Believe in the Magic of the Night


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The curtain rises, the crowd grows silent, the lights flash on, and the dancers start to twirl.  Flashes of color light up the darkened stage, as the costumes, makeup, and glitter intertwine.  Gentle music plays over the sound of the crowd’s approval.  The dancers bow, the lights dim, the music fades out, and regrettably, the magical moment ends.  This is exactly what happened the nights of December 5 and 6, where the Social Dance Club danced the night away, along with the members of Dancing With the (Almost) Stars.

The two groups were led by Andrea Holyoak and Marla Spencer – Gem Valley’s own personal gems.  Every fall and spring, the two manage a group of over 100 high school students, from several different schools, a feat in and of itself.  But what makes it more remarkable is the fact that they teach three or four dances to these kids, many of whom had never even been to a dance before, let alone understand or even know how to dance themselves!  Not only that, but the club performs their dances, which are often learned within two or three months, in front of several hundred of the community, as part of a charitable fundraiser for people who are experiencing difficulties and challenges.  This year, the club raised an incredible $5000 dollars for three lovely ladies – Carol Lewis, Karen Pino, and Linda Mickelson – who are constantly helping our school and students to become much better!

There were four different styles of dances for the 106 students.  The first one, a lively jive/jitterbug, was danced to “Rocking on top of the World” from the iconic movie The Polar Express.  The dancers started the rousing number by running on stage from the back of the auditorium, which really set a festive mood for the song.  The second dance was to the song “Believe” from the same movie, which was also the theme of the night.  That performance brought many in the audience to tears as the members gracefully executed every move.  Katelyn Andersen said, “The excitement was so intense!  We all got to show off the hard work we all put into our dances.”  The beautiful dance definitely showed the hard work of the dancers.  The third dance, arguably one of the most energetic, also danced to a song off  The Polar Express.  Danced to “Hot Chocolate,” the flashy waiter costumes competed with extremely shiny trays that almost acted like strobe lights.  Senior Mark McGregor said it was fun, but “my suspender broke like 1000 times.”  The fourth and final dance was an intricate waltz danced to “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24,” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  The members held themselves in utter precision, echoing the melancholy but beautiful mood that the song emulated.  Although the members were glad when the night ended, the memory would be bitter-sweet for many people, especially the seniors.  Many people have been in SDC since their freshman year, and leaving the group is like leaving a part of their hearts behind.  Junior Jenna Harrison says, “Social dance and all of the memories I have made will always have a special place in my heart.”

The second part of the show was no less inspiring, but definitely more hilarious!  Dancing With the (Almost) Stars is a group that consists of eight couples who learned two or three dances to compete with each other to receive the incredible “Mirror Ball,” the ultimate prize for the dancing group.  Among these performers, and winners, were two of Grace High School’s own teachers – Mr. Mark Dodge and his wife Shantay, as well as Mr. Rick Hatch and his wife Katie.  They also included Channing and Britney Hemsley in their group who just served to make it so much more hilarious.  This group of creative dancers had the audience and judges rolling in tears.  The men dressed very… manly… in full elf costumes- complete with red tights and green shorts.  The ladies dressed with cute striped aprons, but were no less crazy than their husbands.  The dance involved the men lifting Mr. Hatch above their heads as he smiled and waved like a princess, all adding to the hilarity of the situation.  Regardless, the group won the competition, but not without working hard for it.  The other two groups danced marvelously as well.  When asked how winning felt to him, Mr. Dodge mischievously stated, “I was so happy.  I felt like I was the best dancer ever.  Now I feel confident enough to join the real show and win!”

Regardless of who won the show, the memories of that special night will go on for a long time.  The members of the club would like to thank Andrea and Marla for all the hard work and fun that went into this special experience.

 

 Grace SDC Members:

Seniors:  AJ Anderson, Annie Bower, Austin Ruud, Brin Conner, Brittany Brady, Brooklyn Mickelson, Cali Johnson, Dani Clegg, Deseret Crandall, Efrain Velazquez, Haylee Hill, Jace Spencer, Jenessa Rigby, Josie Jensen, Kristina Tolman, Kylie Funk, Lincoln Skinner, Mark McGregor, Megan Warnes, Nick Mickelson, Perrin Gundersen, Rosa Hoskins, Talon Barger, Whitney Hansen

Juniors: Alyson Weaver, Amanda McCurdy, Braxton Jensen, Brittanee Rasmussen, Caitlyn Mickelson, Daxx Jorgensen, Gable Holyoak, Jenna Harrison, Jordan Collins, Justin Partain, McKammen Johnson, Michael Kubrom, Oaklie Jensen, Payton Campbell, Sadie Gough, Shae Donaldson, Soriah Lunt

Sophomores: Camm Jorgensen, Cash Spencer, Charlotte Barger, Connor Gundersen, Heather Mansfield, Hugo Plancarte, Hyrum Rasmussen, Jacob Reeves, Josh Anderson, Alexis Sorenson, McCoy Gunnell, Octavio Perez, Paige Johnson, Raymond Stone, Sarah Brady, Skyler Dille, Taelor Froehlich, Tyler Williams, Wylie Shupe

Freshman: Abby Mortenson, Breanna Hill, Brinklee Holyoak, Gaston Smith, Hannity Johnson, Ivor Gibbs, Jessica Corder, Jesus Rodriguez, Jordan Mansfield, Katelyn Andersen, Katie Ruud, Kayci Younger, Kylee Painter, Lindsey Lloyd, Maddie Windley, Makell Pitcher, Marina Warnes, Michael Anderson, Morgan Bower, Ryan McCurdy, Uriel Perez, Zoeigh Walker

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