Skyview students get in the swing of things with show

At the hop!

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2007

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  Jennifer Holland, Chantal Schefers, Chelsea Martin, Kadie Perletti and Nicole Van Ryzin, The Dancing M&Ms, laugh during rehearsals. Photos courtesy of Terri Zopf-Sc

The sock hop will be from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday at Skyview High School. High school students from any area school may attend. Adults and family may check out the sock-hoppers’ performances, as well. Students under high school age must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available at the door for $5. For more information, call Skyview at 260-2300.

What exactly is a sock hop?


Brady Jones swings Marquee Lucas up and over during a lift in rehearsals for Friday's sock hop at Skyview High School.

Photos courtesy of Terri Zopf-Sc

The term originated in the 1950s and used to describe informal high school dances. Students would remove their shoes to dance in socks in order to spare the gymnasium or cafeteria floor from the scuff marks caused by dress shoes.

Skyview High School will take a step back in time and stage a ’50s sock hop Friday. Terri Zopf-Schoessler, a member of the Skyview faculty, said this is the 13th year the school is offering this nontraditional form of show combined with an all-school dance. Skyview has investigated the Renaissance, and almost every decade from 1900 to 1970 with their interdisciplinary productions. The strength of this kind of performance, she said, is it allows for an interdisciplinary collaboration between the arts and school departments.


Jennifer Holland, Chantal Schefers, Chelsea Martin, Kadie Perletti and Nicole Van Ryzin, The Dancing M&Ms, laugh during rehearsals.

Photos courtesy of Terri Zopf-Sc

“The inspiration for this is someone neglected to build me a theater. I mean, we can borrow from SoHi, but they use their theater so much. We had to develop something we could do at Skyview that could involve theater. So we end up doing these huge interdisciplinary shows. I mean, I draft every department you can name,” Zopf-Schoessler said.

“This is homegoing week, which is our way of trying to offset breakup. Each day is a dress-up day and they made Friday ’50s day, just to coincide with the sock hop. The sock hop is partially an all-school dance and partially live entertainment,” she said.

Students from any area high school may attend. The cost is $5 per person. Parents also may attend.

The different school departments have contributed with a wide range of presentations and efforts.

“Our special education department is doing the punch; our home economics department and some of the special education students are doing the cookies. The art department is doing the flats. The technology department is doing the program and the PR, and they’re videotaping it and projecting it live so you can watch yourself dance,” Zopf-Schoessler said.

Not only will people be able to watch themselves dance, but also there will be period commercials projected in the background. Zopf-Schoessler couldn’t believe one of the commercials she found to play onscreen.

“We actually found a 1958 commercial of driving the Alcan in a Chevy truck. It’s hysterical. It’s got these black and white images of moose. It just was cracking me up.”

Students also will present their own commercials from scripts they wrote. Students were given a list of ’50s slang and built their commercials for the period.

Music and dance will play a large role in the evening’s entertainment, Zopf-Schoessler said.

“Kent Peterson, who runs both our band and choir programs, he’s got a jazz band that’s playing ’50s, like Elvis stuff. He has a swing choir that’s singing girl group and guy group stuff. And he has a girl duet, the Supremz.”

Zopf-Schoessler said she is looking forward to watching the performance of students she choreographed as dancing M&Ms. M&Ms first became popular in the 1940s when they were added to soldiers rations. When troops returned from World War II, they really took off in the states.

“Right now I’m really partial to my M&Ms. I just finished making the last of 12. They wear big M&M costumes and bike shorts and fish nets. They’re my soccer girls. I mean most of them are 4.0 students, and here they’re just like so sweet they make your teeth ache,” she said.

Skyview’s approach to student clubs played a role in the making of this production.

“Every Wednesday we have club meetings. Each teacher sponsors a club. I sponsored the dance club and that’s where this grew out of, too. God bless Barb Massey, she’s this wonderful swing choreographer. She has kids in the school, too, but she comes in every Wednesday and volunteers her time and teaches choreography to kids. She’s amazing and she’s just this wonderful dancer,” Zopf-Schoessler said.

All told, she estimates there will be 80 or 90 students involved in the sock hop. Even the math department will hand cashiering at the door.

“Truly it’s one of Skyview’s strengths, is that we do work collaboratively. I’m trying to think of a department that didn’t volunteer. Math department had their best year when we did turn-of-the-century. We had all this gambling going on, and so they calculated all the odds and taught people how to play cards,” Zopf-Schoessler said.

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