The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Time Out! Ep. 17: Allison Chang

Allison Chang shares how her dance journey evolved through school and class
Lily Jiang
Junior Allison Chang practices her solo for MVHS’ Winter Show.

RM: Hi everyone, my name is Riya Murthy,

LT: And I’m Lindsey Tang.

RM: Welcome to Episode 17 of Time Out! Each episode, we will be diving into the sports scene here at Monta Vista High School and explore the journeys of athletes from various sports. In this episode, we are joined by junior Allison Chang who dances various styles as part of the MV Dance and outside studio team.

RM: How and when did you start dancing?

AC: My mom took me to my first ballet lesson when I was five or six years old, and I really enjoyed it. So ever since then, I’ve been taking lessons at the studio, and now I’m part of the Monta Vista Dance Team (MVDT).

RM: What types of dance do you currently practice?

AC: I used to practice ballet at my studio but because of time constraints and schoolwork, I don’t have time to do that anymore, but at high school, we mainly do hip hop and jazz and contemporary.

LT: What dance style is your favorite?

AC: I enjoy contemporary the most because I like the way the routines are composed to show off certain types of movement rather than hard-hitting hip hop.

RM: What types of movements do they show off?

AC: Leg extensions. Contemporary is more technique-based based but it’s a mixture of ballet and lyrical type base, but also more like modern jazz base, so it’s a good mix of those that I like.

LT: What groups do you dance with?

AC: On the Monta Vista Dance Team, I’m part of large hip hop, character, small contemporary and medium jazz.

RM: What is your favorite memory from dancing with MVDT?

AC: One of my favorite memories is actually quite recent because we had our recent comp at the Lincoln dance competition, and it was super stressful because the week leading up to it, more and more members were saying that they couldn’t make it to the competition, so we kept having to restage, even the night before. Even the night before, one of our members texted that they couldn’t make it to one of our routines, so the morning of, we were restaging and practicing again. But in the end we ended up doing really, really well at the competition and we scored really well and qualified for nationals. So it was a very happy, happy evening for us.

RM: What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of dancing with the team?

AC: I love being able to do an activity that I really, really enjoy with some of my classmates because I get to be a lot closer to them. I love being able to see them around the hallways and say hi, and then come to the studio after school and just be able to dance with them. But one of the things I struggle with, or one of the things that I dislike, I don’t really dislike anything about the team in general. It can be difficult sometimes. It’s a little bit stressful, especially when we’re cleaning parts and going over things over and over again because it can get frustrating when we all have different ideas. But other than that, I really, really like being on the MVDT

RM: How are other groups you dance with different from the MVDT?

AC: At the studio, at my studio when I used to be on the competition team, the environment was more toxic than it is at Monta Vista because it’s way more competitive between the dancers and our group was not nearly as close as the Monta Vista one is, and our groups are also a lot smaller so I don’t get to be as close to as many people, and the recreational classes are more strict and technique based. And I think it’s a lot more fun on MVDT because I’m growing a lot as a dancer and creating new relationships unlike what I did at the studio.

LT: You talked about growth, how did your dance style or technique evolve as you progressed through school and continued your training?

AC: I think I’ve been challenged in different ways than at the studio, like technique-wise, yes, but also working with the team because the dynamics are very different than how we work at the studio. And so adapting to this new environment with new people and different systems was a bit difficult at first but in the end, I think I’ve learned a lot.

RM: What emotions do you feel when participating in lyrical dances?

AC: Most of the time lyrical songs are more slow and they’re either desperate and sad or very uplifting and light. So I tried to feed off of those emotions based off of the song. Our current contemporary piece is very desperate and longing, so I tried to portray those emotions, whereas if I did a different type of lyrical, like my solo is also lyrical, and so for that one, it feels like a little bit desperate in the beginning, but towards the end, it’s more light and longing, like those kinds of adjectives I would use to describe it.

RM: What specific techniques do you enjoy the most in lyrical and why?

AC: I like doing leg extensions because I’ve been training my flexibility for the longest time so I feel very confident in those kinds of tricks.

LT: What does dance mean to you?

AC: Dance is my hobby. It’s everything I do outside of school and it’s like a way for me to exercise but also have fun and really enjoy what I’m doing as well as expressing myself.

LT: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced while learning to dance and dancing and how did you overcome those challenges?

AC: It’s always difficult when you’re learning a new move and you can’t quite do it right away. But then it’s like sometimes it’s disappointing when you can see that everyone around you can do it except you. But these kinds of things I’ve learned over time like new techniques, technical moves, you just have to practice them over and over again until you get it. You can do anything as long as you practice it enough.

RM: Has dancing helped teach you anything about life or aspects outside of it?

AC: Yes, to work hard to get what you want is the number one key. Like I said before, practicing makes perfect, which can also be applied to studying. And I think one of the things I pride myself in is being able to pick up routines really quickly. And so learning those kinds of skills helped me in real life as well because I can apply them to school.

RM: Do you look up to anyone in dance or do you have any inspiration?

AC: Our captain Gracie, I am very, very inspired by her. We used to go to the same studio when I was really young, and ever since then, I’ve always looked up to her as a dancer because she’s so inspirational and really amazing. And in the beginning, when I was at the studio, we were in a different age group so I didn’t really get to talk to her. But now that we’re on the same team together and we’ve gotten a lot closer we’re more friendly with each other. Now that we’re better friends with each other, I can understand how she is as a person even more and I admire her very much as a person and as a dancer.

RM: What are your goals for dance in the future?

AC: I think as an officer and as a leader, one of my goals is to bring our team to victory. But I think my main goal as a dancer is to be able to enjoy what I’m doing, especially with the team as well. But, it’s like the main goal of dance is to have fun because in the end, it’s my hobby. I don’t actually plan on doing it in the future, but for now, it’s something that makes me really happy and I just want to be able to continue that.

LT: That’s it for Episode 17 of Time Out! Thank you so much Allison Chang for joining us on this episode. I’m Lindsey Tang,

RM: And I’m Riya Murthy.

LT: Thanks for tuning in!

Music credits: Lukrembo ‒ Affogato


About the Contributors
Lindsey Tang
Lindsey Tang, Staff Writer
Lindsey Tang is a senior and staff writer for El Estoque. She enjoys playing violin, basketball, listening to music and going on fun adventures with her friends.
Riya Murthy
Riya Murthy, Staff Writer
Riya is currently a junior and a staff writer for El Estoque. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing poetry.
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