Two to Tango

The Colton High Dance Team hosts its first “Dancing with the Staff,” featuring the dancing talents of several students and six staff members


Justin Leon

Ms. Evelyn Lopez gets pumped by the loud cheers from her family in the crowd as she and Brissa Munguia accept their 1st place trophy at the event.

Colton, CA—On Saturday, May 20th, the Colton Dance team hosted its first “Dancing with the Staff” event. 

As the name implies, students from the dance team partnered with staff members to perform choreographed dances featuring a wide range of styles and dance genres. 

From Argentinian Tango to K-Pop, the dances showed a hefty dose of creativity. The dancers included four staff members: Dr. Jessica Cannaday, Mr. Orlando Castañon, Ms. Leticia Gomez, and Ms. Evelyn Lopez.  

The winners of the event were divided into two groups: best performance and best costume. The judges for the event were English teacher Ms. Kristen Tornero, English teacher Mr. Ricardo Ruiz, ELD counselor Herberth Jaco, and Publications Director Mr. Jeremiah Dollins.

First place for performance went to Brissa Munguia and Ms. Lopez for their Mexican regional dance. Second place went to Leslie Saldana and Dr. Cannaday for their 50’s-inspired rock and roll routine.

The award for best costume went to Jazlin Mendoza and Ms. Leticia Gomez for their jazzy flapper outfits that complemented their performance to the song “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse.

“It was a lot harder than it looks,” said Gomez about performing in front of a crowd.

Dr. Cannaday performed two dances on the night. She performed her prize-winning dance with Leslie Saldana to start the show, then ended the night with Blessing Mgbemere, performing an African Hip Hop routine.

In addition to the students and staff, Dance Team coach and adviser, Yaquelin Montiel Ramirez also took the stage, dancing an Argentinian tango to the song “Bella Ciao” with her partner Mr. Abraham McNally. It was her first time performing on stage in five years.

The first half of the two hour event featured a community dance team named “Route 66,” composed of children from the Inland Empire of different ages. They did four numbers, including a group performance and a couple thematic dances. The most popular involved three kids doing a dance representing a pre-teen love triangle. The performances entertained the crowd and were one of the highlights of the night.

While this is the first event hosted by the CHS Dance Team, in 2012 the CHS Cheer Team organized a similar event. “Dancing with the Stars” was held on November 2, 2012. Current Yellowjacket staff Ms. Gloria Ramirez, Mr. Scott Sunderland, Ms. Kristen Tornero, Mr. Terry Urban, and super sub Mr. James Clerk all competed. The first half of the event featured a superstar teacher rock band, led by Ms. Lucy Leyva on lead vocals. The winner of the event was Mr. Adrian Merendon, who is the current AVID coordinator at Grand Terrace High School.

That was then, this is now, however. And with the success of “Dancing with the Staff,” the CHS Dance Team plans on an encore next year.