Dance Company Takes a Final Bow at Harrison High School


Dance 1 class starts their piece with high intensity and morale. Banks and student teacher Jasmine choreographed the piece themselves.

Taja Carroll, Staff Writer

The pressure was on, the mood was heightened and the intensity was at its peak when the curtains opened on May 17 at Harrison High school for the Harrison Dance Company. The company gave their all as they performed for the last time on the HHS stage.

“ ‘Don’t mess this up’ were the only words running through my head during the concert. the dance concert. The dance concert was the very last time the Harrison auditorium would be in use and that was a major pressure on all of us. We all had to be on top of our game to do HHS justice,” says Keagan McLean, 11, a Farmington High School student that dances for HDC.

Whether they’d been dancing for years or just gotten into it, HDC has been a place for the members to come together and connect. Tumija Banks, HDC Director and dance teacher at Farmington High School, has especially been invested in HDC since the very beginning.

“HDC is the marquee group for a program that has grown stronger during our 19 year existence because of the passion and loyalty of students at all level in dance. HDC’s role in the community has been to promote dance advocacy, celebrate diversity through dance, and provide, opportunities for students,” said Banks.

For McLean, the passion is definitely felt and HDC has had a strong effect on her as well. It’s a sort of outlet and a safe place where girls can gather and do the thing they all love.

“Truthfully, the company has meant the world to me. It’s given me and so many other people opportunities and serves as an escape for many of us as well. Driving to Harrison for sixth hour and being with the girls doing what I love is a major stress reliever,” said McLean.

The show was phenomenal this year, and the girls did a beautiful job doing justice to their high school, and the stage itself. The seniors were very connected and seemingly emotional about performing on that stage for the last time.. Banks was very proud, as she has such a close relationship with the seniors.

“I’ve spent four years with my seniors. They were reliable, extremely talented, and devoted. They came into the dance program as freshmen and allowed me to teach them for four years, so I certainly have a special relationship with them. I think this is the case each year with my seniors though. This year was no different any other,” said. Banks.

This year will be very different, however, as HDC will be facing some major changes. McLean believes there is a difference between the atmosphere at HHS and FHS, as Harrison was very accepting and accommodating to the Arts programs in general, whereas at FHS, everyone is going to have to give a little for this transition to work out for everyone. However, not everyone is so worried.

“All of my concerns pale in comparison to the changes that the HHS students will have to go through. My focus is on students. That’s why I’m here. My students at FHS are hungry for dance, and their commitment has been incredible,” Banks explains.

The biggest change that will be taking place this year will be the closing of a school some have called “home” for many years.