Lynwood – Lynwood High School’s dance ensemble students grooved with excitement following a Nov. 1 performance at the Hollywood Backlot Stage of Disney’s California Adventure Park, where the school’s dancers put on a 22-minute show featuring hip hop, jazz and musical theater routines for hundreds of park guests.

“I am so proud of all my students,” Dance ensemble teacher Brittany Washington said. “I could tell they put every bit of their effort into it and everyone in the crowd definitely enjoyed it – they pulled in a massive crowd at the park and everyone in the audience was smiling.”

Washington said the program applies at the end of each school year for the opportunity to perform at the theme park and has been welcomed back on a regular basis. She said her students performed their new dance routines flawlessly, despite receiving the approval to perform just one month before their scheduled date.

Lynwood High’s dance ensemble members are considered the elite dancers of the school, since students need to pass a beginning dance class and audition to join. Members take part in more than 20 performances each year, including dancing at sporting events and dance competitions.

Some 43 students from Lynwood High’s dance ensemble program visited the park, dancing to routines using various popular music by Sia, Bruno Mars and Rihanna.

“I’m so proud of our students, who underwent a challenging process to reach California Adventure that included a lengthy audition tape and original choreography,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “Our students not only showcased their talent, but a determination that allowed them to reach the big stage.”

Sophomore Sema’J William said his first performance at the park was a special experience and will stand as an inspiration for his future dancing career aspirations.

“I got to experience what professional dancers do every day,” Williams said. “There were no pauses or breaks and it just gave us an energy that helped us push through any doubt or missteps we might have had. The feeling of performing in front of a real crowd will definitely help me strive for excellence.”

Junior Ashley Ramos said being able to perform outside of school is an important step for anyone interested in pursuing a career in performing arts because it helps dancers like herself build confidence.

“I love any opportunity to perform in front of a crowd because dance helps me express myself,” Ramos said. “Dancing at California Adventure always gives me such an adrenaline rush because it’s like being a professional dancer.”

After the performance, Lynwood High’s students were also allowed to stay at the theme park to enjoy the rides and sights with their friends and instructors.

Washington said she plans on applying again in May to bring her dance ensemble students back.

“Congratulations to our dance ensemble students – we are very proud of the many hours of hard work they put in to make this performance possible,” Lynwood Unified Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “We look forward to next year’s performance since it provides our students with an experience of a lifetime.”


110817_LUSD_DISNEY1: Lynwood High School’s dance ensemble program performs on the Hollywood Backlot Stage at Disney’s California Adventure theme park on Nov. 1. The group performed a 22-minute show featuring hip hop, jazz and musical theater routines for hundreds of park guests.