Dance on

Senior choreographs musicals


Natalie Kushner

Choreographer Delaney Tobin rehearses numbers with the musical cast for the spring show of ”Love’s Labour’s Lost” that ran last week. Tobin choreographed over 15 numbers for the show.

Cassie Eskicioglu, City Life Editor

From late night dance classes to play and musical practices nearly all year round, “Love’s Labour’s Lost” marks the last high school play for one student choreographer and actor.

Delaney Tobin began acting in theater in middle school and since then has been in 13 shows ranging from “The Tempest” to “A Chorus Line.” Tobin also choreographed pieces for the Convent & Stuart Hall theater program for the high school and the middle school shows.

“I create the pieces and help the other students understand each movement,” Tobin said. “My job is to help people who have never considered themselves dancers learn how to move in a way that helps tell the story and to not be afraid to be vulnerable when learning something new.”

As she creates a piece, Tobin says she considers the message the music is trying to convey and how the audience will receive that message when it is paired with dance.

“When acting you’re able to use words to express your message, whereas with dance it’s pure emotion and body movement — which some find harder,” Tobin said. “Being able to express a tone through dancing or choreography strengthens me as an actor because I am challenged to strip the piece down to simple movements and expressions.”

Tobin also assisted in creating on-screen projected backdrops and cartoons for the fall middle school play, “Wind in the Willows.”

“I have seen Delaney really grow as a great teacher and collaborator,” Theater Programs Director Margaret Hee said. “Often times I am not even there when she is choreographing. I give her a lot of responsibility because I know that I can really trust her.”

Tobin plans on continuing theater in college by minoring in either dance or theater.

Castmates such as sophomore Halsey Williamson say Tobin has taught the cast members more than simply choreography as a senior mentor.

“Having Delaney as a choreographer is really cool because she is a student, so you can talk to her about school and regular life, and then she is also working with you with choreography and teaching you different things,” Williamson said. “It makes it a lot easier to take orders and learn from her because she is a fun and easy person to talk to.”

Theater provides students a subset community within the school for students to try new things, according to Tobin.

“When you come into the theater program, you’re welcomed into an environment where everyone feels safe and free of judgment,” Tobin said. “People should come see the plays and musicals to support our amazing theater program that will continue to grow and flourish as the years go on.”