CHS Dance Student Earns Spotlight Among Nationwide Choreographers

CHS Dance Student Earns Spotlight Among Nationwide Choreographers photo
Valley Stream Central High School senior and Performing Arts Program dance student Lauren Ward presented her original choreography at the 92nd Street Y's Dig Dance UP! Teen Choreographers Showcase. This event was held on April 15 at Buttenwieser Hall in New York City.  

Lauren's work was selected out of nearly 75 submissions from across the country, many of which were from students in specialized dance schools. Her piece, Shallows, is a modern dance and performed to music of the same title by the artist Daughter. It explores feeling lost and hollow after experiencing the loss of a loved one. Lauren, accompanied by Central seniors Naima Alakham, Gabrielle Phanord-Alexis and Halle Williams, showcased this meaningful piece on stage.  

Dance UP! Teen Choreographers is a 92Y Harkness Dance Center initiative that provides younger choreographers with a New York City platform on which to show their work. Dig Dance is one of three annual dance series presented by 92Y. The Harkness Dance Center was founded by iconic early modern dancers over 85 years ago while 92Y was established in 1874. Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins, Pearl Primus, Jerome Robbins and Paul Taylor are among the many distinguished choreographers that premiered their groundbreaking work at 92Y, and leading choreographers, dance scholars, critics and composers perform in the dance series at the Y.

“This is a huge honor and I am so proud of Lauren,” said teacher Kristin Martine. “Her honesty, maturity and commitment to her choreography and art is well deserved with this recognition.” 

Lauren is in her third year of the district’s Dance Concentration, and this was her second time choreographing a piece. She serves as the secretary for the Dance Honor Society. Her favorite styles are contemporary and hip hop, and her mother has been a source of inspiration that helps drive Lauren’s passion. While she plans to major in neuroscience at the University of Delaware in the fall, she aspires to continue her dance involvement as well.