Wuraola Adetola goes by many different names. Her parents call her “Wuraola.” Her friends call her “Wura.” At Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts, however, she’s been dubbed the “Afrobeat Queen,” for bringing her love of dancing and an urge to try something new to create the Afrobeats Club.
Julia Flete just completed a 14-week dance workshop at NYU Tisch, one of the most competitive dance schools in the country. In addition to her weekly classes after school and her advanced conservatory dance elective during the day, Julia spent every Saturday in the spring practicing with current Tisch college students and some of the country’s most promising high school dancers.
SA Union Square is buzzing as performers run through a tech rehearsal for the annual Performing Arts Festival. The festival has been in the works since the fall, with schools from across the network refining dance, chorus, band, theater, and poetry pieces in hopes that they will be included in the evening’s program. All in all, 363 scholars from 16 schools were selected to perform in the event on February 20 — a sold-out success.
In late April, head coach Dedrick Lee Anthony took the Success Academy Network Dance Team to the regional division of one of the most prestigious dance competitions in the country, Onstage New York.
The Performing Arts Showcase featured 11 acts — from musical theater performances and energetic dance routines, to upbeat choir songs and African drumming. Every group auditioned for the chance to represent their school at the showcase. Throughout the Showcase, scholars fused their passions for dance, song, and theater, with strong social messages about racial equality. We know you’ll be inspired as we were by their talent.
Tomorrow evening, hundreds of Success Academy families and staff will pack into the auditorium at SA Union Square as 170 scholars go through their final stretching routines and vocal warmups backstage.
Building a strong dance community requires a uniquely concerted effort from both teachers and scholars.
As the saying goes, age is just a number. Just ask my K-3 scholars who recently spent an afternoon giving dance lessons to senior citizens.
Scholar and dancer Lala Diallo discusses her love of dance, the impact it has had on her school experience and the excitement of preparing for and dancing in the Performing Arts Showcase.