The Best Way to Dance is with MHS’s Orchesis Club


Photo by Lia Koski

The Orchesis dancers along with their sponsor, Anna Grig, practiced their group dance that was choreographed by student Erica Montegrande on Feb. 23 during Orchesis’s practice after school.

Lia Koski, Staff Reporter

  Dancing is a way to express oneself through interpreting music. The Orchesis dance club at MHS allows students to explore all types of dance and even create their own dances. 

  “Orchesis is a dance club that is open to anyone of any level with little to no experience. So if you’ve never danced but want to try it, it’s a great experience especially if you’re looking forward to performing on stage. It also builds a community of people who have similar interests to you. It really is just a place to come, relax, and release some stress,” stated Anna Grig who has been the sponsor for Orchesis for six years now. 

  Orchesis meets every Thursday from 4:30 to 5:30 pm. At the practices, the dancers learn, create, and rehearse dances that they then perform at their shows. Last semester, their show was in December, and now the dancers are preparing for their upcoming show on May. 11. 

  Freshman and Orchesis dancer, Belen Bargas explained how the dancers all perform in the group dance that they have and then can also choreograph their own solos or duets for the show. 

  Another dancer and Orchesis member, Senior Erica Montegrande, who choreographed the group dance, stated, “I love how free the club is. We have a lot of creative freedom in this club. We get to choose which dances we want to learn, we get to choose what styles we get to explore.”

  Montegrande has been in Orchesis all four years of high school, and has seen the changes with the club over the years. 

  “We’ve had a lot of challenges. The program last year was small due to people leaving for other commitments or personal reasons. Sure it’s been hard to fill such a large space, but even with the small numbers, we’ve gotten closer [as a club],” Montegrande said. 

  One of Orchesis’s more recent members of the club, Santi Brito, explained how they joined the club at the beginning of their senior year due to the practices being switched from before to after school. They described how Orchesis is “a club where you can let your creativity fly, and it’s a community too. Orchesis is a loving group, we don’t judge. We actually uplift, and it’s amazing. It’s where you can stay active physically and just have fun with it.”

  Brito added that their favorite part of Orchesis is the people in it who make it special. 

  The dancers have been working especially hard lately to make their show in May one that’s unforgettable. 

  “[The dancers] do a really nice job of working together and trying to come up with the dances themselves,” Grig stated. While the dancers are responsible for their choreography, Grig is there to help give advice and feedback to the dancers. 

  In order to prepare for this upcoming show, Brito stated, “I practice the group performance and the solo performances that I have. I studied dance styles that I may want to show, and I mentally hype myself up before.” However, Brito also mentioned that they are not as nervous for this upcoming show since they have already performed in the show last semester. 

  Along with the students’ performances, there will also be a Flamingo dancer and a Mexican Folklore dancer performing at the show in May. 

  The Orchesis club strongly encourages new members. 

  Bargas recommends the club to anyone who is “looking for somewhere to make friends and distract themselves from personal life. . .” Bargas also stated how when she is stressed and overwhelmed with school, Orchesis always helps by providing her with a “little break.”

  Brito also suggested, “To not be afraid [of joining Orchesis], it’s a fun club, one that you will not regret. If you’re nervous about the commitment, just push yourself through and get out of your comfort zone because that’s what I did.” Now Brito finds themselves enjoying each rehearsal with Orchesis while dancing and being with their friends. 

  Orchesis is an easy club to join. “It’s a low commitment club with a lot of reward. Even though we only meet once a week, we put a really great show together that friends and family can come to so it’s always a fun experience,” Grig stated. 

  Even though Orchesis has been around at Mundelein High School for a long time, “a lot of people don’t know about it,” said Bargas, but “the more people that know about it the more people will come and the more fun it will be.”

  It is never too late for MHS students to join Orchesis! Even if the club isn’t for you, you can support Orchesis through attending their shows and following them on Instagram at @mhs.orchesis.