The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

Breaking News
The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

‘Super Troupers:’ LHS Drama Club to ‘Take a Chance’ on student choreographers

Juniors Maddie Tufts and Mason Turek return for a second production as co-choreographers for several dances in the Drama Club’s Production of Mamma Mia!
Bridget Berry
Junior Mason Turek lifts junior Maddie Tufts during a dance rehearsal for Mamma Mia.

A feeling every performer knows: the dimming of the house lights, the hazy atmosphere created by smoke machines, the audience quieting as the overture booms throughout the auditorium. Junior Maddie Tufts felt this performing in My Fair Lady, the Drama Club’s Musical for their 2023 season.

The adrenaline rush as the curtains rise is a feeling Tufts is no stranger to – she has been a member of productions like this since she was in fourth grade. The difference in this experience? The dances performed on stage included some co-choreographed by Tufts herself.

According to Tufts, dancing has always come naturally to her. 

“Growing up I always loved jamming out to music,” Tufts said. “I always had rhythm.”

Her love and affinity for dance led Tufts to pursue theater as a way to express herself and different characters through movement.

“Musical theatre dance is a lot more expressive [than other forms of dance],” Tufts said. “You can act a lot as well as sing while you’re dancing where in normal dance you don’t have that ability.”

To help choreograph additional partner numbers, Tufts recruited the help of friend and fellow thespian, junior Mason Turek.

“My Fair Lady was my first show I’ve ever choreographed,” Turek said. “Originally, [Tufts] was working on the choreo, and she asked me to help and it blossomed from there.”

The pair are returning for a second season as co-choreographers for Mamma Mia!, creating dances for the songs “Does Your Mother Know?,” “Under Attack,” and the titular “Mamma Mia!”

When creating a dance, they start by listening to the lyrics and getting a feel of the song’s emotion. This is especially helpful when putting together large, energetic group numbers like “Does Your Mother Know?” or “Mamma Mia!”

“I want the moves to be very snazzy and out there,” Tufts said. “I go into my script where I have all the lyrics, write a number next to the first line, and come up with a move just for that line. If there’s a sequence [like a chorus of a song], we tie it all together; but usually it’s move by move, seeing what comes to mind and what flows.

Turek agrees with this method, choreographing to lyrics to “convey the meaning of a song.”

“I usually listen to the music and see what feels natural,” Turek said. “Then I usually develop a vision for what the group should look like.”

Having been friends for seven years, Tufts and Turek work “really well together” and can “bounce ideas off of each other.”

Especially in partner dances, the pair work together closely. “It’s a lot easier to choreograph when you have someone with you,” Tufts said.

On top of their achievements as choreographers, Tufts and Turek are committed to their friendships and roles within the Drama community. Junior Julia Pizzi “love[s] having them in Drama.”

“Their choreography is fantastic, and they’re great friends,” Pizzi said.

Having their castmates as choreographers offers a unique and exciting experience for all the cast members according to junior Ava Amaro.

“It’s really cool to have student choreographers,” Amaro said. “They’re doing a great job.”

You can look forward to seeing the pair’s dances come to life in Mamma Mia! from February 15-17 at the Derry Opera house. Tickets for the play are currently on sale on the Lancer Drama Club website.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Bridget Berry
Bridget Berry, News Editor
In her first year on staff, senior Bridget Berry holds the position of News Editor. She enjoys writing, listening to music, and knitting in her free time. Outside of the Lancer Spirit, she partakes in musical theater and is part of the school's chamber choir.

Comments (0)

The Lancer Spirit editorial board welcomes your comments. We reserve the right to delete/edit comments that contain the following: Off-topic statements or links, abusive content, vulgarity, poor grammar, personal attacks or spam.
All Lancer Spirit Online Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *