From March 18th to 23rd, 103 Highlands Ranch High School Performing Arts students took part in a once of a lifetime experience at Walt Disney World.
There, the students had the opportunity to attend backstage workshops, where they learned tips and tricks from highly-qualified instructors. Those in choir, orchestra, and band were also able to perform at a stage in Downtown Disney.
Brooke Isaacs, a choir and theatre student at HRHS, went on the trip to experience the unique opportunities it had to offer. She was able to attend both the choir and theatre workshop.
“The best part of the theatre workshop was getting to stand on the stage at La Nouba [the current Cirque de Soleil show that performs in Downtown Disney],” said the high school junior. “Just standing there, looking out, you could feel the energy of the room and what it would be like to have a sold-out crowd.”
Curtis Bodiker, a senior at HRHS, also experienced several of the workshops Disney offered for the theatre, choir, band, and orchestra students. “The biggest thing I learned from the workshops is that your own personal ability to collaborate with others can lead to wonderful things.” said Bodiker.
Ten chaperones joined the students on this trip, two of which were Highlands Ranch’s choir teacher, Adria Howell, and band teacher, Kevin Larsen.
Howell believes that the Performing Arts department strengthened as a whole through the strong relationships that were developed between the different programs. “Many cross-discipline friendships were created on this trip,” said Howell.
Both Isaacs and Bodiker agree that the trip had a great influence on the relationships of those who went. Bodiker said, “Traveling and being with the same people for six days in a row is just bound to bring you closer together.”
Keri Stuebinger, an administrator at HRHS who went on the trip as a chaperone, is of the same opinion. She believes that these types of experiences humanize the teachers and administrators for the students, and vice versa.
“I’d do just about anything to travel with these students,” said Stuebinger, who is also the school’s activities director. “Travel puts people in an adaptive circumstance, and it fosters the relationship between those who go.” Said Stuebinger.
Many of those who went responded positively to the experience. “It’s a great opportunity and privilege to see the world with your friends,” said Bodiker. “Even more when you get to practice and study your craft.”