Orchesis girls give “Ethereal” performance in new show

Megan Malartsik, Staff Reporter

As we reach the final stretch of winter, athletes in season wind down and complete their winter seasons and spring athletes prepare for their seasons beginning. But unlike the other teams, Orchesis athletes have increased their intensity to put on their biggest event of the year, popularly known as O-Show.

Orchesis at Elk Grove High School is a team consisting of 21 girls who tried out and worked all year to put on a show built up of dances choreographed by students.  These dances begin as an assignment but if they get chosen to be in the show then they get turned into legit pieces performed in front of an audience. The dancer themselves will host auditions and select fellow dancers who they think best fit the creative vision they wish to portray in their dance. The students then teach dancers their dance and host their own rehearsals, making it almost completely student-run, making orchesis very unique from other sports teams and increasingly challenging. 

“Teaching a dance [to your peers] can be nerve wracking because you have to remember everything and know how to teach and describe details, it can be an overwhelming process,” Wiktoria Gladczuk, junior orchesis member, said in an interview.  

The workload all year round is quite extravagant but nothing compares to the infamous “crash week”. Crash week occurs twice during the year; the beginning and at the end of the season. In the beginning of the year it is primarily focused on beginning dance rehearsals and starting the “cleaning process” of the dances to give them a headstart on O-show developments. 

“Most of our dances end up being done by the third or fourth week and we have crash week to thank for that,” senior orchesis president Becca Elsner said. 

An early start not only makes the second crash week less intense but it brings the girls together sooner which makes the rest of the season flow smoother.

The season ends a week before the show with the second and final crash week meant to clean and fix any details not spotted in the previous rehearsals and gives the team a chance to see the show and complete final edits. 

“It may be exhausting, but we push through and get through it together as a team,” Elsner said. 

All of that preparation led to great success in this year’s show, “Ethereal.” It was highly valued by the team, especially the seniors, as they got to perform in front of an audience again instead of the outdoor pre-recorded version of the show last year. 

“I love performing and hearing the audience cheer for me and my fellow peers. Last year, we got none of that. We put so much effort into that show (like we do all of them), but we only got to “perform” once on a video (opposed to three times in person),” Elsner said. 

In the past years, the majority of the show’s dances are a darker, heavier type of dance but this year, the show was primarily full of upbeat and energetic dances, making it harder for the choreographer but more engaging for the audience. 

“This year was very fun and uplifting and I feel like we were all in a really good place,” Gladczuk said. 

Although Gladczuk described the behind the scenes of “Ethereal” as “chaotic but a blast,” the show appeared clean and successful. Feeling the energy and passion bounce off the dancers every move made for an exciting and enjoyable performance. 

Of course creating dances, making friends, crash week, and show week are a large part of orchesis and makes the experience worth being a part of, both Elsner and Gladczuk take more away from the team than just the basic criteria. 

“Orchesis has taught me that I will take into the future, is how to be more confident in myself… coming to this program and seeing how caring and supportive everyone was, made me turn into a “new” person, having support from people really changed the way I viewed myself,” Elsner said. 

Gladzuk values the family aspect built amongst teammates making saying goodbye at the end of the season “so heartbreaking”.