Essex students put on LED light dance - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Essex students put on LED light dance

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ESSEX, Vt. -

When the lights go down, the stage comes alive. The Essex High School dance class has put together a one-of-a-kind LED light dance for the school's Fine Arts night.

Junior Erin Johnson has striking red hair, but when she put on her costume, it's all about her glowing red eyes. She is the show's solo dancer as well as its student choreographer.

"I'm like sort of the TA for this class, and Miss Deistrakowski came to me and asked if I wanted to take part in this light dance and I was like yes! I was so stoked about it," said Johnson.

The exciting and cool dance show is collaboration between two unique academies or schools within a school at Essex High School, combining science and the arts.

Many of the dancers are part of the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts and the light masters came from the Science Technology Engineering and Math, or STEM Academy.

"The real world is all about the combination of the arts and the STEM fields, there's no great art project that doesn't use some kind of technology," said Dave Harmon from Create-It Labs.

Former IBM engineer, Dave Harmon now runs Create-It Labs and is the genius behind the lights and computers for the show, even using bottle caps and candy tins to give each dancer their own electric spark.

The student engineers then have the challenge of programming each individual computer to meet each dancer's lights when they are supposed to go on.

"This dance is highlighting exactly what I think is good about the academies in the school. The science kids get to explore their areas of interest in a creative kind of way, and so do the arts kids," said Lee Ann Smith, the STEM director.

With the bass pumping and lights flashing, they electrify the house.

The dancers will be performing at the Essex High School Fine Arts Night this Thursday at 7 p.m.

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