Every spring, this showcase of students on stage leaves a big wake.
The Chicora Rotary Club’s fourth annual “Waves of the Future: Rotary’s Celebration of Horry County Schools” – a benefit for fine arts programs in Horry County Schools, and local and international Rotary projects such as polio eradication, the Dictionary Program, and Project Happy Feet – will command the stage at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Calvin Gilmore Theater in Myrtle Beach, home of “The Carolina Opry” and “Time Warp.”
Twenty-four acts were booked for the 2016 event, said Kraig McBroom, the show’s director every year, who also heads Carolina Forest High School’s vocal music department.
He said some schools have more than one performance in this, and he views this extravaganza as “a great chance for younger students and their parents to see what is happening in our high school programs.”
“I think it encourages them to stay involved in the arts and work hard at it so they can perform with the ‘big kids’ one day.” McBroom said. “Our students from Carolina Forest act also as the hosts for each group, guiding them through their experience from the holding room to back stage, to on stage and greeting them when they come off the stage and taking them back to their seats.
“It’s always a fun process for both sides of the coin – encouraging the younger students and praising them as well as sort of having a chance to “strut their stuff’ a little when they get on stage themselves. There’s a big number at the end as all of the performers flood the stage and all the aisles of the theater and sing together. It’s amazing to watch that happen.”
Black Water Middle School is one of the entries with two acts, one in each half. They include a dance number by 55 seventh-graders and five eighth-graders, with Osagie D. Ehigie (“Mr. E.”), the Conway school’s instructor of dance education and arts management. He spoke of the thrill of being the first all-dance troupe to make the cut at a “Waves of the Future” event.
Question | How did Black Water Middle School pursue and win the honor to join the roster for “Waves of the Future”?
Answer | Of the 24 performance acts from Horry County Schools chosen for the 2016 fundraiser, only five of these acts represent middle school level talent, and we are the first and only all-dance event to be featured and perform at this event. I’m so proud of my students for all of their work, and for allowing me to push them to the limit every day during class. Instruction time is valued to every teacher, but when trying to teach material well beyond the experience level of my students, that limited time becomes even more precious to me.
In order to be selected, we had to present a video submission of what we intended to perform the night of the show in full costume. I had to write a formal proposal of the artistic intent of our contributions, and then hope that we made the cut. A panel of nonpartisan judges from out of state select some of the best submissions to be included in the evening’s celebrations. (See the submission video: youtu.be/T2XV5nU8jSU.)
Q. | What will the dance group’s performance comprise, and how much rehearsing went into that so early on?
A. | The kids will be playing the role of young professionals in a brand new show that happens to have a group of producers visit their final rehearsal in hopes of finding a show worthy of lending their financial support to. I will play the role of the show’s choreographer. The overall concept is a fairy tale version of the success that we’re actually experienced in real life here at Black Water Middle. It’s hard to believe that this dance program is only in its third year.
At the time of the filming, we had invested about 20 rehearsal hours on this project. We did the first 15 hours all before learning the Christmas show, as well just to be sure we didn’t miss the deadline. At the end of the day, this was an additional project for us, so I still had other technical tasks and skills that the kinds must learn and master this year so I have pushed them harder during these “Wave Of The Future” rehearsals so it sticks once we return to our regular activities each week.
Q. | How have the seasonal dance performances at school – which are becoming a routine and tradition now – taken root, and how has the community reception and attendance been?
A. | I never thought that I’d sell out a middle school dance show, yet three times a year, we produce major shows that sell out and leave standing room only. The first show of the season is the Student Choreography Show, which launches in September, just 30 school days after the start of the new academic year. The winter season welcomes the Yuletide Magic Winter Holiday Show, where students first debut their tap and ballet technique, and finally, we close the school year with the Spring Dance Showcase, which this year is “Old Glory: A Tribute to America & Her People.” This showcase features a full arsenal of jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary, and hip-hop dance styles, and as tradition holds, all of the shows are family friendly.
The overwhelming positive response from the surrounding community and Horry County as a whole is proof enough that people still value the artistic growth that’s possible within the public school system. I’m always proud to see audience members be moved to tears or smile with beaming joy due to the performances of my students. I do my best to teach them to dance beyond the mere steps and connect with the underlying message of what dance can express.
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 843-444-1764.
If you go
WHAT: Chicora Rotary Club’s fourth annual “Waves of the Future: Rotary’s Celebration of Horry County Schools”
WITH: 24 performances by students from Horry County Schools, and Diane DeVaughn Stokes and Brett Mahaffey as masters of ceremonies
▪ Act 1 – Aynor Elementary School Blue Pan Steel Band, Black Water Middle School Dance Department, Aynor Elementary Drum Band, Loris High Blue Pride, Aynor Middle Baby Blue Notes, Ocean Bay Middle Chorus, St. James High Chandler McCune, Socastee High Trombone Quartet, Myrtle Beach High Seahawk Show, North Myrtle Beach High Trio, Conway Elementary Honor Chorus, and Carolina Forest High SpotLight Women’s Show Choir.
▪ Act 2 – Lakewood Elementary Steel Band, Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology’s Amanda Miele (soloist), Carolina Forest High Men’s Group/Dancers, Black Water Middle Seventh Grade Chorus/Dancers, Green Sea Floyds Middle Tinkling Team Chorus, Loris High Loris Lions Singers, North Myrtle Beach High Advanced Chorus, Whittemore Park Middle Tiger Production, Loris Middle Girls Ensemble, Socastee High Singers, Carolina Forest High ShowCase Show Choir, and combined groups in “I’ve Got the Music in Me.”
BENEFITING: Fine arts programs in Horry County Schools, and local and international Rotary projects such as polio eradication, the Dictionary Program, and Project Happy Feet.
WHEN: 4 p.m. April 17
WHERE: Calvin Gilmore Theater, on U.S. 17 Business at U.S. Bypass on northern tip of Myrtle Beach.
HOW MUCH: $24.95, $29.95 or $45.95 ages 17 and older; and $9.95, $14.95 or $19.95 ages 3-16.
ALSO: Every paid ticket to “Waves of the Future” will include a non-transferable voucher to attend a performance of “The Carolina Opry” or “Time Warp” – up to $49.40 retail value – for any performance, April 11-23.
INFORMATION: 843-913-4000 or chicorarotary.org/waves-of-the-future/
Other school/youth shows this spring
▪ “The Sleeping Beauty,” by Coastal Dance Centre’s Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre of Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet, 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at Beach Church, 557 George Bishop Parkway, just west of Myrtle Beach, between U.S. 501 and U.S. 17 Bypass. $25 ages 13 and older and $10 ages 3-12. 843-839-5678, 843-651-2006 or www.cybt.org.
▪ “The Wizard of Oz,” by Palmetto Academy of Learning and Success charter school of Myrtle Beach, 6 p.m. April 22 and 1 p.m. April 23 at South Strand Assembly of God, 3507 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet. $3 adults, $1 children. 843-293-1725 or www.palmettoacademy.com.
▪ Long Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra’s spring concert, 7:30 p.m. April 27 at Coastal Carolina University Wheelwright Auditorium, off U.S. 501 in Conway. $10 adults, $5 students. 843-448-8379 or longbaysymphony.com.
▪ “Legally Blonde,” 7 p.m. April 28-30 and 2 p.m. April 30-May 1, at St. James High School, 10800 S.C. 707, Murrells Inlet, at Salem Road in Burgess community. $12, or $10 seniors. 843-650-5600 or sjh.horrycountyschools.net/pages/St__James_High_School.
▪ “Broadway and Beyond,” by Socastee High School Show Choirs, 7 p.m. May 6-7 at school, 4900 Socastee Blvd., near Dick Pond Road. $5. 843-293-9041.
▪ “James and the Giant Peach Jr.” by Coastal Youth Theatre Arts School, 7:30 p.m. May 13-14 and 3 p.m. May 15 (and school field trip date of May 12). $15 adults and $7 children. 843-488-0821 or www.coastaluouththeatre.com.
▪ “Spring Dance Showcase: Old Glory,” 6:30 p.m. May 17-18 at Black Water Middle School, 900 E. Cox Ferry Road, Conway, between S.C. 90 and U.S. 501. $5. 843-903-8440.
▪ “Annie Jr.,” 6 p.m. May 26 at Loris Middle School, 5209 Highway 66. $5. 843-756-2181.
▪ 21st annual Dance Recital by Litchfield Dance Arts Academy of Litchfield Beach: June 5 at Waccamaw High School, 2412 Kings River Road, Pawleys Island, with preshow at noon, Act I at 2 p.m., and Act II at 4 p.m. $15 ages 3 and older, otherwise free. 843-237-7465 or www.litchfielddance.com.