Menlo News February 10, 2023

Menlo Dance and Vocal Music Students Take Center Court at Warriors Game

Upper School performers cheered on by families and fans

Menlo’s Upper School Dance Team and Vocal Music program performed at the Chase Center before a matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Led by teachers Bibi Khalili and Angela Curotto-Pierson, the Dance Team took the stage minutes before the start of the game, and performed a high-energy hip-hop dance routine. Dr. Philip Harris’ Vocal Music students followed the dancers with a moving rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” just before tipoff. Dozens of proud Menlo families were in attendance to support the student performers with spirited cheering.

Ginger ’23 returned for her second time to dance at the arena, bringing her own experience from the previous year, allowing her to go into the performance with more confidence. Although the dance team was performing familiar choreography, they still had to work hard to fine-tune their movements for the big stage. With last-minute changes in team formations, involving several dancers having to learn their choreography in reverse, Ginger explained that despite the obstacles, “We practiced enough and we are prepared.”

Among those dancing for the first time at the Chase Center was Danae ’24, who described the rush of energy and excitement she felt as the team ran onto the court. As a competitive cheerleader, Danae was no stranger to performing for crowds, but found the experience “even more fun because we were performing on the same stage as the Warriors.”

Just a month before singing for the Chase Center crowd, Connor ’26 had joined Dr. Harris’ One Voice class, hoping to get back into performing arts after a pause during Middle School. Upon hearing the news of the performance, “I was excited, but also scared,” said Connor. “It was also energizing and similar to what I remember from doing theater, but on a much larger scale.”

Jackie ’26, who returned to One Voice after taking the class first semester, was thrilled to learn about the performance at the Warriors game. Having previously performed for an audience of 400 at a school play, Jackie was undaunted by the 18,000-seat arena. “I have been on stage before, but not at a sports venue,” she said. “It felt very empowering to perform. I felt really confident and excited.”