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New HCPSS All-County Dance Ensemble Makes Its Debut

February 3rd, 2020

A female dancer with her arms in the air.

For the first time in more than 30 years, HCPSS has brought together dancers from across high schools to form an all-county dance ensemble.

Hammond High School Dance Instructional Team Leader Brooke Kuhl-McClelland was instrumental in establishing the ensemble. She tapped New York-based dancer, educator and choreographer Nathaniel Hunt and his colleague Allie Gee to lead the ensemble’s audition and choreograph its initial performance, along with Oakland Mills High School dance teacher Holli Tucci to serve as ensemble co-coordinator.

By completing a thorough audition, practicing with dancers they had never met previously, and receiving a portfolio session to improve their biography and headshots, the dancers benefited from vital experiences to get them ready for the professional dance world.

A group of female dancers.

“An ensemble opportunity such as this will prepare pre-professional dancers for what the professional dance world will be like. It is a glimpse into the audition process as well as the rehearsal process,” Hunt said.

Hunt continued, “What excites me the most about leading this group is that I have the opportunity to cultivate, educate and mentor a talented, humble and passionate group of young dancers.”

A female dancer suspended in air.

The selected 24 dancers—representing all HCPSS high schools—first learned a contemporary dance to the artist Senking’s “Shading” song, combining fluid movements with a bit of hip hop and even an acrobatic move.

The all-county troupe adds a new dimension to the school level opportunities HCPSS students have to take dance for Fine Arts credit, as well as other performance and choreographic experiences.

A group of female dancers.

A group of female dancers moving their arms.

A group of female dancers.

Image caption: The HCPSS all-county dance ensemble practices for its inaugural performance.