The Beautiful Untold Truth About What Really Happens Backstage at the Anaheim High School Dance Invitational


Guillermo de la Cruz

Dancers pray before performance.

Jennifer Perez, Author

October 25, 2019, at around 6:15 pm, the Anaheim High School auditorium opened their doors to family and friends of the dancers for their much-awaited long rehearsed performance. After a magnificent performance from every school that participated in the invitational, the dancers left full of flowers with a joyful satisfied smile on their faces. 

But there’s always a start. To achieve the final result, Anaheim High School’s Dance Production had to prepare weeks and months ahead of time before the Dance Invitational. Rehearsing until four ́ o’clock with dedication and efficiency,  the members filled their performance with energy and emotion, giving off great stage presence. 

However, backstage, you saw a completely different story. Dancers were filled with excitement, nervousness, and joy. The dancers gathered around on stage as they prepared to open the show. They huddled around each other arm around arm while Anthony Miguel, which has been part of the dance program since his freshman year, led a beautiful prayer allowing the dancers of DP to perform with high energy and passion for starting the night.  

As the dancer prepared in the wing to go on stage they took one deep breath and ran into the stage, they took their places, and performed their choreography, “As if I were in their dance room, with the lights dimmed, and with great emotion.” Yasmen Ayala, a member of dance production, commented when asked about how she prepares to go on stage. 

Guillermo de la Cruz
Banners welcoming the many different schools who participated in the Invitational

The dancers then prepared for their last performance of the night in the second act. They once again gathered around as every one of the dancers shared an emotional story of who they were dancing for. Filled with emotion and with stories that arose from each of the dancers, they stood united to make the best of their moving choreography. Tears filled the eyes of the dancers while mascara ran through their rosy cheeks, leaving a stream of marked dry tears on their faces. 

Etlin Cervantes made an inspiring point, ̈ Everyone’s been through so much and having to share that with you guys is what makes us stronger not only as a person but as a team the DP family that we are.¨ 

The dancers had an emotional connection that made them perform with tears streaming down their faces for their last performance of the night. 

The night was over as the dancers got ready to leave the dressing room. A dressing room where they shared their pain and many laughs. They got an unexpected and sudden surprise. Seniors from last year’s Dance Production had come to support the members they had once danced with. Now they were within the audience that applauded the DP members with whom they shared the stage. With an embrace and a bright smile, they greeted Dance Production members and filled them with compliments. 

The night was almost over when Oscar Gonzalez (the dance instructor) came down to the dressing rooms and wrapped up the night with a speech in which he expressed their advancement and having room to get “better and fiercer.” He would also cherish this moment and talk to his future classes about his first Dance Production class “like when I’m seventy.” he said with a bright smile on his face. 

Memories were made for the members of Dance Production, an unforgettable night that went on backstage in the dressing rooms that would be remembered for years to come.