The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

Student Feature: Amanda Djuandi

“In dance, you can learn a lot more than just how to dance correctly, you can learn how to take care of yourself, how to work out safely, and how to push yourself to work harder.”
Lucy Wu

Among the multitudes of self-expression, dance is pursued by many students worldwide. Art has many intricate forms, portraying one’s expression of numerous topics. Freshman Amanda Djuandi is one of them, as she takes Beginning Dance at Arcadia High School (AHS).

Like many of her peers, she already has a background in dance. “I did ballet and gymnastics, and I took a dance class at First Avenue [Middle School] with Mrs. Young,” she said.

Starting dance again at AHS, Djuandi was surprised by the space and resources in the classroom. “I was impressed by the facilities of the dance classroom, and I was very happy and excited to learn that we were getting our own locker rooms,” she stated.

As school began, Djuandi quickly noticed that her past experiences aided in her dancing, and with other assignments. “It did help because the technique is very important, and we had a test on the basic across-the-floor moves. Without Mrs. Young’s class, I definitely would’ve struggled more,” recounts Djuandi.

“We had to write an essay about the quote, ‘Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.’ In the essay, there was a section where you had to relate the quote to your own experiences and feelings in dance, and I could use my past experiences to strengthen it.”

During their first dance evaluation, despite her exposure to dance, Djuandi still faced challenges. “I had some trouble with the footwork and timing of the dance, so I had to watch the recorded videos many times,” says Djuandi. “My dad even cleared up space at home just so I could practice.”

As the school year quickly progressed, all classes began to learn their routine for the upcoming Charity Dance Show. “The song Ms. Tedford picked is from one of my favorite movies, The Parent Trap (1998). This made the routine even more enjoyable to dance to, but I’ve never performed in front of so many people so I’m definitely nervous, but I am also confident in our abilities and our dance,” remarked Djuandi.

“I feel like Ms. Tedford is very good at choreographing the dance as well as planning out the formations, and she has also said that our purple costumes would look great under the lights. I’m very excited to show everyone what we’ve worked on for the show.”

Taking dance at AHS does not mean only dancing, but students have a chance to learn valuable information about their health, and what they can do to improve it. As Djuandi said, “During our nutrition project, we learned about the importance of having a balanced diet and lifestyle and taking care of our health. Now, I’m drinking more water, and I am more considerate about what I eat and what types of food I am eating, so I feel a lot healthier. In dance, you can learn a lot more than just how to dance correctly, you can learn how to take care of yourself, how to work out safely, and how to push yourself to work harder.”

Aside from learning about nutrition, students also work out during class and strengthen their muscles, technique, and flexibility. “I would consider dance a sport and a [performing] art form because it gets your heart pumping and it is competitive in many different aspects,” said Djuandi.

“There are many different types and levels of dance, as well as different levels of intensity. I would also consider dancers as athletes because we also have to train and work out. Dancing at AHS, doing daily warmups, and ab work in class helped strengthen my core and improve my technique. I’ve also gotten more flexible. I’m pretty sure I can do a full left split now!”

“If you want to take dance [class] but you’re afraid due to not having enough experience, I think you should push yourself, take the class, and work hard to make sure you get the most out of it,” explained Djuandi. “Dance makes me happy and I feel like I can express myself with the music. I would like to take dance in my sophomore year as well because there is so much to learn.”

Overall, dance is a great way to exercise and express yourself, which are reasons why it is so popular for dancers and audience members. Dance has a profound effect on both spectators and the ones dancing, bridging cultures, emotions, and music genres. As time goes on and more people learn how to dance, the realm of dance will become even more creative and diverse.

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