Senior Emma Bohse, DCo. Captain, Prepares For Final Dance

Emma Bohse has been dancing for most of her life.

She has been a part of the Dance Company (DCo) for all four years of high school. She has also been a competitive dancer since the age of eight, and is now committed to dance for the Penn State Lionettes. As a senior, she now must follow the DCo tradition of co-choreographing a senior dance with her peers. Performing this piece is her last opportunity to dance with those who have been by her side for years.

Typically, DCo seniors would perform their original dance at their Spring concert. However, due to COVID-19, performances were cancelled this year. 

That is why seniors were ecstatic when they were put on the roster to perform in-person at this year’s graduation ceremony taking place at Merriweather. 

While graduation may be the only opportunity for an in-person dance performance this year, the Dance Company prepared multiple virtual performances throughout the year. They have put together a virtual Winter concert that was posted to Youtube, and they are currently working on their virtual Spring concert. 

Dance company members have encountered some obstacles when it comes to preparing for their virtual and in-person performances. 

Pullquote Photo

                  Dance gives me a moment in my day where I don’t have to just sit in front of my computer. Instead, it takes me to a happier place where I can forget about everything going on in the world.

— Emma Bohse

One obstacle was teaching their choreography through Google Meets. “The camera mirrors our movements, so we then have to turn our backs to the camera in order to know which direction we are going. We’ve all had to learn new ways to explain our choreography, it’s been a huge learning curve,” says Emma.

Preparing for the graduation performance has been a challenge. After learning, polishing, and perfecting choreography, members upload a video of themselves performing for a grade. They then meet for practices once a week on the football field (with masks on and being socially distanced) so that they can get a feel for what it’s going to be like performing at Merriweather. 

“I am so excited that we get to showcase this piece that we worked so hard on,” Emma says. 

At graduation, seven seniors will perform a contemporary dance to “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. 

There is no doubt that the coronavirus has made this school year difficult by taking away traditions that seniors normally get to experience, but Emma says she wouldn’t have been able to get through this challenging time without dancing. 

“Having to drastically adjust the way class is run has definitely been draining, but it’s worth it to get to dance and share my passion.”