A Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious show coming this January


From dancing penguins to magical nannies, Mary Poppins is a whimsical show with varieties of different dance styles and upbeat soundtracks.

 The GlenOak Dance Program has been working hard for the past few months trying to perfect each dance for the audience to hopefully enjoy on Jan. 15 and 16.

“My role is a penguin and town person. My class and I have a really cool part and interact with the leads a lot in our dance. I’ve enjoyed this part a lot this year because it’s challenging and a whole new style of pointe,” sophomore Madison Dentler said.

This year is a little different though, because not only do the students have to learn their parts, but they also have to get past obstacles created by COVID-19.

One obstacle that the dance community faced was wearing masks. When you dance, stamina is a large factor of your performance, and with face coverings it is a lot harder to breathe and is a lot more draining. Also, using the mouth is a big part of performing because the performers can let the audience know what feeling the character is expressing.

 There are various ways that this problem could be attacked, which many had different opinions.

Some students believe that masks do not have to be worn because of social distancing.

“I am a big advocate for masks and have been really careful about the virus from the very beginning. However, on stage I feel it is unnecessary for us to wear masks,” Dentler said. “We aren’t on stage together for very long and we are obviously spread out to stay safe.”

While others believe that masks should be mandatory, even while on stage.

 “Originally, I did not think we should wear masks on stage, but now that we are hitting the second wave it is necessary,” senior Lauren Schlemmer said.

Although there are many different opinions about what the safest way to attack this problem is, director Jackie Blaydes has tackled the problem and been able to adjust as needed.

“My opinion [about masks while dancing] is that I feel that the student’s safety is number one regardless. So I will do whatever Mr. Matthews and the administration tells us to do,” Blaydes said. “The kids dance in masks for the entire class period so it’s not that big of a deal in my opinion. And, it will teach the students that they can use their eyes to present the story instead of just smiling.” 

Dancers are working to get around the facial expressions by using their eyes to over exaggerate and make it big enough for the audience to understand. Emotions are a big part of dance and without them a show could go completely south.

Aside from the mask problems, students and teachers alike are still excited to put together and perform such a cheerful ballet to the public.

“My favorite part about Mary Poppins is the characterization we get when playing our parts. It’s such an upbeat and happy ballet which makes performing it effortless,” Schlemmer said.

For the seniors, it will definitely be very different compared to the past years, but they are looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s my 16th year of Plain Local dance and this ballet forsure looks a lot different from every other ballet we’ve done given the pandemic. However, it’s probably one of my favorites because of how unique it is,” senior Alyssa Serri said. “There are so many opportunities to connect with peers and underclassmen, as well as change the monotony of the routine you can fall into when preparing for this kind of performance.”

With all of the unexpected happening at this very moment, the dance community is pushing through and working their hardest to create a fun and engaging show for the public while also keeping the students and audience as safe as possible.