‘Root to Rise’ showcases Tolog talent


FSHA dancers showcased their talent and hard work over the course of four shows of “Root to Rise.” The show ran from Thursday, March 7 to Saturday, March 9. This is the company’s first show with its new director, Ms. Jessie Ryan.

The concert pushed boundaries as it featured visual effects and utilized props to create fun, engaging dance numbers.

“Ms. Ryan has helped us [dancers] to find inspiration and passion through the many different creative activities that she has us do. We used the theme of ‘Root to Rise’ to help us connect to these dance pieces and showcase what we have been working on all year,” Jaden Jones ‘20, a member of the dance company, said.

The show was inspired by a poem by Rupi Kaur. The concert was separated into five different themes. The themes show the progression of a growing plant as a metaphor for life.

“The show starts off with a dance called ‘Wilt,’ which gives the show a starting point. Then it transitions into ‘Fall,’ which expresses the feelings behind a downfall. Then ‘Root’ and ‘Rise’ show the growth of a person, before the show finally ends on ‘Bloom,’” Lia Ramos ‘20, a member of FSHA’s dance company, said.

Before starting her teaching career, Ryan was a professional dancer with an elite dance team called Diavolo.

“She is very organized and runs dance like a professional company. She gives us an idea of what it’s like to be dancers in the industry,” Alexa Zuch ‘20 said.

“What I focused on this year was having the girls be a community on stage. A lot of training is typically about learning your material and facing the audience when performing, but there’s so much more of a connection on stage when perfomers can find each others’ eyes and actually give each other weight,” Ryan said.

Ryan’s focus has been effective, as members of the dance company consider themselves to be a tight-knit group.

“I am happy to be doing what we are doing, making connections and telling stories. Dance company for me is like another family,” Jones said.