities’ line and social officers learned their own routines. The line officers performed their contemporary dance “Cosmic Love,” and the social officers performed a jazzy Christmas routine named “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” 

Holding an extension, drill team prep dancer and freshman Erika Kauffman performs the team’s kick and jazz routine to “Holidays” by Meghan Trainor during the holiday show. Photo by Tristan Hernandez.

“Leading up to the show, I was pretty nervous because I have a lot more dances and responsibilities as an officer during the show,” Celebrities lieutenant and senior Ava Caldwell said. “The holiday show is my favorite with the music, the groups featured and the styles of dance we typically get to do. This year was even more exciting because I had the chance of choreographing something for my squad as an officer. My squad and I danced to an ‘All I Want For Christmas’ remix that was a high energy jazz routine.”

Color guard also participated in the holiday show and performed to the song “White Winter Hymnal.” The display included dance work, a flag feature and a senior dance trio.

“I’d say the most exciting part of the performance [was] getting to perform in front of people again,” color guard member and sophomore Lily Dodds said. “After our last competition almost a month ago, I think all of us [were] excited to be in front of people showing off our stuff again. I really like the dancing parts because we don’t usually get a lot of dance work and dancing is a lot of fun.”

The show not only features the Celebrities and officer dances, but groups such as the Luminaries dance team, theater, cheer, color guard, Spanish honor society, choir, CPHS dance classes and the CPMS Crimson Cadets. 

“[Theater performed] the opening number of the entire show, and really gave it an introduction into the time period the musical takes place in,” actor and senior Colin Kennedy said. “I played the Minstrel, meaning I was front and center for most of the song, which was definitely exciting since it’s the biggest role I’ve had in one of our productions.”

The Spanish Honor Society and club also performed at the show, singing a mashup of three songs, two of which included “Feliz Navidad” and “Cascabel,” and choreography created by celebrity Anna Clark. 

“It was super exciting to be able to perform,” Spanish Honor Society Vice President Bella Fernandez said. “I hope it brought a lot of holiday joy to the school, considering last year many of us weren’t really able to get together and celebrate the holidays with school friends and be able to really feel the atmosphere that develops the closer we get to the holidays.”

The varsity cheerleaders also partook in the holiday show and performed their classic Mean Girls dance. 

“I [was] super excited for the dance,” varsity cheerleader and junior Sarah Vorndran said. “Myself and the rest of the team [were] excited because it gave us a little break from the stress of competition coming up. My favorite part of the dance was when we came together in lines because we were all laughing and having fun. It is fun doing something like this with the team and a good way for us to all connect with each other and get in the Christmas spirit.”

As for preparations, the Celebrities start every morning with a 7 a.m. practice where they stage, clean and learn routines. Certain routines are choreographed by the dancers themselves, and others are done by choreographers. This year, the team focused on routines including contemporary, hip hop and the traditional holiday show finale, performed to “Let it Snow.” 

“We have been preparing for the show since mid-September: preparing team routines, polishing, resetting and choreographing,” Caldwell said. “It’s been a lot of work, but everyone did great with a lot of energy, especially having a more normal show this year. After last year’s show in the gym we were really excited to be able to perform in the PAC like normal.”

Another group in the school who helped out with the show was Timberwolf Agency, the graphic design program, led by Anthony Garcia. They created the Holiday Show program for the Celebrities, as well as posters, programs and ads for other programs throughout the school.

“I used Illustrator and a little bit of inspiration from Pinterest [to create the Celebrities program], but mostly just my own ideas,” associate editor of the Timberwolf Agency and senior Natalie Cohen said. “I love the more minimalistic theme, so I wanted to make my design look clean and cute. I enjoy it because I get to use my creativity to create designs, and I love getting to see people with what I made. At the holiday show, everyone was holding my program and wearing the shirt with my design on it and I loved it.”

Before Thanksgiving break, the Celebrities team released who would be joining the team next year. Among the Rising Stars include sophomore Morgan Nabi, who has been dancing for almost 11 years, since she was five. 

“I am really excited that I made [the team],” Nabi said. “I tried out last year and unfortunately did not make it, but for the last eight months I’ve been going to my studio and working really hard on my flexibility and technique with my dance teacher over at the studio. I would have to say I am most excited for football season and being around a team of girls that feels like family, because when I was a little girl I dreamed about being on that football field doing high kicks, and now I feel like all my hard work and dedication paid off.”

Next semester, the officers will prepare their routines for competition, organize the annual solo and ensemble competition and start cleaning routines for the spring show. Also, the team is taking a trip to Hawaii over spring break.

“I’m so excited for Hawaii,” Caldwell said. “We are planning to do so many fun activities, and I’m just excited to go with my team to relax because we work so hard all year. Hawaii was very unexpected because in years previous it has been New York or Los Angeles, but I think everyone is just very thankful for the opportunity to travel after canceling or trip last year.”