Classic film inspires dance lessons

Kirthi Injeti, Guest Contributor

Dance 1 students are wrapping up the school year by working on various types of dance, such as musicals. Their latest project involves watching West Side Story, inspired by the play Romeo and Juliet, and writing a paper.

“The purpose of the essay is to explain the movie,” freshman Ashley Phillips said. “It was a touching story about two people from two rival groups falling in love and having to face their families hatred towards each other. Overall the musical had an amazing story, catchy music and beautiful choreography.”  

Dance instructor Marina Gonzalez believes that West Side Story in important for students to watch because of the messages the musical conveys.

West Side Story is important for students to watch because it is filled with amazing takeaways,” Gonzalez said. “The choreography in the film is timeless and so much fun to watch; the performances are all stunning and impressive to witness. Lastly, the colors in the film are gorgeous!The story itself pays homage to the classic Romeo and Juliet, but tells the story through an American lense. It also touches on sensitive social issues such as immigration, racism, and discrimination.”

Most Dance 1 students enjoyed the musical and took away a lot of relevant issues that relate to current society.

“I really enjoyed watching West Side Story in dance, because it really shows the problems of the world and the discrimination immigrants get,” freshman Amy Kim said. “It’s the little things we actually don’t see, and it lets you see deeper into it in a musical way.”

Gonzalez hopes the point of views in the musical will help students understand people who face discrimination similar to the characters in their life today.

The social themes of the musical film are experienced first hand by many in our own country; add into the mix the social climate surrounding immigration and discrimination itself and you’ve got what you need to make this story relevant,” Gonzalez said. “West Side Story does an excellent job of breaking down the underlying issues in an easy way to follow through dialogue and song. It is crystal clear how characters think of themselves, others, and their surroundings. Through guided discussion students can become aware of how this applies to life today and the current events surrounding these social issues.”