Forum: Teams / Dance Teams

Starting Up Orchesis...Any Help?
By pointeytoes7791member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Aug 31, 2005 08:16 PM

Hey, me and my friend have decided that we need to start up orchesis at our high school, because we're the only district in Illinois that doesn't have it.

We already have a sponsor and basically an outline of how to form a new club/team. But we've never done this before so it's pretty confusing. Do you have student leaders? Choreographers? I know we want some students to choreograph, but nothing else really. If anyone knows what I'm talking about when I say Orchesis, please PM me or post back to this because I'm in the dark. Much love!

7 Replies to Starting Up Orchesis...Any Help?

re: Starting Up Orchesis...Any Help?
By darlin_dancer
On Sat Sep 24, 2005 09:29 AM
we have an orchesis team at our school and it works like this-- we have 2 presidents who choreograph for homecoming, parade, the officers dance, and the 2 big dances in show meaning (first intro or finale and the escort dance)... we have a choreographer come in and teach us the other big dance (whichever they have a vision to do) and that person is normally an orchesis alumni... we have officers 2 historians (make the slidshow for the end of the year), 2 wardrobes (help with costumes-- carrying boxes-- etc.), 2 publicity (they are encharge of any advertising done), 1 treasurer (money collector), and a secretary (typing up phone trees, paperwork, etc.) during the year it is bascially these 10 and the sponsers who do everything behind the scenes. Our big show of the year is put together by anyone on the team being able to make up a dance, try it out, and then we have sign ups where everyone is able to pick a certain amnt of dances to be in... any other questions just send a mssg back!
re: Starting Up Orchesis...Any Help?
By thedanceacademy
On Wed Oct 12, 2005 01:45 PM
Is this a public school or a Catholic school? You have to go to your principal. Get someone hired to help you get started. Whatever you do, be sure to check out the Illinois State Dance Festival. It's every year, usually in the beginning of May. It's a fantastic festival geared specifically towards high schools. There's classes to take, a performance by a professional dance company and a student concert. It could end up being the highlight of your school year!
re: Starting Up Orchesis...Any Help?
By mishelliedancer
On Sat Nov 26, 2005 06:26 PM
OMG I love the Illinois State Dance Festival... last year our dance was in it (I don't know if anyone remembers the garbage can dance... (you should llol it was pretty wild... and slightly creepy lol) anyways the Dance Festival is a blast... it gives everyone a chance to step out of the box and learn something new... such as Latin or African dancing.

Anyway... our Orchesis is kind of amazing in the way it works... it might just be something that our school is miraculously able to do... but it might inspire you I don't know.

MAny of the girls on our Orchesis are also involved in cheerleading or poms. So because our sponsor wants us to be active members of other activities we only practice one night a week. Here's how it works....

In the beginning of the school year we hold three days of clinics where our fourth year members teach us a dance. (I guess until you had a batch of fourth year members you would have to go with those with the most years on your Orchesis or for your first year it would obviously be you and a friend. The dance consists of a few counts (I think its like 6 eight counts?) each lyrical, jazz, and hiphop. At tryouts the day after the third clinic each member trys out with a partner in front of the judges (non-biased people from outside the school preferably...) then each girl is called in seperately to do a minute of their own coreography... whatever their heart desires. I believe you are graded on profesional appearance, technique, appropriatness of music to movement, and I dunno what else Im sure you can make your own categories of what you are looking for. We tally all the scores and look for the largest gap in scoring and then all those above the gap make it (our program is extremely well-established and admired so we have about forty five girls). Obviously since we have fourth year members we do take freshman.


Our entire show is student-coreogrephed with the exception of an adagio and somne dances with boys (lol just for fun) and a guest artist by invite only piece. To select dances we have try them out to our sponsor (you can coreograph with a few people or by yourself and try out as many dances as you like) then she selects what she wants for the show... then we pick dances at our first meeting... Its pretty fair. first years can be in 3 dances, 2nd years in 5, 3rd years in 7 and 4th years in 9 plus a class dance (frosh, soph, jr, sr) and a 4th year dance, and then opening and closing. The coreographer shows a bit of the dance then whoever wants to be in it raises their hand. If there are more than a coreographer desires we pick out of a hat.

Practices run like this: We warm up for twenty minutes together then each dance gets twenty minutes every monday night (it doenst sound like a lot of time but we get it done well every year) opening and closing are coreographed by the fourth years and are taught when we are rehearsing in the theater, closer to the show. Our practises actually run until around 10:00 pm but it works out great because in between dances each person is in you can go eat or get homework done or just hang out.

Every year we ask boys to be in Orchesis (any boy can come with the exception of freshman) They do their own dance and then also girls can choose to coreograph guy/girl routines. This may seem chaotic but the boys work really hard and its really fun.

Around rehursal time in the theater we spend most of our time there, weekends included, and our sponsor organizes "Food moms" (who we love dearly) We give them about $25 per person and they make us homeade meals or have food catered for us and help serve. Its a great way to get parents involved, since many of them want to be.

Oh! Fundraising: We hold an annual pageant called "Mr Maine West" as a fundraiser for costumes and such (its... obviously... a pageant for boys with a casual wear, swim wear (mostly swim trunks and a tank top and various intertubes and snorkels), and formal wear (donated by local rental shops) then also a talent and a question. Its sooo much fun (They escort their mom to their seat during the casual wear comp (so cute) and escort a senior member during the formal wear one) Ummm we also each sell about $150 worth of candy. We buy cotumes for a few dances each year, save them, and reuse them along with buying more new costumes so our closet grows each year.

Much fun. Hope it was helpful.
re: Starting Up Orchesis...Any Help?
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Sat Nov 26, 2005 06:59 PM
What is an Orchesis?
re: Starting Up Orchesis...Any Help?
By mishelliedancer
On Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:22 AM
Orchesis is basically a group of girls in any given high school who dance... and a lot of schools in Illinois have them. Some are more like dance teams who compete and some, like mine, has an annual student-coreographed show. It a really great thing, especially when many Orchesis groups come together at the Illinois State Dance Festival at the end of the school year. Much fun.
re: Starting Up Orchesis...Any Help?
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Sun Nov 27, 2005 01:15 PM
Oh...So basically just a fancy word for a dance club/team?...Interesting.
re: Starting Up Orchesis...Any Help?
By mishelliedancer
On Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:17 PM
Pretty much. Only we get laughs from it cos no one can spell it...last year we had to print all of our tshirts and sweats and stuff over because the man spelled it wrong... But ya. Except our school has a poms team too thats basically a dance team... ours is a little bit more "modern" dance than alot of dance teams.

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