A Choreographer’s Inspiration

A Lasting Impact

There are times as a choreographer when creating a piece of choreography can have an even greater lasting impact than could have been imagined. One of those such dances for me was “High Hopes”.

When I began the process of creating this competition tap dance, November 19, 2019 my first goal was to reflect the powerful lyrics of the song “High Hopes” (by Panic! At The Disco), and if successful, empower the dancers performing the dance with a positive attitude to believe in themselves, and always have high hopes for their future. Secondly, for the dancers performing to then touch the audience with a positive message that would empower viewers with “High Hopes” to always pursue their dreams.

The unexpected additional meaningful impact of this dance for the dancers and myself came about when the pandemic hit and derailed the world. We had just held our Rally early March of 2020 and we were getting ready to take the stage in late April when of course, we all know what happened next…

Pivot, Pivot and Pivot Again

We all did a sharp “pivot” onto Zoom never realizing that this pandemic would still be with us 2 years later.  But with “High Hopes” we continued to practice our dance hopeful that this was a temporary situation and that we would be able to compete the dance in person in 2020. Instead, our Zoom lifeline continued but kept us training, gave us purpose, and a goal to work on together. It gave us that much needed social connection and lifted our spirits as uncertainty continued to have no end in sight.  

Though our in-person competition was unattainable for 2020, we continued to re-fine “High Hopes” All of our dances and dancers create their own inspiring backdrops from the safety of their own homes where we then videotaped a Concert in August 2020, sharing the love and passion of dance and friendship.

Invincibility, perseverance, and everlasting impact came into play next, when though we had all moved on to a new season of choreography and the goal of performing our new dances in-person for 2021.  “High Hopes” lived up to its name and message, when the dancers and parents alike wanted to bring “High Hopes to the competition stage a year and a half later! The energy, power, promise, confidence, hope and teamwork of a year and a half exploded on the competition stage earning this dance 5th overall at Nationals by never giving up on our “High Hopes”!

Words of Inspiration

“Always had high, high hopes
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Didn’t know how but I always had a feeling
I was gonna be that one in a million
Always had high, high hopes

Mama said
Fulfill the prophecy
Be something greater

Go make a legacy
Manifest destiny
Back in the days
We wanted everything, wanted everything”