There were twirls, energetic jumps and exhilarating dance moves in Barrington High School’s transformed dance studio as the Orchesis Dance Company tried out the new state-of-the-art dance floor.
“It’s so easy to dance on,” said Lindsey Swidergal, a senior artistic director. “It’s springy and it feels safer to dance on it. I feel as a whole, we will want to dance more.”
The old floor, called a Marley floor that like a sheet vinyl, was installed when the high school did renovations about 15 years ago, said Nancy Creswell, artistic director for Ochesis Dance Company and a dance instructor.
New wood floors were installed over the summer. The cost was $38,000. It feels like there are shock absorbers on the floor, Creswell said. It will protect students’ joints during practice and during jumps, she said.
“It’s just 100 percent better. It’s a great space,” Creswell said, adding the studio looks different and bigger.
Claudia Nielsen, a senior who has been in Orchesis since she was a freshman, loved the new floor because it is much nicer. The old floor was “sticky and gross,” she said. The wood floors are smoother and dancers can do their turns on it.
Orchesis members were the first to dance on the floor Friday when the company began rehearsing its routine for Homecoming in October. The dance company held a ribbon cutting and picnic to celebrate the studio’s reopening.
The studio will be open to all students when school starts this week, including Orchesis Dance Company members. Barrington High School’s dance program includes seven dance classes like modern, jazz, improvisation and other classes like Pilates and yoga.
The dance program, which has 42 students enrolled in the classes, is well developed and on the cutting edge, she said. Barrington also hosts a Guest Artist Series that attracts dance company’s from around the area.
This fall, the Giordano Dance Company of Chicago will be meeting with all the dance classes and doing a full-scale performance. It is the same performance the company will do at the Harris Theater in Chicago. “We are their dress rehearsal,” Creswell said.