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Photo by Nimai Malle

The Westlake Hyline performs “Entertainment District” during last year’s Zenith. This year’s event runs Thursday-Saturday at the Performing Arts Center.

By Jessica Stenglein

Contributing Writer

From April 18-20, the stage of the Westlake High School Performing Arts Center will be filled with pirouettes and leaps as the WHS Dance Department performs their annual Zenith show. The show, “Once Upon A Time,” is presented at 7:30 p.m. each night.

“The best thing about Zenith is sharing our love of dance and performance, and our stories with our friends, family and the Westlake community,” first lieutenant senior Maddie Settle said. “It’s so fun to show everyone what we’ve been working so hard all year for.”

Once Hyline completes their contest season at the end of February, Zenith preparations begin, and the dancers are put to work throughout March and April by Dance Department directors Chelsee Capezzuti and Lindsay Young. The Hyline team will perform 13 dances, while the Star Steppers will perform two. The Hyline officers will also perform two pieces, and the New News, Hyline’s newest members, will perform one piece. Dance I, Dance II and Dance III/IV classes will each perform only one piece. Part of the preparation for the show is choosing the theme which is different each year. This year’s theme, “Once Upon A Time,” was chosen by Capezzuti and Young. The show will largely feature numbers based off the theme and stories of Hyline, as well as several of Hyline’s contest pieces.

“We always enjoy brainstorming for Zenith theme ideas, and we thought this one would be very fun to develop,” Young said. “We are hoping that it will be a magical and uplifting show this year that all ages will enjoy.”

Other school groups that are involved in Zenith include the Color Guard, Jazz Ensemble, Madrigals, Technical Entertainment Crew and cheerleaders. Outside entertainment is also provided by WHS students who auditioned to be a part of the show in February. In addition to these groups, elementary school children had the opportunity to get involved through the Hyline dance clinic that was held on April 13. The clinic is run and taught by the New News, and the children get to perform on stage during Zenith.

“We love getting these kindergarteners through fifth graders involved in our show,” Young said.

One of the most infamous and comedic performances of Zenith is the senior Gyline. This year’s group of 20 boys was chosen by the Hyline officers. During Zenith, the group will don crop tops and spandex in order to perform the dance the officers taught them.

“Teaching Gyline was a unique experience,” Settle said. “At first, it was a little difficult to keep the boys focused, but they were a lot of fun to work with, and they have some moves.”

Throughout the past several months, everyone involved in the show has been working hard to prepare and show off their talent and passion to the community.

“Watching all the ideas come to life and all the hard work pay off [is the best part of Zenith],” Young said. “Watching the dance students perform on the stage the nights of Zenith is so incredible. They have such a great passion for dance and work so hard in the two months leading up to Zenith. As their teachers, it makes us so proud to see them up there doing what they love.”

Tickets for the show will be sold for $15 today in the Chap Court from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and in the PAC from 4-6 p.m.
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