Lancer Spotlight 2/1/23: Dance students prepare recital to celebrate Black History Month


Hannah Moore

Dance students try out ideas as they construct choreography for their February 9 performance. (Photographed from left to right: Mckinley Howard, Melissa Bowman, Regan Helm, Lily Godette, Molly Granger, Aubrey Heister, Cara Morgan.)

by Hannah Moore, Reporter

For the past few weeks, Linganore High School’s (LHS) dance class has been preparing for a performance on February 9 in honor of Black History Month.

This has brought a lot of student initiative and collaboration to the class, as students choreograph their dance to “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Students in grades 9-12 are working together as the date of the recital draws closer.

Their authority, and the need for student initiative, has increased this semester since teacher Angela Smithhisler, who is also the director of The Little Mermaid, has been out on maternity leave.

The current long-term substitute for Smithhisler is Joseph Aprill. Despite having no dance experience, Aprill is doing everything he can to support the students as they fill him in on the inner workings of LHS dance.

The dance itself is mainly student-run, and students foster a collaborative and creative environment for ideas to flow.

Senior and level 3 dancer Molly Granger has taken lead in the choreography but reports that everyone gets a say.

“It’s definitely a collaborative effort,” Granger said. “You’ve definitely seen that we just build off of each other. Like some people might throw out ideas, and we’re just working with things as we go.”

Even though the dance primarily consists intermediate and advanced dancers, there are a few beginners in the mix. Freshman and level 1 dancer Melissa Bowman was eager to take on the extra responsibilities this dance brings.

In regards to the challenges, Bowman said, “It’s a big commitment working with the other girls especially when you don’t have as much experience in a certain type of dance. But, they’re really support[ive,] … and it’s easy to catch up … and if you don’t know something, they’ll easily teach it to you.”

These efforts, and the camaraderie and teamwork demonstrated by students in the class, can be seen in action on the evening of February 9 at Linganore High School.