The Rutland senior dance team is carrying a powerful message for younger students.
“The Rutland Senior Secondary winter dance show offers a powerful and timely message about individuality and self-acceptance,” said the school district. “In a piece titled Pretty Hurts, the Grade 12 dance group will address the negative self-worth words that young women often face as they navigate towards confidence and self-assurance.”
Grade 12 student Chelsey Richards said it’s important to share that powerful message with younger students.
“I just want them to be really happy with this dance because it means a lot to all of the girls and we want little kids watching to get a lot out of it like whatever negative words you are being told, don’t worry about them.”
Richards has been with the dance team since 2010.
“It’s been a really great experience,” she said.
Pretty Hurts is part of multiple dances the winter show offers.
Senior dance teacher Jennifer Skogstad said it’s a big year for the dance team.
“We have the most number of dancers that we’ve ever had,” she said, adding increasing enrollment in RSS has allowed the teachers to offer more dance classes.
More than 160 dancers are in the program.
“The concept of this dance is something that has been tossed around for a while. It seemed like it was that much more prevalent and I think it was best delivered by a senior class because they have the maturity and life experience of having gone through their high school journey,” said Skogstad.
“They were particularly excited to share their story with our junior grade classes to let them know that they do have self worth and that acceptance will come with time.”
The dance program tries to foster a sense of community, with past graduates helping out.
Tickets have sold out for the 6:30 p.m. performance but everyone is welcome to the late show at 8:30, located at RSS. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the door.