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SBS Newsies work with NYC Choreographer

Second Baptist School Theatre Company embarks on their annual choreography week.
For the past nine years, professional NYC choreographer, Kimberly Schafer, visits SBS each November to set several pieces for the upcoming upper school musical. This year, our cast of Disney’s NEWSIES worked harder than ever to pull off the intricate and athletic dancing the show requires.

The dance numbers they learned included “Seize the Day,” “Carrying the Banner,” “The World Will Know” and the upbeat tap number, “King of New York.” Students arrived at each rehearsal early in order to warm up, stretch their muscles and condition for the dancing ahead. These warmups were led by dance captain Caroline Bolling ‘21, with the assistance of Francesca Garvin ‘21 and Makayla Williams ‘21. If a student is late, the captains take the entire group back through the plank and arms section as many times as students are late. According to Director of Arts and Musical Director Cindy Blades, “It only takes one time for a student to be late, and then they never are again!”

After warm up, choreographer Kimberly Schafer, affectionately known by the students as Ms. Kim, got right to business. Students soaked in every eight-count and shamelessly attempted a plethora of new and highly advanced skills and steps. Ms. Kim not only taught group choreography, but also took the time to work with individuals to ensure an authentic portrayal of each Newsies persona. 

One of the most intricate numbers to learn was “King of New York,” a rhythmic and syncopated tap number that includes a section requiring students to dance on newspapers! Golden Girls coach Madelyn Whitehead, who is assisting with supplemental choreography in the show, said, “I have been dancing for over 20 years, and I found Ms. Kim’s tap choreography to be pretty advanced and challenging! I was so impressed with the confidence in which our students approached learning these difficult steps; they are fearless.” She continued, “All of the numbers are choreographed beautifully and will really bring the show to life.”

Working alongside a choreographer with Ms. Kim’s resume is not something many experience in their lifetime, let alone in high school! Our Second Baptist School theatre students are blessed with opportunities to explore their gifts and be challenged at the highest level. This respect and admiration is reciprocated according to Ms. Kim, “I love the high school students because they are so eager to learn and want to work hard for me. This group in particular is very special.” She went on to say,  “This was one of the hardest shows I've choreographed at SBS, both technically and athleticism-wise, and from start to finish the students were focused, dedicated and hard working. People are going to be blown away by their talent!”

The Second Baptist School production of Disney’s NEWSIES is certain to be a must-see for all. Tickets go on sale in January, but if you’d like to ensure access to the best seats in the house, join Director’s Circle!
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