How RCHS Dance Teams are handling Zoom

RCHS Dance


2019-2020 Varsity Dance Team

Madison McMurray, Assistant Editor

As of now, this 2020-2021 school year, all of the RCHS teams are dancing and getting to know each other through Zoom. 

Rancho Cucamonga High School has five levels of dance, with Junior Varsity and Varsity Dance being the most prestigious.

Mrs. Larina Vessup is the teacher for all dance teams that RCHS offers. Since RCHS is facilitating remote learning, Mrs. Vessup had to shift her focus for the teams to best. If school was in session, Junior Varsity and Varsity Dance would be getting ready for a performance or competition. 

Mrs. Vessup said, “I had to change the motivation for the dancers. Like what is going to motivate them to want to dance since they do not get to perform and that is what they love to do most?” 

In a traditional school year, Mrs. Vessup has guest choreographers come and teach a class in person, and now with COVID, she has them teach over Zoom to try to maintain a bit of normalcy for her dance teams.

Mrs. Larina Vessup

“There are some days where we just sit there and try to get to know each other because it is hard to connect over Zoom,” Mrs. Vessup stated. “I have gotten more lenient on always dancing, normally we would come to dance and get started right away.” 

Mrs. Vessup said that not being together in person is challenging. “The hardest part about not seeing my dancers in class is building a relationship. For some students, coming into the dance room changes their whole day. It is a place where you could let go of your worries and just be yourself,” Mrs. Vessup said. 

While the pandemic has completely changed everything, Mrs. Vessup is taking this as an opportunity to focus on other aspects of life. “I think school is a special place to be, and I think that this was not a total loss, us not being at school in person. I think now we get the chance to connect and let go of many things in our lives that are not that important, and you kind of get in touch with things that are. Unfortunately, it took all of this for us to stop and take a minute to breathe,” said Mrs. Vessup.

Kelsey Xochitiotzi

Kelsey Xochitiotzi, a freshman on Varsity Dance, said expected to meet new people and make lifelong friendships.She had said “I have wanted to be on this team for like eight years, so being able to dance with everyone is what I have been looking forward to while in quarantine”.  

Xochitiotzi mentioned how welcoming the dance environment has been, and her experience has been with dancing through Zoom. 

“Through Zoom, I feel like dancing is a lot more stressful because it is harder to learn choreography through a screen and ask questions and get the vibe off of everyone,” Xochitiotzi said. 

Alyssa Vasquez

Alyssa Vasquez is a freshman on Junior Varsity Dance. Her initial expectation was for everything to be a bit awkward because she did not know anybody. 

“It has been an easy transition because everyone is super outgoing, and I feel like I have made so many friends even though I have only known them for a short amount of time,” Vasquez said. She finds it hard to learn choreography through Zoom because of all the glitches, but after several practices with the team, it is okay.

Amari McElwee

Junior Varsity Captain, Amari McElwee, has been on Junior Varsity Dance since her freshman year of high school, and she is now a junior.

“Dancing through Zoom is different. Now that we can not be together, we can not vibe off each other,” McElwee said. “I am looking forward to having a rally or football game once we get back in school, and I miss being with everyone because even when we are not dancing, we are having fun.”

Isabel Loyarte

Varsity Dance Commissioner, Isabel Loyarte, has been a part of Varsity Dance since her freshman year of high school, and she is now a senior. She feels that not being in school has affected the dance program because the whole vibe of dance, in general, has changed.

Loyarte said, “we are used to being together and working together to create what we want to show the school, and right now, it is hard because we can not see the dances and what we look like.”

For Loyarte dancing through zoom is a little awkward because she is just by herself. She mentioned how, “it has been an experience and something to learn from, I  appreciate the time we have together, and I am looking forward to being together instead of being on screens. Also, I am excited to get the chance to see how the team looks together and just being able to dance together.”

“I miss being with the other dancers and making new memories every single day and just being together. However, we are doing the best to be the dance team that Rancho needs us to be,” said Loyarte.