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Dakota’s Production of Footloose

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Dakota’s Production of Footloose

Nina Gojcaj, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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These past few weekends, Dakota High School performed the beloved show that is Footloose: The Musical. The iconic movie was brought to life on the Dakota stage by a cast full of talented and inspiring students. On February 17th, I had the privilege to experience the lively production and I loved every second of it.

From the opening number to the very last, there was not a dull moment during this show. Starting out with a bang, the cast performed the familiar song “Footloose,” with impressive choreography and on point vocals. The addition of the use of strobe lights helped to bring the show to life.

Every member of the cast performed with an exceptional amount of energy—the time and effort they put into this show was definitely displayed with each perfected harmony and sharp dance moves.

One aspect that made this show particularly remarkable was the chemistry between the actors. The connection that Ren McCormack (Lorenzo Santiago) and his loyal best friend Willard Hewitt (Jacob Czopek) held on stage added a certain believable element to the performance. “With my best friend Jacob being cast as my best friend in the show, it was so easy to build off the chemistry we had in real life.” Santiago points out. “While every cast has their problems, a lot of our cast genuinely loved and cared for one another and it truly worked in our favor to create relationships that translated well on stage.

Lorenzo Santiago, senior at Dakota, stole the show with his take on the show’s lead—Ren McCormack. Santiago’s connection to the character was noticeable on stage, and he explained offstage, “I fell in love with Ren’s role because his story is/was so similar to mine and I thought it’d be beautiful to share it with an audience.”

This love shined through Santiago’s performance, even though he claimed that leading up to the first show, he felt overwhelmed with the pressure of his first lead role. But once opening night came, he was confident in his abilities and put on his best performance possible. “When you finally get into tech and dress rehearsals, the show begins to come together like a puzzle and it’s just really awesome experience to see a production blossom,” Santiago explained.

Santiago’s devotion to the stage is one feature that helped this show stand out. When asked if he plans to continue performing after high school, Santiago responded, “Of course! Footloose was a great reminder of why I love performing so much: it is an outlet to not only entertain, but to share stories and messages that have the potential to change lives.”

“I cannot nor do I want to imagine my life without performing, and I would like to encourage everyone to find the thing that makes your heart smile, hold on to it, and run after it…regardless of the risks.”

Santiago’s dedication and love for performing is incredibly inspiring, and just one of the many aspects that made Dakota’s Footloose wonderfully spirited, captivating, and fun!

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Dakota’s Production of Footloose