“B-Team Poms”

Orchesis members speak about negativity


Photo by Photo used with permission of Cara Obrachta

The Orchesis team poses for a photo during a rehearsal. “[Orchesis is] a place where you can put yourself and your dancing out there, and not have other people get into your feelings,” Emily Rosenfeld, senior and Orchesis president, said. “I wish more people would dance so they could experience this type of creativity and this outlet.”

Everyone has heard of Poms; after all, they are the team who has won state twice in a row and gone to nationals five consecutive times. But while they are busy in the spotlight, there is another dance team at school who often have to face negative comparisons with the Poms team: orchesis. 

“We’re called B-Team Poms [and] we’re compared to Poms a lot,” Emily Rosenfeld, senior and Orchesis president, said. “[Poms is] a varsity sport, so it’s athletic, but Orchesis takes more of a creative approach to [dancing], so it’s really hard to compare the two in my opinion. I know a lot of people do that and that’s kind of what really builds up the negativity.”

The negativity and comparison create an inaccurate representation of Orchesis, according to Rosenfeld, which can hurt the dancers.

“When I was first joining the team, [the negativity] stung a little bit,” Rosenfeld said. “I kind of have a thick skin to deflect all of [the negativity]. It used to hurt, [but] doesn’t really hurt anymore because I’m more focused on making us better as a team than comparing myself to other people.”

Much of that comparison comes from the Homecoming assembly, according to Rosenfeld, where students are able to compare both teams during their performances and see the amount of work that is put into both dances. 

“We work our butts off to get where we get and I feel like we try to push ourselves more and more each year,” Rosenfeld said. “You put your heart and your soul into your dance. I know a lot of dancers put issues that they have at home or at school into their pieces, their songs, and their choreography, and you don’t typically see that in a sport.”

Poms is considered a sport and has “different values and different goals” in terms of their dances, while Orchesis “gives you the freedom to do other things” in the dance world Sydney Jaffe, junior and Orchesis member, says.

“I dance outside [of school] at a different studio, and that’s why I decided to join Orchesis so I had time to dance outside of Orchesis and in school. I would say it’s not all that meets the eye and there’s more that goes into [Orchesis].”

Behind the scenes, Orchesis rehearses for their annual show coming up on February 19 and 20, which can be stressful for the team as they need to “cut 20 something different songs, mix them all together, talk with the drama department and tech crew to make sure the lighting is all good, and [make] costumes,” according to Rosenfeld. 

It’s a lot of getting myself into the mindset that [preparing for the show] is going to take outside time,” Rosenfeld said. “I’ve already choreographed one of my dances, but I’m blanking on half the steps right now. It’s a lot of looking and reviewing, and making sure other people are putting in the effort to look and review, too, to make sure we’re on the same page.

Beyond this show, Rosenfeld says she is “fully committed to [Orchesis]” and has even scheduled her wisdom tooth removal around Orchesis so she would not miss a practice.

“[Orchesis is] a team, but it’s not only just a team,” Rosenfeld said. “It’s a group of people who have the same passion and love for dance. We’re athletes, we’re artists, we’re somewhere in the middle on that gradient, and it’s just a place where you can express yourself.”